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Sep 29th 2014 GMT
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    Raamy Majeed, The Rising Tide of Islamic Radicalism in the Maldives.
    This essay offers a historical account, as well as an explanation, of the recent rise of Islamic fundamentalism in the Maldives.
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Sep 28th 2014 GMT
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    Lucas P. Halpin, Beautiful Truths and Beautiful Theories.
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Sep 27th 2014 GMT
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  1. Aleksandar Fatić, Recognising the Conflict in Philosophical Counseling: What Can Hegel Contribute to Conflict - Resolution in Philosophical Practice?
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  2. Milan M. Ćirković, Counterfactuals and Unphysical Ceteris Paribus: An Explanatory Fallacy.
    I reconsider a type of counterfactual argument often used in historical sciences on a recent widely discussed example of the so-called “rare Earth” hypothesis in planetary sciences and astrobiology. The argument is based on the alleged “rarity” of some crucial ingredient for the planetary habitability, which is, in Earth’s case, provided by contingent evolutionary development. For instance, the claim that a contingent fact of history which has created planet Jupiter enables shielding of Earth from most dangerous impact catastrophes, thus increasing (...)
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Sep 26th 2014 GMT
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  1. Denis McManus, The Provocation to Look and See: Appropriation, Recollection and Formal Indication.
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    J. Paul Kelleher, Health Inequalities and Relational Egalitarianism.
    Much of the philosophical literature on health inequalities seeks to establish the superiority of one or another conception of luck egalitarianism. In recent years, however, an increasing number of self-avowed egalitarian philosophers have proposed replacing luck egalitarianism with alternatives that stress the moral relevance of distinct relationships, rather than the moral relevance of good or bad luck. After briefly explaining why I am not attracted to luck egalitarianism, I seek in this chapter to distinguish and clarify three views that have (...)
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    Adam Morton, Space and Sound: A Two Component Theory of Pitch Perception.
    I identify two components in the perception of musical pitches, which make pitch perception more like colour perception than it is usually taken to be. To back up this implausible claim I describe a programme whereby individuals can learn to identify the components in musical tones. I also claim that following this programme can affect one's pitch-recognition capacities.
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Sep 25th 2014 GMT
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  1. Christopher J. Cowton & Yvonne Downs, Heated Debates and Cool Analysis: Thinking Well About Financial Ethics.
    Not for the first time, the banks and other financial institutions have got themselves – and the rest of us – into a mess, this time on an unprecedented financial and geographical scale. It is no surprise that opinions about causes, consequences and cures abound with ethical issues, as well as technical and economic concerns, a focus of attention. It is to be hoped that useful lessons for the future will be learned. In this chapter, however, we step back from (...)
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Sep 24th 2014 GMT
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    Alexander Gebharter, Addendum to "A Formal Framework for Representing Mechanisms?&Quot;.
    In (Gebharter 2014) I suggested a framework for modeling the hierarchical organization of mechanisms. In this short addendum I want to highlight some connections of my approach to the statistics and machine learning literature and some of its limitations not mentioned in the paper.
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Sep 23rd 2014 GMT
New books
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    Heidi Savage, Naming and Referring.
    In this book, I survey three different puzzles with respect to proper names, two of which are historically well-known, another of which is more contemporary, and perhaps more controversial. I argue that accounting for these puzzles requires a semantic account of proper names alternative to those already offered. I propose and develop my own view of proper names, and devoting a full chapter to each of the three puzzles, demonstrate its explanatory power by showing how it elegantly solves each puzzle. (...)
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    Daniel Howard-Snyder, Panmetaphoricism.
    This essay assesses panmetaphoricism, the view that all of our talk about God can only be metaphorical.
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Sep 22nd 2014 GMT
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    Amit Hagar, Ed Fredkin and the Physics of Information - An Inside Story of an Outsider Scientist.
    This article tells the story of Ed Fredkin, a pilot, programmer, engineer, hardware designer and entrepreneur, whose work inside and outside academia has influenced major developments in computer science and in the foundations of theoretical physics for the past fifty years.
