Conceptual spaces have become an increasingly popular modeling tool in cognitive psychology. The core idea of the conceptual spaces approach is that concepts can be represented as regions in similarity spaces. While it is generally acknowledged that not every region in such a space represents a natural concept, it is still an open question what distinguishes those regions that represent natural concepts from those that do not. The central claim of this paper is that natural concepts are represented by the (...) cells of an optimally designed similarity space. (shrink)
This paper aims to contribute to our understanding of the notion of coherence by explicating in probabilistic terms, step by step, what seem to be our most basic intuitions about that notion, to wit, that coherence is a matter of hanging or fitting together, and that coherence is a matter of degree. A qualitative theory of coherence will serve as a stepping stone to formulate a set of quantitative measures of coherence, each of which seems to capture well the aforementioned (...) intuitions. Subsequently it will be argued that one of those measures does better than the others in light of some more specific intuitions about coherence. This measure will be defended against two seemingly obvious objections. (shrink)
There has been a probabilistic turn in contemporary cognitive science. Far and away, most of the work in this vein is Bayesian, at least in name. Coinciding with this development, philosophers have increasingly promoted Bayesianism as the best normative account of how humans ought to reason. In this paper, we make a push for exploring the probabilistic terrain outside of Bayesianism. Non-Bayesian, but still probabilistic, theories provide plausible competitors both to descriptive and normative Bayesian accounts. We argue for this general (...) idea via recent work on explanationist models of updating, which are fundamentally probabilistic but assign a substantial, non-Bayesian role to explanatory considerations. (shrink)
This paper considers Kamp and Partee's account of graded membership within a conceptual spaces framework and puts the account to the test in the domain of colors. Three experiments are reported that are meant to determine, on the one hand, the regions in color space where the typical instances of blue and green are located and, on the other hand, the degrees of blueness/greenness of various shades in the blue–green region as judged by human observers. From the locations of the (...) typical blue and typical green regions in conjunction with Kamp and Partee's account follow degrees of blueness/greenness for the color shades we are interested in. These predicted degrees are compared with the judged degrees, as obtained in the experiments. The results of the comparison support the account of graded membership at issue. (shrink)
According to what is now commonly referred to as “the Equation” in the literature on indicative conditionals, the probability of any indicative conditional equals the probability of its consequent of the conditional given the antecedent of the conditional. Philosophers widely agree in their assessment that the triviality arguments of Lewis and others have conclusively shown the Equation to be tenable only at the expense of the view that indicative conditionals express propositions. This study challenges the correctness of that assessment by (...) presenting data that cast doubt on an assumption underlying all triviality arguments. (shrink)
Edgington has proposed a solution to the sorites paradox in terms of ‘verities’, which she defines as degrees of closeness to clear truth. Central to her solution is the assumption that verities are formally probabilities. She is silent on what verities might derive from and on why they should be probabilities. This paper places Edgington’s solution in the framework of a spatial approach to conceptualization, arguing that verities may be conceived of as deriving from how our concepts relate to each (...) other. Building on work by Kamp and Partee, this paper further shows how verities, thus conceived of, may plausibly be assumed to have probabilistic structure. The new interpretation of verities is argued to also help answer the question of what the verities of indicative conditionals are, a question which Edgington leaves open. Finally, the question of how to accommodate higher-order vagueness, given this interpretation, is addressed. (shrink)
According to Stalnaker’s Hypothesis, the probability of an indicative conditional, $\Pr(\varphi \rightarrow \psi),$ equals the probability of the consequent conditional on its antecedent, $\Pr(\psi | \varphi)$ . While the hypothesis is generally taken to have been conclusively refuted by Lewis’ and others’ triviality arguments, its descriptive adequacy has been confirmed in many experimental studies. In this paper, we consider some possible ways of resolving the apparent tension between the analytical and the empirical results relating to Stalnaker’s Hypothesis and we argue (...) that none offer a satisfactory resolution. (shrink)
Bayesians have traditionally taken a dim view of the Inference to the Best Explanation, arguing that, if IBE is at variance with Bayes ' rule, then it runs afoul of the dynamic Dutch book argument. More recently, Bayes ' rule has been claimed to be superior on grounds of conduciveness to our epistemic goal. The present paper aims to show that neither of these arguments succeeds in undermining IBE.
