The Dunning–Kruger effect focuses our attention on the notion of invisibility of ignorance, i.e., the ignorance of ignorance. Such a phenomenon is not only important for everyday life, but also, above all, for some philosophical disciplines, such as epistemology of sciences. When someone tries to understand formally the phenomenon of ignorance of ignorance, they usually end up with a nested epistemic operator highly resistant to proper regimentation. In this paper, we argue that to understand adequately the ignorance of ignorance phenomenon (...) we have to understand satisfactorily the concept of disbelief and, as we call it, the concept of “radical ignorance”. We propose also prerequisites that a notion of radical ignorance useful for the philosophy of science ought to fulfill, and we sketch a possible formalization of this notion. Finally, we propose some comments on the problem of propagation of ignorance proposed by Fine. (shrink)
Harrigan and Spekkens, introduced the influential notion of an ontological model of operational quantum theory. Ontological models can be either “epistemic” or “ontic.” According to the two scholars, Einstein would have been one of the first to propose an epistemic interpretation of quantum mechanics. Pusey et al. showed that an epistemic interpretation of quantum theory is impossible, so implying that Einstein had been refuted. We discuss in detail Einstein’s arguments against the standard interpretation of QM, proving that there is a (...) misunderstanding in Harrigan and Spekkens’ attribution of an epistemic perspective to Einstein, whose point of view was actually statistical, but in a quasi-classical sense. (shrink)
In the logical context, ignorance is traditionally defined recurring to epistemic logic. In particular, ignorance is essentially interpreted as “lack of knowledge”. This received view has - as we point out - some problems, in particular we will highlight how it does not allow to express a type of content-theoretic ignorance, i.e. an ignorance of φ that stems from an unfamiliarity with its meaning. Contrarily to this trend, in this paper, we introduce and investigate a modal logic having a primitive (...) epistemic operator I, modeling ignorance. Our modal logic is essentially constructed on the modal logics based on weak Kleene three-valued logic introduced by Segerberg (Theoria, 33(1):53–71, 1997). Such non-classical propositional basis allows to define a Kripke-style semantics with the following, very intuitive, interpretation: a formula φ is ignored by an agent if φ is neither true nor false in every world accessible to the agent. As a consequence of this choice, we obtain a type of content-theoretic notion of ignorance, which is essentially different from the traditional approach. We dub it severe ignorance. We axiomatize, prove completeness and decidability for the logic of reflexive (three-valued) Kripke frames, which we find the most suitable candidate for our novel proposal and, finally, compare our approach with the most traditional one. (shrink)
In this paper, we argue that Williamson’s arguments against luminosity and the KK principle do not work, at least in a scientific context. Both of these arguments are based on the presence of a so-called “buffer zone” between situations in which one is in a position to know p and situations in which one is in a position to know ¬p. In those positions belonging to the buffer zone ¬p holds, but one is not in a position to know ¬p. (...) The presence of this buffer zone triggers two types of sorites arguments. We show that this kind of argument does not hold in a scientific context, where the buffer zone is controlled by a quantitative measurement of the experimental error. (shrink)
The present paper has three closely related aims. We first argue that Agazzi’s scientific realism about Quantum Mechanics is in line with Selleri’s and Tarozzi’s proposal of Quantum Waves. We then go on to formulate rigorously different metaphysical principles such as property compositional determinateness and mereological extensionalism. We argue that, contrary to widespread agreement, realism about Quantum Mechanics actually refutes only the former. Indeed we even formulate a new quantum mechanical argument in favor of extensionalism. We conclude by noting that, (...) given the results of the work, Agazzi’s particular attitude towards Quantum Mechanics is still one of the most promising theoretical perspectives. (shrink)
The paper presents a thorough exploration of the problem of persistence in a relativistic context. Using formal methods such as mereology, formal theories of location and the so called intrinsic formulation of special relativity we provide a new, more rigorous and more comprehensive taxonomy of persisting entities. This new taxonomy differs significantly from the ones that are present in the recent literature.
