56 found

Year:

Forthcoming articles
  1. Lara Buchak (forthcoming). Risk and Tradeoffs. Erkenntnis:1-27.
    The orthodox theory of instrumental rationality, expected utility (EU) theory, severely restricts the way in which risk-considerations can figure into a rational individual's preferences. It is argued here that this is because EU theory neglects an important component of instrumental rationality. This paper presents a more general theory of decision-making, risk-weighted expected utility (REU) theory, of which expected utility maximization is a special case. According to REU theory, the weight that each outcome gets in decision-making is not the subjective probability (...)
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  2. J. Adam Carter & Martin Peterson (forthcoming). On the Epistemology of the Precautionary Principle. Erkenntnis:1-13.
    In this paper we present two distinctly epistemological puzzles that arise for one who aspires to defend the precautionary principle. The first puzzle involves an application of contextualism in epistemology; and the second puzzle concerns the task of defending a plausible version of the precautionary principle that would not be invalidated by the de minimis principle.
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  3. Jake Chandler (forthcoming). Subjective Probabilities Need Not Be Sharp. Erkenntnis:1-14.
    It is well known that classical, aka ‘sharp’, Bayesian decision theory, which models belief states as single probability functions, faces a number of serious difficulties with respect to its handling of agnosticism. These difficulties have led to the increasing popularity of so-called ‘imprecise’ models of decision-making, which represent belief states as sets of probability functions. In a recent paper, however, Adam Elga has argued in favour of a putative normative principle of sequential choice that he claims to be borne out (...)
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  4. Kevin Connolly (forthcoming). Perceptual Learning and the Contents of Perception. Erkenntnis:1-12.
    Suppose you have recently gained a disposition for recognizing a high-level kind property, like the property of "being a wren." Wrens might look different to you now. According to the Phenomenal Contrast Argument, such cases of perceptual learning show that the contents of perception can include high-level kind properties such as the property of "being a wren." I detail an alternative explanation for the different look of the wren: a shift in one’s attentional pattern onto other low-level properties. Philosophers have (...)
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  5. Sam Cowling (forthcoming). Non-Qualitative Properties. Erkenntnis.
    The distinction between qualitative properties like mass and shape and non-qualitative properties like being Napoleon and being next to Obama is important, but remains largely unexamined. After discussing its theoretical significance and cataloguing various kinds of non-qualitative properties, I survey several views about the nature of this distinction and argue that all proposed reductive analyses of this distinction are unsatisfactory. I then defend primitivism, according to which the distinction resists reductive analysis.
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  6. Isabelle Drouet & Francesca Merlin (forthcoming). The Propensity Interpretation of Fitness and the Propensity Interpretation of Probability. Erkenntnis.
    The paper provides a new critical perspective on the propensity interpretation of fitness, by investigating its relationship to the propensity interpretation of probability. Two main conclusions are drawn. First, the claim that fitness is a propensity cannot be understood properly: fitness is not a propensity in the sense prescribed by the propensity interpretation of probability. Second, this interpretation of probability is inessential for explanations proposed by the propensity interpretation of fitness in evolutionary biology. Consequently, interpreting the probabilistic dimension of fitness (...)
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  7. Katalin Farkas (forthcoming). Belief May Not Be a Necessary Condition for Knowledge. Erkenntnis:1-16.
    Most discussions in epistemology assume that believing that p is a necessary condition for knowing that p. In this paper, I will present some considerations that put this view into doubt. The candidate cases for knowledge without belief are the kind of cases that are usually used to argue for the so-called ‘extended mind’ thesis.
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  8. Anil Gomes (forthcoming). Testimony and Other Minds. Erkenntnis:1-11.
    In this paper I defend the claim that testimony can serve as a basic source of knowledge of other people’s mental lives against the objection that testimonial knowledge presupposes knowledge of other people’s mental lives and therefore can’t be used to explain it.
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  9. P. M. S. Hacker (forthcoming). Two Conceptions of Language. Erkenntnis:1-18.