According to so-called epistemic theories of conditionals, the assertability/acceptability/acceptance of a conditional requires the existence of an epistemically significant relation between the conditional’s antecedent and its consequent. This paper points to some linguistic data that our current best theories of the foregoing type appear unable to explain. Further, it presents a new theory of the same type that does not have that shortcoming. The theory is then defended against some seemingly obvious objections.
There is widespread agreement that we cannot know of a lottery ticket we own that it is a loser prior to the drawing of the lottery. At the same time we appear to have knowledge of events that will occur only if our ticket is a loser. Supposing any plausible closure principle for knowledge, the foregoing seems to yield a paradox. Appealing to some broadly Gricean insights, the present paper argues that this paradox is apparent only.
ABSTRACTInterest in the topic of wisdom-focused education has so far not resulted in empirically validated programs for teaching wisdom. To start filling this void, we explore the emerging empirical evidence concerning the fundamental elements required for understanding how one can foster wisdom, with a particular focus on wise reasoning. We define wise reasoning through a combination of intellectual humility, recognition of world in flux/change, open-mindedness to diverse viewpoints, and search for compromise/integration of diverse perspectives. In this article, we review evidence (...) concerning how wise reasoning can be facilitated through experiences, teaching materials, environments and cognitive strategies. We also focus on educators, reviewing emerging evidence on how the process of explaining and guiding others impacts one’s wisdom. We conclude by discussing the development of wisdom-focused education, proposing that greater attention to the situational demands and the variability in wisdom-related characteristics across social contexts should play a critical role in its development. (shrink)
The standard approach to the so-called paradoxes of identity has been to argue that these paradoxes do not essentially concern the notion of identity but rather betray misconceptions on our part regarding other metaphysical notions, like that of an object or a property. This paper proposes a different approach by pointing to an ambiguity in the identity predicate and arguing that the concept of identity that figures in many ordinary identity claims, including those that appear in the paradoxes, is not (...) the traditional philosophical concept but one that can be defined in terms of relevant similarity. This approach to the paradoxes will be argued to be superior to the standard one. (shrink)
While some argue that the only way to make a place for Philosophy for Children in today's strict, standardised classroom is to measure its efficacy in promoting reasoning, we believe that this must be avoided in order to safeguard what is truly unique in P4C dialogue. When P4C acquiesces to the very same quantitative measures that define the rest of learning, then the philosophical dimension drops out and P4C becomes yet another progressive curriculum and pedagogy for enhancing argumentation skills that (...) can easily be appropriated by any content area. What we want to offer in this article is a reevaluation of P4C that remains faithful to a radical kernel that we find when we do philosophy with children and young adults. To theorise the potential for P4C, we draw heavily on Agamben's work, and in particular his reflections on speech and infancy. We propose that the redemption of P4C necessitates a shift from a community of inquiry to a community of infancy. Such a community is not a community that operates according to predefined rules or standardised assessment protocols but rather is an inoperative community that is defined by letting ends idle. On our account, a community of infancy is an example of dialogic studious play that is neither ritual nor just play, thus avoiding the extreme polarities of the ritualised classrooms of high-stakes testing and the ‘ludic’ postmodern classroom of free play. What is at stake here is to preserve the last vestige of freedom within the school. (shrink)
Some of the information we receive comes to us in an explicitly conditional form. It is an open question how to model the accommodation of such information in a Bayesian framework. This paper presents data suggesting that there may be no strictly Bayesian account of updating on conditionals. Specifically, the data seem to indicate that such updating at least sometimes proceeds on the basis of explanatory considerations, which famously have no home in standard Bayesian epistemology. The paper also proposes a (...) still broadly Bayesian model of updating on conditionals that explicitly factors in explanation. The model is shown to have clear empirical content and thus to be open to empirical testing. (shrink)
Earman (1993) distinguishes three notions of empirical indistinguishability and offers a rigorous framework to investigate how each of these notions relates to the problem of underdetermination of theory choice. He uses some of the results obtained in this framework to argue for a version of scientific anti- realism. In the present paper we first criticize Earman's arguments for that position. Secondly, we propose and motivate a modification of Earman's framework and establish several results concerning some of the notions of indistinguishability (...) in this modified framework. Finally, we interpret these results in the light of the realism/anti- realism debate. (shrink)
The article introduces substructural epistemic logics of belief supported by evidence. The logics combine normal modal epistemic logics with distributive substructural logics. Pieces of evidence are represented by points in substructural models and availability of evidence is modelled by a function on the point set. The main technical result is a general completeness theorem. Axiomatisations are provided by means of two-sorted Hilbert-style calculi. It is also shown that the framework presents a natural solution to the problem of logical omniscience.
