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Simplicity

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2008)

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  1. What Seemings Seem to Be.Samuel A. Taylor - 2015 - Episteme 12 (3):363-384.
    According to Phenomenal Conservatism (PC), if it seems to a subject S that P, S thereby has some degree of (defeasible) justification for believing P. But what is it for P to seem true? Answering this question is vital for assessing what role (if any) such states can play. Many have appeared to adopt a kind of non-reductionism that construes seemings as intentional states which cannot be reduced to more familiar mental states like beliefs or sensations. In this paper I (...)
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  • Moral Realism and the Existence of God: Improving Parfit's Metaethics.Martin Jakobsen - 2020 - Leuven, Belgia: Peeters.
    Can there be an objective morality without God? Derek Parfit argues that it can and offers a theory of morality that is neither theistic nor naturalistic. This book provides a critical assessment of Parfit's metaethical theory. Jakobsen identifies some problems in Parfit’s theory – problems concerning moral normativity, the ontological status of morality, and evolutionary influence on our moral beliefs – and argues that theological resources can help solve them. By showing how Parfit’s theory may be improved by the help (...)
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  • Buddhist Reductionism and Free Will: Paleo-Compatibilism.Rick Repetti - 2012 - Journal of Buddhist Ethics 19:33-95.
    A critical review of Mark Siderits's arguments in support of a compatibilist Buddhist theory of free will based on early Abhidharma reductionism and the two-truths distinction between conventional and ultimate truths or reality, which theory he terms 'paleo-compatibilism'. The Buddhist two-truths doctrine is basically analogous to Sellers' distinction between the manifest and scientific images, in which case the argument is that determinism is a claim about ultimate reality, whereas personhood and agency are about conventional reality, both discourse domains are semantically (...)
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  • Philosophical Primatology: Reflections on Theses of Anthropological Difference, the Logic of Anthropomorphism and Anthropodenial, and the Self-Other Category Mistake Within the Scope of Cognitive Primate Research.Hannes Wendler - 2020 - Biological Theory 15 (2):61-82.
    This article investigates the deep-rooted logical structures underlying our thinking about other animals with a particular focus on topics relevant for cognitive primate research. We begin with a philosophical propaedeutic that makes perspicuous how we are to differentiate ontological from epistemological considerations regarding primates, while also accounting for the many perplexities that will undoubtedly be encountered upon applying this difference to concrete phenomena. Following this, we give an account of what is to be understood by the assertion of a thesis (...)
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  • Epistemic Teleology and the Separateness of Propositions.Selim Berker - 2013 - Philosophical Review 122 (3):337-393.
    When it comes to epistemic normativity, should we take the good to be prior to the right? That is, should we ground facts about what we ought and ought not believe on a given occasion in facts about the value of being in certain cognitive states (such as, for example, the value of having true beliefs)? The overwhelming answer among contemporary epistemologists is “Yes, we should.” This essay argues to the contrary. Just as taking the good to be prior to (...)
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  • Explication, H-D Confirmation, and Simplicity.Lukáš Bielik - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (5):1085-1104.
    Explication usually plays the role of the method of language revision. The paper sticks to the Carnapian project of explication and develops some of the formal requirements imposed on the explicatum. However, it departs from Carnap’s view when it comes to how to construe the simplicity condition. It is suggested that in some cases the simplicity condition, which in the Carnapian project plays the derived role with respect to the other three conditions—the similarity, exactness, and fruitfulness conditions—may be substantive for (...)
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  • Occam’s Razor, Dogmatism, Skepticism, and Skeptical Dogmatism.Mark Walker - 2016 - International Journal for the Study of Skepticism 6 (1):1-29.
    _ Source: _Page Count 29 Underdetermination arguments for skepticism maintain that our common sense view of the external world is no better, evidentially speaking, than some skeptical competitors. An important and well-known response by dogmatists, those who believe our commonsense view is justified, appeals to abduction or inference to the best explanation. The predominant version of this strategy, going back at least to Locke, invokes Occam’s razor: dogmatists claim the common sense view is simpler than any of its skeptical alternatives (...)
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  • How To Be Rational: How to Think and Act Rationally.David Robert - manuscript
    This book is divided into 2 sections. In Section 1 (How to think rationally), I address how to acquire rational belief attitudes and, on that basis, I consider the question whether one ought to be skeptical of climate change. In Section 2 (How to act rationally), I address how to make rational choices and, on that basis, I consider the questions whether one is rationally required to do what one can to support life-extension medical research and, more broadly, whether one (...)