    Two different conceptions of language dominate philosophical reflection on the nature of human language and of human linguistic powers. The first is the conception of language as a calculus of meaning, and of understanding as computational interpretation. This conception is rooted in the exigencies of function-theoretic logic. The notions pivotal to this conception are truth, truth-condition, sense and force, naming and describing (representation), and theory of meaning for natural languages. The alternative conception is an anthropological one, which conceives of language (...)
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  10. Nicholaos Jones (forthcoming). Bowtie Structures, Pathway Diagrams, and Topological Explanation. Erkenntnis:1-21.
    While mechanistic explanation and, to a lesser extent, nomological explanation are well-explored topics in the philosophy of biology, topological explanation is not. Nor is the role of diagrams in topological explanations. These explanations do not appeal to the operation of mechanisms or laws, and extant accounts of the role of diagrams in biological science explain neither why scientists might prefer diagrammatic representations of topological information to sentential equivalents nor how such representations might facilitate important processes of explanatory reasoning unavailable to (...)
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  11. Pendaran Roberts, James Andow & Kelly Schmidtke (forthcoming). Colour Relationalism and the Real Deliverances of Introspection. Erkenntnis:1-17.
    Colour relationalism holds that the colours are constituted by relations to subjects. Anti-relationalists have claimed that this view stands in stark contrast to our phenomenally-informed, pre-theoretic intuitions. Is this claim right? Cohen and Nichols’ recent empirical study suggests not, as about half of their participants seemed to be relationalists about colour. Despite Cohen and Nichols’ study, we think that the anti-relationalist’s claim is correct. We explain why there are good reasons to suspect that Cohen and Nichols’ experimental design skewed their (...)
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  12. Stephen Schiffer (forthcoming). Meaning and Formal Semantics in Generative Grammar. Erkenntnis.
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  13. H. Orri Stefánsson (forthcoming). Humean Supervenience and Multidimensional Semantics. Erkenntnis:1-16.
    What distinguishes indicative conditionals from subjunctive conditionals, according to one popular view, is that the so-called Adams’ thesis holds for the former kind of conditionals but the so-called Skyrms’ thesis for the latter. According to a plausible metaphysical view, both conditionals and chances supervene on non-modal facts. But since chances do not supervene on facts about particular events but facts about event-types, the past as well as the future is chancy. Some philosophers have worried that this metaphysical view is incompatible (...)
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  14. Justin Tiehen (forthcoming). The Role Functionalist Theory of Absences. Erkenntnis.
    Functionalist theories have been proposed for just about everything: mental states, dispositions, moral properties, truth, causation, and much else. The time has come for a functionalist theory of nothing. Or, more accurately, a role functionalist theory of those absences (omissions, negative events) that are causes and effects.
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  15. Jeffrey A. Barrett (forthcoming). Description and the Problem of Priors. Erkenntnis:1-11.
    Belief-revision models of knowledge describe how to update one’s degrees of belief associated with hypotheses as one considers new evidence, but they typically do not say how probabilities become associated with meaningful hypotheses in the first place. Here we consider a variety of Skyrms–Lewis signaling game (Lewis in Convention. Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1969; Skyrms in Signals evolution, learning, & information. Oxford University Press, New York, 2010) where simple descriptive language and predictive practice and associated basic expectations coevolve. Rather than (...)
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  16. Alistair M. C. Isaac (forthcoming). Introduction. Erkenntnis.
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  17. Clayton Littlejohn (forthcoming). Know Your Rights: On Warranted Assertion and Truth. Erkenntnis:1-11.
    A standard objection to the suggestion that the fundamental norm of assertion is the truth norm (i.e., one must not assert p unless p) is that this norm cannot explain why warrant requires knowledge-level evidence. In a recent paper, Whiting has defended the truth-first approach to the norms of assertion by appeal to a distinction between the warrant there is to assert and the warrant one has to assert. I shall argue that this latest defensive strategy is unsuccessful.