We introduce a general representation of unary hyperintensional modalities and study various hyperintensional modal logics based on the representation. It is shown that the major approaches to hyperintensionality known from the literature, that is state-based, syntactic and structuralist approaches, all correspond to special cases of the general framework. Completeness results pertaining to our hyperintensional modal logics are established.
Conditionals are sentences of the form 'If A, then B', and they play a central role in scientific, logical, and everyday reasoning. They have been in the philosophical limelight for centuries, and more recently, they have been receiving attention from psychologists, linguists, and computer scientists. In spite of this, many key questions concerning conditionals remain unanswered. While most of the work on conditionals has addressed semantical questions - questions about the truth conditions of conditionals - this book focuses on the (...) main epistemological questions that conditionals give rise to, such as: what are the probabilities of conditionals? When is a conditional acceptable or assertable? What do we learn when we receive new conditional information? In answering these questions, this book combines the formal tools of logic and probability theory with the experimental approach of cognitive psychology. It will be of interest to students and researchers in logic, epistemology, and psychology of reasoning. (shrink)
The protection of noncombatants from deadly violence is the centrepiece of any account of ethical and legal constraints on war. It was a major achievement of moral progress from early modern times to World War I. Yet it has been under constant attrition since - perhaps never more so than in our time, with its 'new wars', the spectre of weapons of mass destruction, and the global terrorism alert. -/- Civilian Immunity in War, written in collaboration by eleven authors, provides (...) the first comprehensive analysis of all main aspects of this highly topical subject. It considers the arguments for rejection of civilian immunity and the main theories of the grounds and proper scope of this immunity, both deontological (just war theory) and consequentialist. Separate chapters examine the historical development of the idea of civilian immunity, its standing in current international law, and the problem of "collateral damage": of harming civilians without intent, as a side-effect of attacks on military targets. The volume also addresses a string of specific issues. Civilian immunity has undergone much attrition with the development of air warfare and the tendency of military conflict to degenerate into "total" war. On the other hand, modern military technology with its precision guidance missiles and "smart" bombs opens up the possibility of restricting deadly violence to its proper targets and staying clear of civilian life, limb, and property. Another pressing issue is the fate of women in war in light of mass rapes characteristic of some 'new wars'. (shrink)
Any plausible position in the ethics of war and political violence in general will include the requirement of protection of civilians (non-combatants, common citizens) against lethal violence. This requirement is particularly prominent, and particularly strong, in just war theory. Some adherents of the theory see civilian immunity as absolute, not to be overridden in any circumstances whatsoever. Others allow that it may be overridden, but only in extremis. The latter position has been advanced by Michael Walzer under the heading of (...) “supreme emergency.” In this paper, I look into some of the issues of interpretation and application of Walzer’s “supreme emergency” view and some of the criticisms that have been levelled against it. I argue that Walzer’s view is vague and unacceptable as it stands, but that the alternatives proposed by critics such as Brian Orend, C.A.J. Coady, and Stephen Nathanson are also unattractive. I go on to construct a position that is structurally similar to Walzer’s, but more specific and much less permissive, which I term the “moral disaster” view. According to this view, deliberate killing of civilians is almost absolutely wrong. (shrink)