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  • Intrinsic Interferers and the Epistemology of Dispositions.Sungho Choi - 2017 - Erkenntnis 82 (1):199-232.
    It is held by some philosophers that it is possible that x has a disposition D but, if the stimulus condition obtains, it won’t manifest D because of an intrinsic interference. I will criticize this position on the ground that it has a deeply sceptical consequence, for instance, that, assuming that I am not well informed of the micro-properties of a metal coin, I do not know that it is not water-soluble. But I urge that this is beyond the pale, (...)
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  • Classification and Moral Evaluation of Uncertainties in Engineering Modeling.Colleen Murphy, Paolo Gardoni & Charles E. Harris - 2011 - Science and Engineering Ethics 17 (3):553-570.
    Engineers must deal with risks and uncertainties as a part of their professional work and, in particular, uncertainties are inherent to engineering models. Models play a central role in engineering. Models often represent an abstract and idealized version of the mathematical properties of a target. Using models, engineers can investigate and acquire understanding of how an object or phenomenon will perform under specified conditions. This paper defines the different stages of the modeling process in engineering, classifies the various sources of (...)
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  • Nothing.Naomi Thompson - unknown
    In this dissertation I suggest an answer to the famous question ‘why is there something rather than nothing?’ I argue that there is something because there could not have been nothing. The focus of my discussion is the empty possible world of metaphysical nihilism, and the first chapter is a rejection of the only prominent argument for that position; the subtraction argument. In the second part of my discussion I construct a positive argument against metaphysical nihilism, I assume, as is (...)
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  • Structuring Reality.Naomi Margaret Claire Thompson - unknown
    This thesis explores attempts to characterise the structure of reality. Three notions stand out: Lewisian naturalness, Sider’s ‘structure’, and grounding, where the latter has become the most popular way to characterise the structure of reality in the contemporary literature. I argue that none of these notions, as they are currently understood, are suited for limning the metaphysical structure of reality. In the first part of the thesis I argue that, by the lights of the relevant theories, both naturalness and structure (...)
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  • The Explanation Game: A Formal Framework for Interpretable Machine Learning.David S. Watson & Luciano Floridi - 2020 - Synthese 198 (10):1–⁠32.
    We propose a formal framework for interpretable machine learning. Combining elements from statistical learning, causal interventionism, and decision theory, we design an idealised explanation game in which players collaborate to find the best explanation for a given algorithmic prediction. Through an iterative procedure of questions and answers, the players establish a three-dimensional Pareto frontier that describes the optimal trade-offs between explanatory accuracy, simplicity, and relevance. Multiple rounds are played at different levels of abstraction, allowing the players to explore overlapping causal (...)
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  • Pluralism and the Absence of Truth.Jeremy Wyatt - 2014 - Dissertation, University of Connecticut
    In this dissertation, I argue that we should be pluralists about truth and in turn, eliminativists about the property Truth. Traditional deflationists were right to suspect that there is no such property as Truth. Yet there is a plurality of pluralities of properties which enjoy defining features that Truth would have, were it to exist. So although, in this sense, truth is plural, Truth is non-existent. The resulting account of truth is indebted to deflationism as the provenance of the suspicion (...)
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  • Explication as a Method of Conceptual Re-Engineering.Georg Brun - 2016 - Erkenntnis 81 (6):1211-1241.
    Taking Carnap’s classic exposition as a starting point, this paper develops a pragmatic account of the method of explication, defends it against a range of challenges and proposes a detailed recipe for the practice of explicating. It is then argued that confusions are involved in characterizing explications as definitions, and in advocating precising definitions as an alternative to explications. Explication is better characterized as conceptual re-engineering for theoretical purposes, in contrast to conceptual re-engineering for other purposes and improving exactness for (...)
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  • The Numerous Forms of Occam’s Razor and Their Effect on Philosophy of Mind.Mikayla L. O'Neal - unknown
    In the first chapter of this paper I focus on the general overview of Occam's Razor, and develop several interpretations and adaptations of Occam's Razor as a principle of simplicity. In the second chapter I apply these different interpretations in the Physicalism/Dualism debate, and critically assess the validity of these implementations of Occam's Razor in philosophy of mind. In the final chapter I give an overview of my discussion thus far, and make assertions about what my paper means for the (...)