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  18. Arif Ahmed (forthcoming). Infallibility in the Newcomb Problem. Erkenntnis:1-13.
    It is intuitively attractive to think that it makes a difference in Newcomb’s problem whether or not the predictor is infallible, in the sense of being certainly actually correct. This paper argues that that view (A) is irrational and (B) manifests a well-documented cognitive illusion.
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  19. Holger Andreas (forthcoming). Carnapian Structuralism. Erkenntnis:1-19.
    This paper aims to set forth Carnapian structuralism, i.e., a syntactic view of the structuralist approach which is deeply inspired by Carnap’s dual level conception of scientific theories. At its core is the axiomatisation of a metatheoretical concept AE(T) which characterises those extensions of an intended application that are admissible in the sense of being models of the theory-element T and that satisfy all links, constraints and specialisations. The union of axiom systems of AE(T) (where T is an element of (...)
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  20. Holger Andreas & Frank Zenker (forthcoming). Basic Concepts of Structuralism. Erkenntnis:1-6.
    Primarily addressed to readers unfamiliar with the structuralist approach in philosophy of science, we introduce the basic concepts that the contributions to this special issue presuppose. By means of examples, we briefly review set-theoretic structures and predicates, the potential and actual models of an empirical theory, intended applications, as well as links and specializations that are applied, among others, in reconstructing the empirical claim associated with a theory element.
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  21. Holger Andreas & Frank Zenker (forthcoming). Perspectives on Structuralism. Erkenntnis:1-1.
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  22. Wolfgang Balzer & Klaus Manhart (forthcoming). Scientific Processes and Social Processes. Erkenntnis:1-20.
    We clarify the notions scientific process and social process with structuralist means. Three questions are formulated, and answered in the structuralistic, set-theoretic framework. What is a scientific process, and a process in science? What can be meant by a non-social process? In which sense a non-social process can be a part of a scientific process in social science? We are specifically interested in social processes. Our answers use the notion of the generalized subset relation applied to set-theoretical structures, and the (...)
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  23. Prasanta S. Bandyopadhyay, Mark Greenwood, Gordon Brittan Jr & Ken A. Aho (forthcoming). Empiricism and/or Instrumentalism? Erkenntnis:1-23.
    Elliott Sober is both an empiricist and an instrumentalist. His empiricism rests on a principle called actualism, whereas his instrumentalism violates this. This violation generates a tension in his work. We argue that Sober is committed to a conflicting methodological imperative because of this tension. Our argument illuminates the contemporary debate between realism and empiricism which is increasingly focused on the application of scientific inference to testing scientific theories. Sober’s position illustrates how the principle of actualism drives a wedge between (...)
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  24. Fedde Benedictus & Dennis Dieks (forthcoming). Reichenbach's Transcendental Probability. Erkenntnis:1-24.
    The aim of this article is twofold. First, we shall review and analyse the neo-kantian justification for the application of probabilistic concepts in science that was defended by Hans Reichenbach early in his career, notably in his dissertation of 1916. At first sight this kantian approach seems to contrast sharply with Reichenbach’s later logical positivist, frequentist viewpoint. But, and this is our second goal, we shall attempt to show that there is an underlying continuity in Reichenbach’s thought: typical features of (...)
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  25. Tomasz Bigaj (forthcoming). On Discernibility and Symmetries. Erkenntnis:1-19.
    This paper addresses the issue of the multiplicity of various grades of discernibility that can be defined in model theory. Building upon earlier works on the subject, I first expand the known logical categorizations of discernibility by introducing several symmetry-based concepts of discernibility, including one I call “witness symmetry-discernibility”. Then I argue that only grades of discernibility stronger than this one possess certain intuitive features necessary to individuate objects. Further downsizing of the set of non-equivalent grades of discernibility can be (...)
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  26. Gwen Bradford (forthcoming). Knowledge, Achievement, and Manifestation. Erkenntnis:1-20.