Natural language provides motivation for studying modal backwards-looking operators such as “now”, “then” and “actually” that evaluate their argument formula at some previously considered point instead of the current one. This paper investigates the expressive power over models of both propositional and first-order basic modal language enriched with such operators. Having defined an appropriate notion of bisimulation for first-order modal logic, I show that backwards-looking operators increase its expressive power quite mildly, contrary to beliefs widespread among philosophers of language and (...) formal semanticists. That in turn presents a strong argument for the use of operator-based systems in the semantics of natural language, instead of systems with explicit quantification over worlds and times that have become a de-facto standard for such applications. The popularity of such explicit-quantification systems is shown to be based on the misinterpretation of a claim by Cresswell, which led many philosophers and linguists to assume that introducing “now” and “then” is expressively equivalent to explicitly quantifying over worlds and times. (shrink)
Mindwandering is associated with both positive and negative outcomes. Among the latter, negative mood and negative cognitions have been reported. However, the underlying mechanisms linking mindwandering to negative mood and cognition are still unclear. We hypothesized that MW could either directly enhance negative thinking or indirectly heighten the accessibility of negative thoughts. In an undergraduate sample we measured emotional thoughts during the Sustained Attention on Response Task which induces MW, and accessibility of negative cognitions by means of the Scrambled Sentences (...) Task after the task. We also measured depressive symptoms and rumination. Results show that in individuals with elevated levels of depressive symptoms MW during SART predicts higher accessibility of negative thoughts after the task, rather than negative thinking during the task. These findings contribute to our understanding of the underlying mechanisms of MW and provide insight into the relationship between task-involvement and affect. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with formal solutions to the lottery paradox on which high probability defeasibly warrants acceptance. It considers some recently proposed solutions of this type and presents an argument showing that these solutions are trivial in that they boil down to the claim that perfect probability is sufficient for rational acceptability. The argument is then generalized, showing that a broad class of similar solutions faces the same problem. An argument against some formal solutions to the lottery paradox The (...) argument generalized Some variations Adding modalities Anticipated objections. (shrink)
This paper argues that if epistemological contextualism is correct, then not only have knowledge-ascribing sentences context-sensitive truth conditions, certain comparative and superlative constructions involving ‘know’ have context-sensitive truth conditions as well. But not only is there no evidence for the truth of the latter consequence, the evidence seems to indicate that it is false.
There has been a growing debate about the ethics of management buy-outs (MBOs). One possible criticism of the MBO is that it serves the interests of incumbent management at the expense of shareholders. In this paper we develop the general arguments concerning the ethical aspects of the MBO to include other forms of buy-out beyond going privates and apply the analysis to MBOs as a mode of privatisation in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). MBOs are justified in this context postperestroika (...) as a means of incentivising economic activity by giving managers an ownership stake in former state enterprises. The actual mode of privatisation, though, raises issues of social justice and the criticism that MBOs are at the expense of the broader social good. The ethical problem for the CEE is to balance the economic gains of a move to markets with the ethical risks to the agents of these markets. (shrink)
The Principle of the Benefit of Doubt dictates that, whenever reasonably possible, we interpret earlier-day scientists as referring to entities posited by current science. Putnam has presented the principle as supplementary to his Causal Theory of Reference in order to make this theory generally applicable to theoretical terms. The present paper argues that the principle is of doubtful standing. In particular, it will be argued that the principle lacks a justification and, indeed, is unjustifiable as it stands.
Igor Primoratz & Aleksander Pavkovic, Patriotism : Philosophical and Political Perspectives Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-2 DOI 10.1007/s10677-011-9297-4 Authors Michael Crean, Department of Philosophy, NUI, Galway, Ireland Journal Ethical Theory and Moral Practice Online ISSN 1572-8447 Print ISSN 1386-2820.
In this paper I discuss the rule of inference proposed by Kuipers under the name of Inference to the Best Theory. In particular, I argue that the rule needs to be strengthened if it is to serve realist purposes. I further describe a method for testing, and perhaps eventually justifying, a suitably strengthened version of it.