Mathematical models can be profitably used to establish whether our perception of the external world is accurate. Donald Hoffman and his collaborators have developed a promising mathematical framework within which this question can be addressed and which is based on an exhaustive taxonomy of the different possible relations between perceptual representations and the external world. After reformulating their framework by means of an improved formal system, we discuss their application of evolutionary game theory, which appears to show that an essentially (...) anti-realistic perceptual strategy would in the long run biologically outcompete its rivals. We argue that their model does not take the crucial biological significance of environmental changes into due consideration and propose alternative models which do. We conclude that a partially realistic representation would be favoured in our models. (shrink)
We present a new thought experiment that raises a threat for Minimal Physicalism, i.e. the thesis according to which mental properties supervene on physical properties. Our proposal is an example of the so called hard problems in philosophy of mind, in particular the problem of maximal consciousness. We do not however presuppose anything about its very nature apart from the minimal, weak assumption that it is determined by first order mental properties. We argue that either Minimal Physicalism is unable to (...) give an adequate account of the new thought experiment we present or has to explain the fact that two numerically distinct but physically indistinguishable individuals have different maximal consciousness due to their spatial location. We contend that this last conclusion is strongly at variance with our contemporary scientific image of the world. (shrink)
In questo lavoro si presenta un nuovo esperimento mentale che solleva un particolare problema per quello che possiamo chiamare “fisicalismo minimale” in filosofia della mente. In particolare si argomenta che il fisicalismo minimale o i) non è in grado di fornirne un resoconto adeguato dell’esperimento mentale presentato, o ii) viene costretto a fornire un resoconto che è fortemente in contrasto con la nostra immagine scientifica del mondo. Il problema sollevato è un particolare esempio di quelli che Chalmers (1996) definisce hard (...) problems in filosofia della mente. Questa è la struttura del lavoro. Nella sezione 2. si presenta l’esperimento mentale, che chiameremo di Shem-Shaun1. Nella sezione 3. illustriamo il nostro argomento principale contro il fisicalismo minimale a partire dall’esperimento mentale della sezione precedente. Nella sezione conclusiva si discutono diversi modi di controbattere all’argomento principale e le sue conseguenze per il fisicalismo. (shrink)
_Abstract_: Nudges have proven to be effective tools for steering citizens toward desirable behaviors and make valuable additions to any policy-maker’s toolbox. Disappointingly, however, there are no mechanistic explanations for how nudges work, leaving policy-makers unable to explain what happens when they are implemented. This paper identifies some neglected ethical implications of the resulting citizens lack of awareness of such mechanisms. We first examine mechanistic explanations in relation to citizens’ understanding on how they work. Then, we look at mechanistic explanations (...) in light of the suggestion advanced by some ethicists that nudges be considered ethically acceptable in modern liberal democracies provided the explicit transparency of the nudges employed. _Keywords_: Nudge; Ethics of Nudging; Mechanistic Evidence; In-principle Transparency; Explicit Transparency _Spiegazioni meccanicistiche e l’etica dei _nudges _Riassunto_: I _nudge_ si sono rivelati strumenti di _policy_ efficaci nello "spingere gentilmente" i cittadini verso comportamenti considerati desiderabili. Per questa ragione i nudge sono considerati validi strumenti della cassetta degli attrezzi di un _policymaker_. Tuttavia, è in qualche modo deludente la mancanza di spiegazioni meccanicistiche dei nudge, dalla quale risulta l'incapacità dei _policymaker_ di spiegare quello che succede quando i nudge vengono effettivamente implementati. Questo articolo identifica alcune implicazioni etiche finora trascurate connesse alla inconsapevolezza da parte dei cittadini circa i meccanismi che governano i _nudge_. Da una parte, le nostre considerazioni metteranno in relazione le spiegazioni meccanicistiche con la comprensione dei _nudge_ da parte dei cittadini. Dall'altra parte, metteremo in relazione le spiegazioni meccanicistiche con il concetto di trasparenza esplicita, ossia la richiesta avanzata da alcuni eticisti al fine di considerare i _nudge_ eticamente accettabili nelle moderne democrazie liberali. _Parole chiave_: Nudge; Etica dei nudge; Spiegazioni meccanicistiche; Trasparenza implicita; Trasparenza esplicita. (shrink)
This paper deals with those time travels mostly considered by physics, namely those in the form of the so-called closed timelike curves. Some authoritative scholars have raised doubts about the status of these journeys as proper time travels. By using David Lewis’ famous definition of time travels proposed in 1976, we show that this proper status may actually be recovered, at least in some cosmological contexts containing spacetime regions, such as those concerning black holes described by the Kerr–Newman metric, that (...) allow the formation of local closed curves. But, the mathematical incompatibility between ordinary black hole solutions to Einstein field equations and the cosmological solutions induces us to take into consideration the more general issue pertaining to the slippery interplay between models related to local and global aspects of the world, highlighting, in particular, the different notions of time that these domains inevitably imply. This leads us to think that time is not a univocal entity of the world, but is a scale-related characteristic which claims the adoption, when investigating its ontological status, of a sort of regional approach. We also briefly dwell upon the most appropriate form of realism that such a kind of dispute between local and global models may involve. (shrink)