    Virtue Epistemology appealingly characterizes knowledge as a kind of achievement, attributable to the exercise of cognitive virtues. But a more thorough understanding of the nature and value of achievements more broadly casts doubt on the view. In particular, it is argued that virtue epistemology’s answer to the Meno question is not as impressive as it purports to be, and that the favored analysis of ability is both problematic and irrelevant. However, considerations about achievements illuminate the best direction for the development (...)
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  27. Aaron Bronfman (forthcoming). Conditionalization and Not Knowing That One Knows. Erkenntnis:1-22.
    Bayesian Conditionalization is a widely used proposal for how to update one’s beliefs upon the receipt of new evidence. This is in part because of its attention to the totality of one’s evidence, which often includes facts about what one’s new evidence is and how one has come to have it. However, an increasingly popular position in epistemology holds that one may gain new evidence, construed as knowledge, without being in a position to know that one has gained this evidence. (...)
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  28. Troy T. Catterson (forthcoming). Sorting Out the Sortals: A Fregean Argument for Essentialism. Erkenntnis:1-21.
    In his paper, “Identity Statements and Essentialism,” Loux (New Scholast 44:431–439, 1971) seeks to demonstrate sortal essentialism based on Frege’s thesis that all statements of number concerning a collection require that the members fall under the same sortal concept. I shall attempt to argue that a detailed analysis of Loux’s argument reveals it as failing to imply the type of sortal dependency thesis necessary for the justification of sortal essentialism. However, if one construes the transworld identity relation as no different (...)
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  29. Jake Chandler (forthcoming). Probability, Acceptance and Aggregation. Erkenntnis.
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  30. Timothy Childers & Ondrej Majer (forthcoming). Introduction to the Special Issue Epistemic Aspects of Many-Valued Logics. Erkenntnis:1-2.
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  31. Jason Decker (forthcoming). Conciliation and Self-Incrimination. Erkenntnis:1-36.
    Conciliationism is a view—well, a family of views—in the epistemology of disagreement. The idea, simply put, is that, in a wide range of cases where you find yourself in disagreement with another reasoner about the truth of some proposition, you are rationally obliged to adjust your credence in the direction of hers. Conciliationism enjoys a fair bit of prima facie plausibility. Most versions of it, however, suffer from a common (and rather obvious) problem: self-incrimination. Although there is some recognition in (...)
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  32. José Díez (forthcoming). Scientific W-Explanation as Ampliative, Specialized Embedding: A Neo-Hempelian Account. Erkenntnis:1-31.
    The goal of this paper is to present and defend an empiricist, neo-Hempelian account of scientific explanation as ampliative, specialized embedding. The proposal aims to preserve what I take to be the core of Hempel’s empiricist account, by weakening it in some respects and strengthening it in others, introducing two new conditions that solve most of Hempel’s problems without abandoning his empiricist strictures. According to this proposal, to explain a phenomenon is to make it expectable by introducing new conceptual/ontological machinery (...)
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  33. J. Earman, C. Glymour & S. Mitchell (forthcoming). Special Issue Of. Erkenntnis.
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  34. Paul Égré & Anouk Barberousse (forthcoming). Borel on the Heap. Erkenntnis:1-37.
    In 1907 Borel published a remarkable essay on the paradox of the Heap (“Un paradoxe économique: le sophisme du tas de blé et les vérités statistiques”), in which Borel proposes what is likely the first statistical account of vagueness ever written, and where he discusses the practical implications of the sorites paradox, including in economics. Borel’s paper was integrated in his book Le Hasard, published 1914, but has gone mostly unnoticed since its publication. One of the originalities of Borel’s essay (...)
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  35. David Hommen (forthcoming). Charles R. Pigden (Ed.): Hume on Is and Ought. Erkenntnis:1-4.
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  36. Colin Howson (forthcoming). A Continuum-Valued Logic of Degrees of Probability. Erkenntnis:1-13.