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  • Dynamic and Stochastic Systems as a Framework for Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science.Christian List & Marcus Pivato - 2019 - Synthese 198 (3):2551-2612.
    Scientists often think of the world as a dynamical system, a stochastic process, or a generalization of such a system. Prominent examples of systems are the system of planets orbiting the sun or any other classical mechanical system, a hydrogen atom or any other quantum–mechanical system, and the earth’s atmosphere or any other statistical mechanical system. We introduce a general and unified framework for describing such systems and show how it can be used to examine some familiar philosophical questions, including (...)
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  • Dynamic and Stochastic Systems as a Framework for Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science.Christian List & Marcus Pivato - forthcoming - Synthese 198 (3):2551-2612.
    Scientists often think of the world as a dynamical system, a stochastic process, or a generalization of such a system. Prominent examples of systems are the system of planets orbiting the sun or any other classical mechanical system, a hydrogen atom or any other quantum–mechanical system, and the earth’s atmosphere or any other statistical mechanical system. We introduce a general and unified framework for describing such systems and show how it can be used to examine some familiar philosophical questions, including (...)
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  • On the Role of Simplicity in Science.Scorzato Luigi - 2013 - Synthese 190 (14):2867-2895.
    Simple assumptions represent a decisive reason to prefer one theory to another in everyday scientific praxis. But this praxis has little philosophical justification, since there exist many notions of simplicity, and those that can be defined precisely strongly depend on the language in which the theory is formulated. The language dependence is a natural feature—to some extent—but it is also believed to be a fatal problem, because, according to a common general argument, the simplicity of a theory is always trivial (...)
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  • A Simple Model of Scientific Progress - with Examples.Luigi Scorzato - 2016 - In Laura Felline, Antonio Ledd, Francesco Paoli & Emanuele Rossanese (eds.), SILFS 3 - New Directions in Logic and Philosophy of Science. College Publications. pp. 45-56.
    One of the main goals of scientific research is to provide a description of the empirical data which is as accurate and comprehensive as possible, while relying on as few and simple assumptions as possible. In this paper, I propose a definition of the notion of few and simple assumptions that is not affected by known problems. This leads to the introduction of a simple model of scientific progress that is based only on empirical accuracy and conciseness. An essential point (...)
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  • Ockham’s Razors: A User’s Manual, by Elliott Sober. [REVIEW]Joel Velasco - 2018 - Mind 127 (507):891-902.
    Mind Association 2017Elliott Sober’s first book, Simplicity, defends the view that the simplicity of a theory or hypothesis is a measure of its informativeness – roughly, simpler theories require less new information to be added to them to answer relevant questions of interest. While this measure of simplicity is question-relative, it is still what you might call a global view of simplicity – simplicity means the same thing across different scientific problems and it is always an epistemic virtue. Ockham’s Razor (...)
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  • The Methodology of Political Theory.Christian List & Laura Valentini - 2016 - In Herman Cappelen, Tamar Szabó Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.), Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology. Oxford University Press.
    This article examines the methodology of a core branch of contemporary political theory or philosophy: “analytic” political theory. After distinguishing political theory from related fields, such as political science, moral philosophy, and legal theory, the article discusses the analysis of political concepts. It then turns to the notions of principles and theories, as distinct from concepts, and reviews the methods of assessing such principles and theories, for the purpose of justifying or criticizing them. Finally, it looks at a recent debate (...)
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  • Epistemic Virtues and Theory Choice in Economics.Ivan Moscati - unknown
    When economists have to choose between competing theories, they evaluate not only the theories’ empirical relevance, but also qualities like their simplicity, tractability, parsimony and unifying power. These are called the epistemic virtues of a theory. The present paper proposes a formal definition for some epistemic virtues and investigates their role for theory choice in economics.
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  • Sounds Fully Simplified.Jason P. Leddington - 2019 - Analysis 79 (4):any075.
    In ‘The Ockhamization of the event sources of sound’ (2013), Roberto Casati, Elvira Di Bona, and Jérôme Dokic argue that ‘ockhamizing’ Casey O’Callaghan’s account of sounds as proper parts of their event sources yields their preferred view: that sounds are identical with their event sources. This article argues that the considerations Casati et al. marshal in favor of their view are actually stronger considerations in favor of a quite different view: a variant on the Lockean conception of sounds as ‘sensible (...)
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  • When to Defer to Supermajority Testimony — and When Not.Christian List - 2014 - In Jennifer Lackey (ed.), Essays in Collective Epistemology. Oxford University Press. pp. 240-249.