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    Stan Klein, Autonoetic Awareness: Re-Considering the Role of Episodic Memory in Future-Oriented Self-Projection.
    Following the seminal work of Ingvar (1985), Suddendorf (1994) and Tulving (1985), exploration of the ability to anticipate and prepare for future contingencies that cannot be known with certainty has grown into a thriving research enterprise. A fundamental tenet of this line of inquiry is that future-oriented mental time travel, in most of its presentations, is underwritten by a property or an extension of episodic recollection. However, a careful conceptual analysis of exactly how episodic memory functions in this capacity has (...)
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Sep 21st 2014 GMT
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    Kieran Setiya, The Ethics of Existence.
    Argues that inadvisable procreative acts should often be affirmed in retrospect. This shift is not explained by attachment or love but by the moral impact of existence.
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Sep 20th 2014 GMT
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    Daniel Howard-Snyder, The Skeptical Christian.
    This essay is a detailed study of William P. Alston’s view on the nature of Christian faith, which I assess in the context of three problems: the problem of the skeptical Christian, the problem of faith and reason, and the problem of the trajectory. Although Alston intended his view to solve these problems, it does so only superficially. Fortunately, we can distinguish Alston’s view, on the one hand, from his illustrations of his view, on the other hand. I argue that, (...)
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    Heidi Savage, On Diachronic, Synchronic, and Logical Necessity.
    According to EJ Lowe, diachronic necessity and synchronic necessity are logically independent. Diachronic possibility concerns what could happen to an object over time and therefore concerns future possibilities for that object given its past history. Synchronic possibility concerns what is possible for an object in the present or at a past present moment. These are logically independent, given certain assumptions. While it may true that because I am 38, it is impossible diachronically for me to be 30 (at least once (...)
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Sep 19th 2014 GMT
Sep 18th 2014 GMT
Manuscripts
  1. Annabelle Lever, When the Philosopher Enters the Room. Comments on Jonathan Wolff's Philosophy and Public Policy.
    What can philosophy tell us about ethics and public policy? What can the ethics of public policy tell us about philosophy? Those are the questions that Jonathan Wolff addresses in his wonderful little book. At one level, of course, the answer is straightforward – ethics is a branch of philosophy, so philosophy can tell us about the ethics of public policy, understood as a matter of deciding ‘what we should do’ in a manner that is institutionalised and collectively binding. But (...)
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  2. F. Macpherson, Representationalism: An Introduction.
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Sep 17th 2014 GMT
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    Richard Yetter Chappell, Against "Saving Lives&Quot;: Equal Concern and Differential Impact.
    Bioethicists often present "saving lives" as a goal distinct from, and competing with, that of extending lives by as much as possible. I argue that this usage of the term is misleading, and provides unwarranted rhetorical support for neglecting the magnitudes of the harms and benefits at stake in medical allocation decisions, often to the detriment of the young. Equal concern for all persons requires weighting equal interests equally, but not all individuals have an equal interest in "life-saving" treatment.
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Sep 15th 2014 GMT
  1. Vincent Lam & Christian Wüthrich, No Categorial Support for Radical Ontic Structural Realism.
    Radical ontic structural realism (ROSR) asserts an ontological commitment to ‘free-standing’ physical structures understood solely in terms of fundamental relations, without any recourse to relata that stand in these relations. Bain ([2013], pp.1621–35) has recently defended ROSR against the common charge of incoherence by arguing that a reformulation of fundamental physical theories in category-theoretic terms (rather than the usual set-theoretic ones) offers a coherent and precise articulation of the commitments accepted by ROSR. In this essay, we argue that category theory (...)