    Leibniz seems to have been the first to suggest a logical interpretation of probability, but there have always seemed formidable mathematical and interpretational barriers to implementing the idea. De Finetti revived it only, it seemed, to reject it in favour of a purely decision-theoretic approach. In this paper I argue that not only is it possible to view (Bayesian) probability as a continuum-valued logic, but that it has a very close formal kinship with classical propositional logic.
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  37. Dutant Julien (forthcoming). Is There a Statistical Solution to the Generality Problem? Erkenntnis.
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  38. Vincent Lam (forthcoming). Entities Without Intrinsic Physical Identity. Erkenntnis:1-15.
    This paper critically discusses recent objections that have been raised against the contextual understanding of fundamental physical objects advocated by non-eliminative ontic structural realism. One of these recent objections claims that such a purely relational understanding of objects cannot account for there being a determinate number of them. A more general objection concerns a well-known circularity threat: relations presuppose the objects they relate and so cannot account for them. A similar circularity objection has also been raised within the framework of (...)
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  39. Dordrecht Boston London (forthcoming). An International Journal of Analytic Philosophy. Erkenntnis.
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  40. Vincenzo Marra (forthcoming). The Problem of Artificial Precision in Theories of Vagueness: A Note on the Rôle of Maximal Consistency. Erkenntnis:1-12.
    The problem of artificial precision is a major objection to any theory of vagueness based on real numbers as degrees of truth. Suppose you are willing to admit that, under sufficiently specified circumstances, a predication of “is red” receives a unique, exact number from the real unit interval [0, 1]. You should then be committed to explain what is it that determines that value, settling for instance that my coat is red to degree 0.322 rather than 0.321. In this note (...)
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  41. Tilmann Massey (forthcoming). Structuralism and Quantitative Science Studies: Exploring First Links. Erkenntnis:1-11.
    In this paper, the potentials of systematically linking philosophy of science with bibliometrics are investigated by exploring whether concepts developed within the structuralist theory of science can be used as interpretative basis for author co-citation studies. It is argued that clusters of co-cited authors cannot be interpreted straightforwardly as scientific communities nor as scientific generations. The first reason is that the respective constituents differ (authors vs. scientists), the second is that the co-citation relation generates non-Kuhnian communities, i.e. communities not sharing (...)
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  42. Felix Meiner (forthcoming). International Journal of Analytic Philosophy. Erkenntnis.
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  43. Andrew Melnyk (forthcoming). Pereboom's Robust Non-Reductive Physicalism. Erkenntnis:1-17.
    Derk Pereboom has recently elaborated a formulation of non-reductive physicalism in which supervenience does not play the central role and realization plays no role at all; he calls his formulation “robust non-reductive physicalism”. This paper argues that for several reasons robust non-reductive physicalism is inadequate as a formulation of physicalism: it can only rule out fundamental laws of physical-to-mental emergence by stipulating that there are no such laws; it fails to entail the supervenience of the mental on the physical; it (...)
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  44. Jonas Clausen Mork (forthcoming). Information Gain and Approaching True Belief. Erkenntnis:1-20.
    Recent years have seen a renewed interest in the philosophical study of information. In this paper a two-part analysis of information gain—objective and subjective—in the context of doxastic change is presented and discussed. Objective information gain is analyzed in terms of doxastic movement towards true belief, while subjective information gain is analyzed as an agent’s expectation value of her objective information gain for a given doxastic change. The resulting expression for subjective information gain turns out to be a familiar one (...)
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  45. Mahmoud Morvarid (forthcoming). The Discrimination Argument: A Reply to Dierig. Erkenntnis:1-11.
    Boghossian’s discrimination argument aims to show that content externalism undermines the privileged access thesis. Simon Dierig has recently proposed a new objection to Boghossian’s argument according to which having a “twater thought” is not an alternative, and a fortiori not a relevant alternative, to possessing a “water thought”. Dierig also considers, and criticizes, a modified version of the discrimination argument which would be immune to his objection. I shall argue, first, that he fails to advance a successful objection to the (...)