    Pettit (2006) argues that deferring to majority testimony is not generally rational: it may lead to inconsistent beliefs. He suggests that “another ... approach will do better”: deferring to supermajority testimony. But this approach may also lead to inconsistencies. In this paper, I describe conditions under which deference to supermajority testimony ensures consistency, and conditions under which it does not. I also introduce the concept of “consistency of degree k”, which is weaker than full consistency by ruling out only “blatant” (...)
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  • What Scientific Progress Is Not: Against Bird’s Epistemic View.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2010 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (3):241-255.
    This paper challenges Bird’s view that scientific progress should be understood in terms of knowledge, by arguing that unjustified scientific beliefs (and/or changes in belief) may nevertheless be progressive. It also argues that false beliefs may promote progress.
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  • Two Types of “Explaining Away” Arguments in the Cognitive Science of Religion.Hans van Eyghen - 2016 - Zygon 51 (4):966-982.
    This article discusses “explaining away” arguments in the cognitive science of religion. I distinguish two rather different ways of explaining away religion, one where religion is shown to be incompatible with scientific findings and one where supernatural entities are rendered superfluous by scientific explanations. After discussing possible objections to both varieties, I argue that the latter way offers better prospects for successfully explaining away religion but that some caveats must be made. In a second step, I spell out how CSR (...)
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  • The Retreat Argument.Hans Van Eyghen - 2018 - Heythrop Journal (3):497-508.
    Some philosophers and scientists argue that as science progresses the religious domain shrinks ever more. They see the advance of science as an argument against religion and for naturalism. In what follows I construct the argument that is tacit in this line of reasoning and criticize it.
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  • Simple or Simplistic? Scientists’ Views on Occam’s Razor.Hauke Riesch - 2010 - Theoria : An International Journal for Theory, History and Fundations of Science 25 (1):75-90.
    Normal 0 21 Normal 0 21 This paper presents a discourse analysis of 30 popular science books and 40 semi-structured interviews with scientists on their views of Occam's razor and simplicity. It finds that there are many different interpretations and thoughts about the precise meaning of the principle as well as many scientists who reject it outright, or only a very limited version. In light of the variation of scientists' opinions, the paper asks what use it has as a rhetorical (...)
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  • Is Tap Dance a Form of Jazz Percussion?Aili Bresnahan - 2019 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 44 (1):183-194.
    Midwest Studies In Philosophy, EarlyView.
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  • Simple or Simplistic? Scientists' Views on Occam's Razor.Hauke Riesch - 2010 - Theoria: Revista de Teoría, Historia y Fundamentos de la Ciencia 25 (1):75-90.
    ABSTRACT: This paper presents a discourse analysis of 40 semi-structured interviews with scientists on their views of Occam's razor and simplicity. It finds that there are many different interpretations and thoughts about the precise meaning of the principle as well as many scientists who reject it outright, or only a very limited version. In light of the variation of scientists' opinions, the paper looks at the discursive uses of simplicity in scientists' thinking and how scientists' interpretations of Occam's razor impact (...)
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  • Are All Primitives Created Equal?J. T. M. Miller - 2018 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 56 (2):273-292.
    Primitives are both important and unavoidable, and which set of primitives we endorse will greatly shape our theories and how those theories provide solutions to the problems that we take to be important. After introducing the notion of a primitive posit, I discuss the different kinds of primitives that we might posit. Following Cowling (2013), I distinguish between ontological and ideological primitives, and, following Benovsky (2013) between functional and content views of primitives. I then propose that these two distinctions cut (...)
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  • The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology.Herman Cappelen, Tamar Szabó Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.) - 2016 - Oxford University Press.
    This is the most comprehensive book ever published on philosophical methodology. A team of thirty-eight of the world's leading philosophers present original essays on various aspects of how philosophy should be and is done. The first part is devoted to broad traditions and approaches to philosophical methodology. The entries in the second part address topics in philosophical methodology, such as intuitions, conceptual analysis, and transcendental arguments. The third part of the book is devoted to essays about the interconnections between philosophy (...)
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  • The Perils of Parsimony.William Roche - 2018 - Journal of Philosophy 115 (9):485-505.
    It is widely thought in philosophy and elsewhere that parsimony is a theoretical virtue in that if T1 is more parsimonious than T2, then T1 is preferable to T2, other things being equal. This thesis admits of many distinct precisifications. I focus on a relatively weak precisification on which preferability is a matter of probability, and argue that it is false. This is problematic for various alternative precisifications, and even for Inference to the Best Explanation as standardly understood.