As part of an exceptionally lucid analysis of the Lottery Paradox, Dana Nelkin castigates the solutions to that paradox put forward by Laurence Bonjour and Sharon Ryan. According to her, these are “so finely tailored to lottery-like cases that they are limited in their ability to explain [what seem the intuitively right responses to such cases]”. She then offers a solution to the Lottery Paradox that allegedly has the virtue of being independently motivated by our intuitions regarding certain non-lottery-like cases. (...) This note argues that Nelkin fails to show that her solution applies to other than lottery-like cases or in any event that it is more general than Bonjour’s and Ryan’s solutions. (shrink)
The pivotal point in the Austrian literature on homogeneity, choice and indifference was constituted by Nozick’s On Austrian Methodology. Nozick provoked a long debate on the above notions within Austrianism. The aim of this paper is to elaborate such an account of homogeneity that would take the sting out of Nozick’s challenge and allow for non-trivial formulation of the law of diminishing marginal utility. Hence, we shall first take a closer look at the debate on indifference within the Austrian camp, (...) while defending and building upon the Hoppean account vis-à-vis Block’s criticism. Our justification of the Hoppean position shall consist in showing that his account of the correct description of an action is not an ad hoc move aimed at solving just one problem of indifference but is highly intuitive and widely applicable. We conclude by restating the above-mentioned law, thus demonstrating that the Nozickian objection can be successfully replied. (shrink)
A number of philosophers and legal scholars have pointed out a fact about punishment that had not been sufficiently appreciated by many traditional accounts, utilitarian, retributive, or ‘mixed’: that evil inflicted on the person punished is not an evil simpliciter , but rather the expression of an important social message—that punishment is a kind of language. The message which it is seen to communicate can broadly be described as condemnation by society of the crime committed. In what is still the (...) only attempt at a general and critical discussion— Anthony Skillen's ‘How to say Things with Walls’—this way of understanding punishment is termed ‘expressionism’. In this paper I propose to sort out the main varieties of expressionism in the philosophy of punishment, and to discuss some of their pros and cons. (shrink)
The sequent system LDJ is formulated using the same connectives as Gentzen's intuitionistic sequent system LJ, but is dual in the following sense: (i) whereas LJ is singular in the consequent, LDJ is singular in the antecedent; (ii) whereas LJ has the same sentential counter-theorems as classical LK but not the same theorems, LDJ has the same sentential theorems as LK but not the same counter-theorems. In particular, LDJ does not reject all contradictions and is accordingly paraconsistent. To obtain a (...) more precise mapping, both LJ and LDJ are extended by adding a "pseudo-difference" operator which is the dual of intuitionistic implication. Cut-elimination and decidability are proved for the extended systems and , and a simply consistent but -inconsistent Set Theory with Unrestricted Comprehension Schema based on LDJ is sketched. (shrink)
Обсуждается широкий круг проблем взаимоотношения сознания и материи. Особое внимание уделено анализу структуры и свойств сознания в рамках информационной эволюции. А также – анализу роли специфических (невычислительных) свойств сознания в процедуре классических и квантовых измерений. В частности, подробно обсуждается вопрос о «клонировании» сознания (возможности копирования его свойств его на новый материальный носитель). Мы надеемся, что сформулированный нами обобщенный принцип дополнительности откроет новые пути для исследования проблем сознания в рамках фундаментальной физической картины мира.
Ifeel that Iam apartof, but separatefrom an 'out there' world. 2. Ifeel that my perception of the world mingles with feelings of past experience. 3. My experienceof the world is selective and purposeful. 4. I am thinking ahead allthe timeintrying ...
Various authors have recently argued that you cannot rationally stick to your belief in the face of known disagreement with an epistemic peer, that is, a person you take to have the same evidence and judgmental skills as you do. For, they claim, because there is but one rational response to any body of evidence, a disagreement with an epistemic peer indicates that at least one of you is not responding rationally to the evidence. Given that you take your peer (...) to have the same judgmental skills as you do, and thus regard her to be equally good at assessing the evidence as you are, you will have as much reason for thinking that it is you who is not responding rationally to the evidence as for thinking that it is her. You thus have reason for thinking that your belief on the disputed matter is not a rational response to the evidence. Hence, you cannot rationally stick to your belief. (shrink)