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The Metaphysics of Representation

Oxford University Press (2020)

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  1. Radical Interpretation and Decision Theory.Anandi Hattiangadi & H. Orri Stefánsson - 2021 - Synthese 199 (3-4):6473-6494.
    This paper takes issue with an influential interpretationist argument for physicalism about intentionality based on the possibility of radical interpretation. The interpretationist defends the physicalist thesis that the intentional truths supervene on the physical truths by arguing that it is possible for a radical interpreter, who knows all of the physical truths, to work out the intentional truths about what an arbitrary agent believes, desires, and means without recourse to any further empirical information. One of the most compelling arguments for (...)
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  • Consciousness Meets Lewisian Interpretation Theory: A Multistage Account of Intentionality.Adam Pautz - 2021 - In Uriah Kriegel (ed.), Oxford Studies in Philosophy of Mind, Vol. 1.
    In “Radical Interpretation” (1974), David Lewis asked: by what constraints, and to what extent, do the non-intentional, physical facts about Karl determine the intentional facts about him? There are two popular approaches: the reductive externalist program and the phenomenal intentionality program. I argue against both approaches. Then I sketch an alternative multistage account incorporating ideas from both camps. If we start with Karl's conscious experiences, we can appeal to Lewisian ideas to explain his other intentional states. This account develops the (...)
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  • Varieties of Interpretationism About Belief and Desire.Adam Pautz - 2021 - Analysis 21 (3):512-524.
    In his superb book, The Metaphysics of Representation, Williams sketches biconditional reductive definitions of representational states in non-representational terms. The central idea is an extremely innovative variety of interpretationism about belief and desire. Williams is inspired by David Lewis but departs significantly from him. I am sympathetic to interpretationism for some basic beliefs and desires. However, I will raise three worries for Williams’s version (§2–4). It neglects the role of conscious experience, it makes beliefs and desire too dependent on "hidden (...)
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  • Genericity and Inductive Inference.Henry Ian Schiller - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    We are often justified in acting on the basis of evidential confirmation. I argue that such evidence supports belief in non-quantificational generic generalizations, rather than universally quantified generalizations. I show how this account supports, rather than undermines, a Bayesian account of confirmation. Induction from confirming instances of a generalization to belief in the corresponding generic is part of a reasoning instinct that is typically (but not always) correct, and allows us to approximate the predictions that formal epistemology would make.
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  • Delusions and madmen: against rationality constraints on belief.Declan Smithies, Preston Lennon & Richard Samuels - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-30.
    According to the Rationality Constraint, our concept of belief imposes limits on how much irrationality is compatible with having beliefs at all. We argue that empirical evidence of human irrationality from the psychology of reasoning and the psychopathology of delusion undermines only the most demanding versions of the Rationality Constraint, which require perfect rationality as a condition for having beliefs. The empirical evidence poses no threat to more relaxed versions of the Rationality Constraint, which only require only minimal rationality. Nevertheless, (...)
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  • A Tribute to Karen Neander.Christopher Hill & Carlotta Pavese - 2021 - Biological Theory 16 (4):195-202.
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  • Shopping for Truth Pluralism.Will Gamester - 2020 - Synthese 198 (12):11351-11377.
    Truth pluralists say that the nature of truth varies between domains of discourse: while ordinary descriptive claims or those of the hard sciences might be true in virtue of corresponding to reality, those concerning ethics, mathematics, institutions might be true in some non-representational or “anti-realist” sense. Despite pluralism attracting increasing amounts of attention, the motivations for the view remain underdeveloped. This paper investigates whether pluralism is well-motivated on ontological grounds: that is, on the basis that different discourses are concerned with (...)
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  • Radical Parochialism About Reference.W. Gamester & J. Robert G. Williams - forthcoming - Noûs.
    We can use radically different reference-schemes to generate the same truth-conditions for the sentences of a language. In this paper, we do three things. (1) Distinguish two arguments that deploy this observation to derive different conclusions. The first argues that reference is radically indeterminate: there is no fact of the matter what ordinary terms refer to. This threat is taken seriously and most contemporary metasemantic theories come with resources intended to rebut it. The second argues for radical parochialism about reference: (...)
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  • Hybrid Collective Intentionality.Thomas Brouwer, Roberta Ferrario & Daniele Porello - 2021 - Synthese 199 (1-2):3367-3403.
    The theory of collective agency and intentionality is a flourishing field of research, and our understanding of these phenomena has arguably increased greatly in recent years. Extant theories, however, are still ill-equipped to explain certain aspects of collective intentionality. In this article we draw attention to two such underappreciated aspects: the failure of the intentional states of collectives to supervene on the intentional states of their members, and the role of non-human factors in collective agency and intentionality. We propose a (...)
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  • Thought and Talk in a Generous World.Alexander Sandgren - forthcoming - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy.
    The problem of the many seems to problematize the platitude that we can think about particular things in the world. How is it that, given how very many cat-like candidates there are, we often manage to think and talk about a particular cat? I argue that this challenge stems from an under-examined assumption about the relationship between metaphysics and intentionality. I explore and develop a way of characterizing what it is to think and talk about the world, according to which (...)
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  • Is Honesty Rational?Giorgio Sbardolini - forthcoming - Philosophical Quarterly.
    According to the Maxim of Quality, rational agents tend to speak honestly. Due to the influence of Grice, a connection between linguistic rationality and honesty is often taken for granted. However, the connection is not obvious: structural rationality in language use does not require honesty, any more than it requires dishonesty. In particular, Quality does not follow from the Cooperative Principle and structural rationality. But then what is honest rational speech? I propose to move the discussion in the context of (...)
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  • Inferentialism, Australian Style.David J. Chalmers - forthcoming - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association.
  • Substantive Radical Interpretation and the Problem of Underdetermination.Anandi Hattiangadi - 2020 - Analysis 80 (4):822-833.
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  • Representation Theorems and Radical Interpretation.Edward J. R. Elliott - manuscript
    This paper begins with a puzzle regarding Lewis' theory of radical interpretation. On the one hand, Lewis convincingly argued that the facts about an agent's sensory evidence and choices will always underdetermine the facts about her beliefs and desires. On the other hand, we have several representation theorems—such as those of (Ramsey 1931) and (Savage 1954)—that are widely taken to show that if an agent's choices satisfy certain constraints, then those choices can suffice to determine her beliefs and desires. In (...)
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  • Reply to Critics.J. R. G. Williams - 2021 - Analysis 81 (3):536-548.
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  • How Wrong Can You Be?Imogen Dickie - 2021 - Analysis 81 (3):501-512.
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  • Interpretivism and Inferentialism.David J. Chalmers - 2021 - Analysis 81 (3):524-535.