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  • Epistemological Aspects of Delusional Thinking.John Wright - 2021 - Rivista Internazionale di Filosofia e Psicologia 12 (2):125-136.
    : The notion of a delusion occupies a central place in psychotherapy. The presence of delusional thinking in a patient is often regarded as indicative of psychosis. And yet, the nature of a delusion is still widely disputed. The difficulty of defining a delusion has proved so difficult that some prominent authors have declared the task impossible. The aim of this paper is to offer a characterisation of delusional systems of thought. In this paper is argued that delusions, unlike scientific (...)
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  • Physicalism and the Burden of Parsimony.Giacomo Zanotti - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):11109-11132.
    Parsimony considerations are ubiquitous in the literature concerning the nature of mental states. Other things being equal, physicalist views are preferred over dualist accounts on the grounds of the fact that they do not posit new fundamental properties in addition to the physical ones. This paper calls into question the widespread assumption that parsimony can provide reasons for believing that physicalism is a better candidate than dualism for solving the mind–body problem. After presenting the theoretical core of physicalism and dualism, (...)
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  • Metaphors in Arts and Science.Walter Veit & Ney Milan - 2021 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 11 (2):1-24.
    Metaphors abound in both the arts and in science. Due to the traditional division between these enterprises as one concerned with aesthetic values and the other with epistemic values there has unfortunately been very little work on the relation between metaphors in the arts and sciences. In this paper, we aim to remedy this omission by defending a continuity thesis regarding the function of metaphor across both domains, that is, metaphors fulfill any of the same functions in science as they (...)
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  • Why Simpler Computer Simulation Models Can Be Epistemically Better for Informing Decisions.Casey Helgeson, Vivek Srikrishnan, Klaus Keller & Nancy Tuana - 2021 - Philosophy of Science 88 (2):213-233.
    For computer simulation models to usefully inform climate risk management, uncertainties in model projections must be explored and characterized. Because doing so requires running the model many ti...
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  • The Oxford Handbook of Causal Reasoning.Michael R. Waldmann (ed.) - 2017 - Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.
    Causal reasoning is one of our most central cognitive competencies, enabling us to adapt to our world. Causal knowledge allows us to predict future events, or diagnose the causes of observed facts. We plan actions and solve problems using knowledge about cause-effect relations. Without our ability to discover and empirically test causal theories, we would not have made progress in various empirical sciences. In the past decades, the important role of causal knowledge has been discovered in many areas of cognitive (...)
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  • Ontologically Simple Theories Do Not Indicate the True Nature of Complex Biological Systems: Three Test Cases.Michael Fry - 2020 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 42 (2):1-44.
    A longstanding philosophical premise perceives simplicity as a desirable attribute of scientific theories. One of several raised justifications for this notion is that simple theories are more likely to indicate the true makeup of natural systems. Qualitatively parsimonious hypotheses and theories keep to a minimum the number of different postulated entities within a system. Formulation of such ontologically simple working hypotheses proved to be useful in the experimental probing of narrowly defined bio systems. It is less certain, however, whether qualitatively (...)
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  • Population Thinking in Epistemic Evolution: Bridging Cultural Evolution and the Philosophy of Science.Antonio Fadda - 2021 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 52 (2):351-369.
    Researchers in cultural evolutionary theory have recently proposed the foundation of a new field of research in cultural evolution named ‘epistemic evolution’. Drawing on evolutionary epistemology’s early studies, this programme aims to study science as an evolutionary cultural process. The paper discusses the way CET’s study of science can contribute to the philosophical debate and, vice versa, how the philosophy of science can benefit from the adoption of a cultural evolutionary perspective. Here, I argue that CET’s main contribution to an (...)
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  • Theories as Recipes: Third-Order Virtue and Vice.Michaela Markham McSweeney - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (2):391-411.
    A basic way of evaluating metaphysical theories is to ask whether they give satisfying answers to the questions they set out to resolve. I propose an account of “third-order” virtue that tells us what it takes for certain kinds of metaphysical theories to do so. We should think of these theories as recipes. I identify three good-making features of recipes and show that they translate to third-order theoretical virtues. I apply the view to two theories—mereological universalism and plenitudinous platonism—and draw (...)
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  • A Life Plan Principle of Voting Rights.Kim Angell - 2020 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 23 (1):125-139.