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forthcoming articles
  1. Simon Friederich, A Philosophical Look at the Higgs Mechanism.
    On the occasion of the recent experimental detection of a Higgs-type particle at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN, the paper reviews philosophical aspects of the Higgs mechanism as the presently preferred account of the generation of particle masses in the Standard Model of elementary particle physics and its most discussed extensions. The paper serves a twofold purpose: on the one hand, it offers an introduction to the Higgs mechanism and its most interesting philosophical aspects to readers not familiar with (...)
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forthcoming articles
  1. Carl Wagner & Mark Shattuck, An Impossibility Theorem for Allocation Aggregation.
    Among the many sorts of problems encountered in decision theory, allocation problems occupy a central position. Such problems call for the assignment of a nonnegative real number to each member of a finite (more generally, countable) set of entities, in such a way that the values so assigned sum to some fixed positive real number s. Familiar cases include the problem of specifying a probability mass function on a countable set of possible states of the world (s=1), and the distribution (...)
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  1. Agustín Rayo, Nominalism, Trivialism, Logicism.
    This paper extracts some of the main theses in the philosophy of mathematics from my book, The Construction of Logical Space. I show that there are important limits to the availability of nominalistic paraphrase functions for mathematical languages, and suggest a way around the problem by developing a method for specifying nominalistic contents without corresponding nominalistic paraphrases. Although much of the material in this paper is drawn from the book — and from an earlier paper — I hope the present (...)
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Sep 13th 2014 GMT
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  1. Anton Froeyman, Laszlo Kosolosky & Jeroen Van Bouwel, Social Epistemology Meets the Philosophy of the Humanities.
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  2. Christian Uhl, Preliminary Reconsiderations on Nishida Kitarô's 'Dialectical Monadology' and its Political Implications.
    In this paper, I present some preliminary reconsiderations on the interconnection between Nishida Kitarō’s later logic and his political philosophy. These reconsiderations will form the core of an essay in which I intend to use Karatani Kōjin’s remarks concerning a certain “Leibniz-syndrome” in twentieth-century political thought as a starting point for a more in-depth inquiry into Nishida’s philosophy, as an expression of the contradictions and aporias of global capitalist modernity.
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  3. Harry van der Linden, Iris Young, Radical Responsibility, and War.
    In this paper I argue that a merit of Iris Young’s social connection model of responsibility for structural injustices is that it directs the American people’s responsibility for unjust wars, such as the recent war against Iraq, toward their responsibility to abolish the “war machine,” including the “empire of bases,” that is a contributing factor of unjust U.S. wars. I also raise two objections to her model. First, her model leads us to downplay the culpability of the American people as (...)
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Sep 12th 2014 GMT
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  1. Bernd Buldt, Second Thoughts on Gödel's Second Theorem.
    While Gödel’s first theorem (G1) remains valid under substitution of various provability predicates, Gödel’s second theorem (G2) does not. This is one reason to label G1 as “extensional” but to call G2 “intensional.” Although this asymmetry between G1 and G2 is known for long, no satisfying account of G2’s intensionality has been put forward. After briefly reviewing the discussion so far (see bibliography), the paper presents a new analysis based on two observations. First, the underestimated role of provable closure under (...)
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  2. Ralph Weber, On Wang Hui's Contribution to an 'Asian School of Chinese International Relations'.
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  3. Catherine A. Womack, Gender, Obesity, and Stigmatization.
    Obesity is defined and identified in a number of ways, depending on whether it is in a medical, social, public health, or other context. After a brief primer on obesity, its causes and effects (and in particular its gender-based effects), this entry will examine weight stigmatization in more detail, giving an overview of some of the major results of studies across social science and public health fields. Next will be a discussion of two main approaches from which to understand and (...)
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Sep 9th 2014 GMT
volume 15, issue 1, 2014
  1. Leslie London, Godfrey Tangwa, Reginald Matchaba-Hove, Nhlanhla Mkhize, Remi Nwabueze, Aceme Nyika & Peter Westerholm, Ethics in Occupational Health: Deliberations of an International Workgroup Addressing Challenges in an African Context.