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  46. Kevin Scharp (forthcoming). Truth, Revenge, and Internalizability. Erkenntnis:1-49.
    Although there has been a recent swell of interest in theories of truth that attempt solutions to the liar paradox and the other paradoxes affecting our concept of truth, many of these theories have been criticized for generating new paradoxes, called revenge paradoxes. The criticism is that the theories of truth in question are inadequate because they only work for languages lacking in the resources to generate revenge paradoxes. Theorists facing these objections offer a range of replies, and the matter (...)
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  47. Harry Smit & Peter M. S. Hacker (forthcoming). Seven Misconceptions About the Mereological Fallacy: A Compilation for the Perplexed. Erkenntnis:1-21.
    If someone commits the mereological fallacy, then he ascribes psychological predicates to parts of an animal that apply only to the (behaving) animal as a whole. This incoherence is not strictly speaking a fallacy, i.e. an invalid argument, since it is not an argument but an illicit predication. However, it leads to invalid inferences and arguments, and so can loosely be called a fallacy. However, discussions of this particular illicit predication, the mereological fallacy, show that it is often misunderstood. Many (...)
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  48. Nicholas J. J. Smith (forthcoming). Vagueness, Uncertainty and Degrees of Belief: Two Kinds of Indeterminacy—One Kind of Credence. Erkenntnis:1-18.
    If we think, as Ramsey did, that a degree of belief that P is a stronger or weaker tendency to act as if P, then it is clear that not only uncertainty, but also vagueness, gives rise to degrees of belief. If I like hot coffee and do not know whether the coffee is hot or cold, I will have some tendency to reach for a cup; if I like hot coffee and know that the coffee is borderline hot, I (...)
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  49. N. Strobach (forthcoming). Review of Wölfl (1999), Forthcoming In. [REVIEW] Erkenntnis.
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  50. J. Henry Taylor (forthcoming). Against Unifying Accounts of Attention. Erkenntnis:1-18.
    There have recently been a number of attempts to put forth a philosophical account of the nature of attention. Many such theories aim at giving necessary and sufficient conditions for something to be attention. In this paper I will argue that any such theory must meet two criteria. Then I shall examine four prominent accounts of attention in some detail, and argue that all of them face problems meeting one or the other of the criteria. I propose an alternative view, (...)
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  51. Dieter Teichert (forthcoming). Erfahrung, Erinnerung. Erkenntnis.
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  52. Dingmar van Eck & Erik Weber (forthcoming). Function Ascription and Explanation: Elaborating an Explanatory Utility Desideratum for Ascriptions of Technical Functions. Erkenntnis:1-23.
    Current philosophical theorizing about technical functions is mainly focused on specifying conditions under which agents are justified in ascribing functions to technical artifacts. Yet, assessing the precise explanatory relevance of such function ascriptions is, by and large, a neglected topic in the philosophy of technical artifacts and technical functions. We assess the explanatory utility of ascriptions of technical functions in the following three explanation-seeking contexts: (i) why was artifact x produced?, (ii) why does artifact x not have the expected capacity (...)
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  53. Felix Meiner Verlag (forthcoming). An International Journal of Analytic Philosophy. Erkenntnis.
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  54. Timothy Williamson (forthcoming). Very Improbable Knowing. Erkenntnis.
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  55. Lyman C. Wynne (forthcoming). Desintegration und Lebenspraxis. Erkenntnis.
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  56. Lei Zhong (forthcoming). Why the Counterfactualist Should Still Worry About Downward Causation. Erkenntnis:1-13.
    In Zhong (Philos Phenomenol Res 83:129–147, 2011; Analysis 72:75–85, 2012), I argued that, contrary to what many people might expect, the counterfactual theory of causation will generate (rather than solve) the exclusion problem. Recently some philosophers raise an incisive objection to this argument. They contend that my argument fails as it equivocates between different notions of a physical realizer (see Christensen and Kallestrup in Analysis 72:513–517, 2012). However, I find that their criticism doesn’t threaten the central idea of my view. (...)
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