    Who should have a right to participate in a polity’s decision-making? Although the answers to this ‘boundary problem’ in democratic theory remain controversial, it is widely believed that the enfranchisement of tourists and children is unacceptable. Yet, the two most prominent inclusion principles in the literature – Robert Goodin’s ‘all affected interests’-principle and the ‘all subjected to law’-principle – both enfranchise those groups. Unsurprisingly, democratic theorists have therefore offered several reasons for nonetheless exempting tourists and children from the franchise. In (...)
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  • Moral Error Theory, Explanatory Dispensability and the Limits of Guilt.Silvan Wittwer - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 177 (10):2969-2983.
    Recently, companions in guilt strategies have garnered significant philosophical attention as a response to arguments for moral error theory, the view that there are no moral facts and that our moral beliefs are thus systematically mistaken. According to Cuneo (The normative web: an argument for moral realism, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007), Das (Philos Q 66:152–160, 2016; Australas J Philos 95(1):58–69, 2017), Rowland (J Ethics Soc Philos 7(1):1–24, 2012; Philos Q 66:161–171, 2016) and others, epistemic facts would be just as (...)
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  • The Harms of Ignoring the Social Nature of Science.Sara Weaver - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):355-375.
    In this paper I argue that philosophers of science have an obligation to recognize and engage with the social nature of the sciences they assess if those sciences are morally relevant. Morally-relevant science is science that has the potential to risk harm to humans, non-humans, or the environment. My argument and the approach I develop are informed by an analysis of the philosophy of biology literature on the criticism of evolutionary psychology, the study of the evolution of human psychology and (...)
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  • Models in Biology and Physics: What’s the Difference?Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2009 - Foundations of Science 14 (4):281-294.
    In Making Sense of Life , Keller emphasizes several differences between biology and physics. Her analysis focuses on significant ways in which modelling practices in some areas of biology, especially developmental biology, differ from those of the physical sciences. She suggests that natural models and modelling by homology play a central role in the former but not the latter. In this paper, I focus instead on those practices that are importantly similar, from the point of view of epistemology and cognitive (...)
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  • Is the God Hypothesis Improbable? A Response to Dawkins.Logan Paul Gage - 2020 - In Kevin Vallier & Joshua Rasmussen (eds.), A New Theist Response to the New Atheists. New York: Routledge. pp. 59-76.
    In this chapter, Logan Paul Gage examines the only real attempt to disprove God’s existence by a New Atheist: Richard Dawkins’s “Ultimate 747 Gambit.” Central to Dawkins’s argument is the claim that God is more complex than what he is invoked to explain. Gage evaluates this claim using the main extant notions of simplicity in the literature. Gage concludes that on no reading does this claim survive scrutiny. Along the way, Dawkins claims that there are no good positive arguments for (...)
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  • Simplicity of What? A Case Study From Generative Linguistics.Giulia Terzian & María Inés Corbalán - 2021 - Synthese 198 (10):9427-9452.
    The Minimalist Program in generative linguistics is predicated on the idea that simplicity is a defining property of the human language faculty, on the one hand; on the other, a central aim of linguistic theorising. Worryingly, however, justifications for either claim are hard to come by in the literature. We sketch a proposal that would allow for both shortcomings to be addressed, and that furthermore honours the program’s declared commitment to naturalism. We begin by teasing apart and clarifying the different (...)
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  • The a Priority of Abduction.Stephen Biggs & Jessica M. Wilson - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (3):735-758.
    Here we challenge the orthodoxy according to which abduction is an a posteriori mode of inference. We start by providing a case study illustrating how abduction can justify a philosophical claim not justifiable by empirical evidence alone. While many grant abduction's epistemic value, nearly all assume that abductive justification is a posteriori, on grounds that our belief in abduction's epistemic value depends on empirical evidence about how the world contingently is. Contra this assumption, we argue, first, that our belief in (...)
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  • A Common Sense Defence of Ostrich Nominalism.Jean-Baptiste Guillon - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (1):71-93.
    When the meta-philosophies of Nominalism and Realism are compared, it is often said that Nominalism is motivated by a methodology of ontological economy, while Realism would be motivated by an appeal to Common Sense. In this paper, I argue that this association is misguided. After briefly comparing the meta-philosophy of Common Sense and the meta-philosophy of economy, I show that the core motivation in favour of Realism relies in fact in a principle of economy which violates the methodology of Common (...)
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