    BackgroundInternational codes of ethics play an important role in guiding professional practice in developing countries. In the occupational health setting, codes developed by international agencies have substantial import on protecting working populations from harm. This is particularly so under globalisation which has transformed processes of production in fundamental ways across the globe. As part of the process of revising the Ethical Code of the International Commission on Occupational Health, an Africa Working Group addressed key challenges for the relevance and cogency (...)
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  1. Kristoffer Ahlstrom-Vij, The Social Virtue of Blind Deference.
    Recently, it has become popular to account for knowledge and other epistemic states in terms of epistemic virtues. The present paper focuses on an epistemic virtue relevant when deferring to others in testimonial contexts. It is argued that, while many virtue epistemologists will accept that epistemic virtue can be exhibited in cases involving epistemically motivated hearers, carefully vetting their testimonial sources for signs of untrustworthiness prior to deferring, anyone who accepts that also has to accept that an agent may exhibit (...)
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  2. John Shotter & Haridimos Tsoukas, Performing Phronesis: On the Way to Engaged Judgment.
    Practical wisdom and judgment, rather than seen as ‘things’ hidden inside the mind, are best talked of, we suggest, as emerging developmentally within an unceasing flow of activities, in which practitioners are inextricably immersed. Following a performative line of thinking, we argue that when practitioners (namely, individuals immersed in a practice, experiencing their tasks through the emotions, standards of excellence and moral values the practice engenders or enacts) face a bewildering situation in which they do not know, initially at least, (...)
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  3. James Trafford, Compositionality and Modest Inferentialism.
    This paper provides both a solution and a problem for the account of compositionality in Christopher Peacocke’s modest inferentialism. The immediate issue facing Peacocke’s account is that it looks as if compositionality can only be understood at the level of semantics, which is difficult to reconcile with inferentialism. Here, following up a brief suggestion by Peacocke, I provide a formal framework wherein compositionality occurs the level of the determining relation between inference and semantics. This, in turn provides a “test” for (...)
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  4. James Trafford, Expanding the Universe of Universal Logic.
    In [5], Béziau provides a means by which Gentzen’s sequent calculus can be combined with the general semantic theory of bivaluations. In doing so, according to Béziau, it is possible to construe the abstract “core” of logics in general, where logical syntax and semantics are “two sides of the same coin”. The central suggestion there is that, by way of a modification of the notion of maximal consistency, it is possible to prove the soundness and completeness for any normal logic (...)
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  5. Adrianna C. Jenkins, David Dodell-Feder, Rebecca Saxe & Joshua Knobe, The Neural Bases of Directed and Spontaneous Mental State Attributions to Group Agents.
    In daily life, perceivers often need to predict and interpret the behavior of group agents, such as corporations and governments. Although research has investigated how perceivers reason about individual members of particular groups, less is known about how perceivers reason about group agents themselves. The present studies investigate how perceivers understand group agents by investigating the extent to which understanding the ‘mind’ of the group as a whole shares important properties and processes with understanding the minds of individuals. Experiment 1 (...)
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  6. James Trafford, Robin Mackay & Luke Pendrell, Speculative Aesthetics.
    Documenting a roundtable on the ramifications of Speculative Realism for aesthetics, this discussion ranges from contemporary art's relation to the aesthetic, to accelerationism and abstraction, logic and design.
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    Selim Berker, Coherentism Via Graphs.
    Once upon a time, coherentism was the dominant response to the regress problem in epistemology, but in recent decades the view has fallen into disrepute: now almost everyone is a foundationalist (with a few infinitists sprinkled here and there). In this paper, I sketch a new way of thinking about coherentism, and show how it avoids many of the problems often thought fatal for the view, including the isolation objection, worries over circularity, and concerns that the concept of coherence is (...)
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    Mauro Dorato, Presentism and the Experience of Time.
    Presentists have typically argued that the Block View is incapable of explaining our experience of time. In this paper I argue that the phenomenology of our experience of time is, on the contrary, against presentism. My argument is based on a dilemma: presentists must either assume that the metaphysical present has no temporal extension, or that it is temporally extended. The former horn leads to phenomenological problems. The latter renders presentism metaphysically incoherent, unless one posits a discrete present that, however, (...)