In this paper, we address an infamous argument against divisibility that dates back to Zeno. There has been an incredible amount of discussion on how to understand the critical notions of divisibility, extension, and infinite divisibility that are crucial for the very formulation of the argument. The paper provides new and rigorous definitions of those notions using the formal theories of parthood and location. Also, it provides a new solution to the paradox of divisibility which does not face some threats (...) that can possibly undermine the standard Lebesgue measure solution to such a paradox. (shrink)
The enormous increasing of connections between people and the noteworthy enlargement of domains and methods in sciences have augmented extraordinarily the cardinality of the set of meaningful human symbols. We know that complexity is always on the way to become complication, i.e. a non-tractable topic. For this reason scholars engage themselves more and more in attempting to tame plurality and chaos. In this book distinguished scientists, philosophers and historians of science reflect on the topic from a multidisciplinary point of view. (...) Is it possible to dominate complexity through reductionism? Are there other conceptual instruments useful to take account of complexity? What is complexity in biology, mathematics, physics and philosophy of mind? These are some of the questions which are faced in this volume. (shrink)
This collection focuses on the ontology of space and time. It is centred on the idea that the issues typically encountered in this area must be tackled from a multifarious perspective, paying attention to both a priori and a posteriori considerations. Several experts in this area contribute to this volume: G. Landini discusses how Russell’s conception of time features in his general philosophical perspective;D. Dieks proposes a middle course between substantivalist and relationist accounts of space-time;P. Graziani argues that it is (...) necessary to provide an account of the “synthetic procedures” implicit in the recourse to diagrams in Euclid’s Elements, while E. Mares comes to the conclusion that in Euclid’s Elements we should treat the parallel postulate as empirical and the postulate that space is continuous as a priori. M. Arsenijevi?/M. Adži? present an important formal result concerning two theories of the infinite two-dimensional continua, which sheds new light on the current dispute between gunkologists and pointilists; F. Orilia discusses two problems for presentism, one regarding the duration of the present and the other related to Zeno’s paradoxes. A. Iacona delves deep into logical matters by focusing on the so-called T×W modal frames in order to deal with the deteterminism-indeterminism controversy. D. Mancuso outlines a non-standard temporal model compatible with time travel, andV. Fano/G. Macchia discuss time travels in the light of an important foundational principle of modern cosmology, Weyl’s Principle. (shrink)
The present investigation reformulates a few Brentanian ideas concerning what is mental. In particular, an attempt to define the categorial structure implicit in the notion of consciousness and in that of inner perception, keeping in mind their connections with external perception and with unconscious, is outlined. Within the mental field is observed a formal violation of some elementary rules of ontology and mereology, and such violation can be interpreted in terms of an infinite multiplicity of the mental field itself.
Nella sua straordinaria opera scientifica, Franco Selleri si è sempre opposto alla rinuncia alla comprensione della struttura della realtà e della natura degli oggetti fisici, che egli considera come l’elemento caratterizzante delle principali teorie della fisica del Novecento e che è stata stigmatizzata da Karl Popper come tesi della “fine della strada in fisica”. Sin dalla fine degli anni ’60, egli ha sviluppato quella riflessione critica nei confronti delle teorie fondamentali della fisica moderna, in particolar modo della teoria delle particelle (...) elementari e della meccanica quantistica, e in un secondo tempo delle teorie relativistiche, che contraddistingue il suo programma di ricerca. Nel corso della sua intensa e infaticabile attività scientifica, Selleri è entrato in proficuo contatto con molti grandi fisici e filosofi della scienza, instaurando un intenso dialogo critico con Louis de Broglie, John Bell e Karl Popper. Le sue originali e non convenzionali ricerche lo hanno portato a risultati significativi non solo nell’ambito dei fondamenti della fisica, ma anche della storia e della filosofia della fisica. Per questo abbiamo voluto dedicare un numero speciale di Isonomia al nostro impareggiabile amico e collega, sia per la sua passione instancabile e la sua profonda conoscenza dei fondamenti formali, concettuali e filosofici delle teorie della fisica contemporanea, sia e forse ancor più come maestro di una prospettiva perennemente critica che egli ha sempre seguito e proposto con particolare rigore ed estrema determinazione. (shrink)
Different realistic attitudes towards wavefunctions and quantum states are as old as quantum theory itself. Recently Pusey, Barret and Rudolph on the one hand, and Auletta and Tarozzi on the other, have proposed new interesting arguments in favor of a broad realistic interpretation of quantum mechanics that can be considered the modern heir to some views held by the fathers of quantum theory. In this paper we give a new and detailed presentation of such arguments, propose a new taxonomy of (...) different realistic positions in the foundations of quantum mechanics and assess the scope, within this new taxonomy, of these realistic arguments. (shrink)
The arrow paradox is an argument purported to show that objects do not really move. The two main metaphysics of motion, the At–At theory of motion and velocity primitivism, solve the paradox differently. It is argued that neither solution is completely satisfactory. In particular it is contended that there are no decisive arguments in favor of the claim that velocity as it is constructed in the At–At theory is a truly instantaneous property, which is a crucial assumption to solve the (...) paradox. If so the At–At theory faces the threat that most of our physical theories turn out to be non-Markovian. Finally it is considered whether all those threats and paradoxes are dispelled if only a new metaphysics of persistence is taken into account, namely four-dimensionalism. (shrink)
SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are indispensable allies in the fight against COVID-19. Behavioral and cognitive scientists have argued for taking advantage of insights from their fields of investigations in shaping anti-COVID policies. B&C scientists extensively discussed the methodological and practical issues that arise in translating B&C research results into policy interventions aimed to boost vaccination, Nevertheless, the same cannot be said for the ethical aspects. In the present work, we discuss the ethics of nudging vaccination in light of the “alien control” objection, (...) a kind of control whereby an agent has the power to influence the choice of another agent, and the latter cannot control such power. We proceed as follows. We begin by presenting several cases of mandatory policies avaiable to policymakers to boost the vaccine rate. Next, we point out that insights from B&C sciences can inform mandatory policies and open up ways to enhance them. In section 3, we focus on untraditional policy tools, viz. nudges. In the second part of the article, we introduce the debate on the ethics of nudges, focusing on the “alien control” objection and its relevance for the citizens’ freedom and autonomy. We therefore discuss the original point of the paper. We argue that, referring to nudging vaccination, a somehow neglected ethical issue posed by nudges emerges. Our point is that nudges do not exert exclusively an influence over a targeted behavior. Indeed, nudges impose as well a political influence by which citizens are treated as means to succeed in achieving a peculiar, and potentially controversial, political aim. We argue that, due to what we propose to call the “political multi-justifiability" of nudges, their political influence cannot be detected by citizens. This leads to the threat of alien control. In the last section, we draw some tentative conclusions, suggest a possible solution and its practical advantages. (shrink)
Quantum mechanics is often credited for having clearly shown that the whole is something over and above the sum of its parts. We want to assess whether this is really the case, and if so, in what sense. We argue that there is indeed a sense in which this is true. Our argument is that even a weak realistic interpretation of quantum mechanics renders a particular metaphysical principle about property instantiation, that we label Property Compositional Determinateness, untenable. Yet there is (...) another metaphysical principle about composition that is usually maintained to imply that composition of parts exhausts the whole they are part of, namely Mereological Extensionalism. In this case, contrary to widespread agreement, we argue that quantum mechanics does not provide any reason, either direct or indirect, to abandon such principle. (shrink)
A draft of a possible comparison between the use made of mathematics in classical field theories and in quantum mechanics is presented. Hilbert’s space formalism, although not only elegant and powerful but intuitive as well, does not give us a spatio-temporal representation of physical events. The picture of the electromagnetic field as an entity which is real in itself– i.e., as a wave without support – fostered by the emergence of special relativity can be seen as the first step, favored (...) by many physicists and philosophers, of a gradual “escape” from intuition into a purely mathematical representation of the external world. After the introduction, in recent theoretical physics, of fiber bundle formalism the classical notion of field acquires a new spatio-temporal intuitiveness. This intuitiveness is clearly foreshadowed in the Kantian and Meinongian analysis of the notion of magnitude. At the end of the paper we show that, contrary to what happens in quantum mechanics, mathematics plays a truly explicative role in general relativity, without any loss of spatio-temporal intuitiveness. (shrink)
Abstract: It seems that from an epistemological point of view comparative probability has many advantages with respect to a probability measure. It is more reasonable as an evaluation of degrees of rational beliefs. It allows the formulation of a comparative indifference principle free from well known paradoxes. Moreover it makes it possible to weaken the principal principle, so that it becomes more reasonable. But the logical systems of comparative probability do not admit an adequate probability updating, which on the contrary (...) is possible for a probability measure. Therefore we are faced with a true epistemological dilemma between comparative and quantitative probability. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is to reconstruct the logical structure of Melissus philosophy, building on Laks Most’s translation and Barnes’ seminal work on the Samian. This will allow us to shed some light on the subtle argumentations of Melissus. On top of that, we frame Melissus’ metaphysics employing modern logical instruments. On one side, this reformulation makes clear a few assumptions hidden in the deductions made by the Samian; on the other side, our paper shows that contemporary analytic metaphysics (...) has forerunners dating back 2500 years. (shrink)
The present paper is divided in two parts . In the first part we will propose Meinong’s theory of time outlined in 1899 interpreted in such a way that the subtlety of his argumentation is emphasised. In the second, we will discuss different solutions for the celebrated McTaggart’s paradox, reaching the conclusion that a theory of time suggested by the reflections of the Austrian Philosopher seems to be the most adequate perspective for tackling this problem.
In the present paper we show that in a certain sense the violation of Bell’s inequality does not entail a real non-locality. We define materiality as the capacity to be modified; and it results that in the case of the singlet state the non-locality previewed by quantum mechanics and experimentally confirmed is not material.