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Sep 8th 2014 GMT
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    Daan Evers, Relativism and the Metaphysics of Value.
    I argue that relativists about evaluative language face some of the same objections as non-naturalists in ethics. If these objections have force, there is reason to doubt the existence of relative evaluative states of affairs. In they do not exist, then relativism leads to an error theory. This is unattractive, as the position was specifically designed to preserve the truth of many evaluative claims.
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Sep 7th 2014 GMT
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    Peter Blouw, Wesley Buckwalter & John Turri, Gettier Cases: A Taxonomy.
    The term “Gettier Case” is a technical term frequently applied to a wide array of thought experiments in contemporary epistemology. What do these cases have in common? It is said that they all involve a justified true belief which, intuitively, is not knowledge, due to a form of luck called “Gettiering.” While this very broad characterization suffices for some purposes, it masks radical diversity. We argue that the extent of this diversity merits abandoning the notion of a “Gettier case” in (...)
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    Arnon Keren, Science and Informed, Counterfactual, Democratic Consent.
    On many science-related policy questions, the public is unable to make informed decisions, because of its inability to make use of knowledge and information obtained by scientists. Philip Kitcher and James Fishkin have both suggested therefore that on certain science-related issues, public policy should not be decided upon by actual democratic vote, but should instead conform to the public's Counterfactual Informed Democratic Decision (CIDD). Indeed, this suggestion underlies Kitcher's specification of an ideal of a well-ordered science. The paper argues that (...)
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Sep 6th 2014 GMT
Manuscripts
  1. Susan G. Sterrett, Sounds Like Light: Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity and Mach's Work in Acoustics and Aerodynamics.
    Ernst Mach is the only person whom Einstein included on both the list of physicists he considered his true precursors, and the list of the philosophers who had most affected him. Einstein scholars have been less generous in their estimation of Mach's contributions to Einstein's work, and even amongst the more generous of them, Mach's great achievements in physics are seldom mentioned in this context. This is odd, considering Mach was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Physics three times. In (...)
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    Stewart Duncan, Leibniz on the Expression of God.
    Draft paper. Leibniz frequently uses the notion of expression, but it is not easy to see just how he understood that relation. This paper focuses on the particular case of the expression of God, which is prominent in the 'Discourse on Metaphysics'. The treatment of expression there suggests several questions. Which substances did Leibniz believe expressed God? Why did Leibniz believe those substances expressed God? And did he believe that all substances expressed God in the same way and for the (...)
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    Clayton Littlejohn, Stop Making Sense? A Puzzle About Epistemic Rationality.
    In this paper, I discuss a puzzle about epistemic rationality. It seems plausible that it's rational to believe a proposition if you have sufficient evidential support for it. It seems plausible that our first-order and higher-order attitudes ought to match. It seems rather unfortunate that these two claims are in tension with one another. I'll look at three ways of trying to resolve this tension and argue that the best way to do this is to accept the controversial fixed-point thesis (...)
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    T. Parent, Externalist Self-Knowledge and Self-Blind Equivocation.
    This paper evaluates Boghossian’s inference argument against externalist introspective self-knowledge. Boghossian’s objection is that such knowledge does not preclude (what I call) “self-blind equivocation,” i.e., equivocation that is introspectively undetectable. Such equivocation remains possible, since externalism implies that the content of ‘water’ (and of the concept it expresses) might change from premise to premise, owing to “slow switches” between twin environments. Moreover, because the change owes to environmental differences, the resulting equivocation would not be introspectively discernible. In reply I argue (...)
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Sep 4th 2014 GMT
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    Drew McDermott, The Logic of Qualia.
    Logic is useful as a neutral formalism for expressing the contents of mental representations. It can be used to extract crisp conclusions regarding the higher-order theory of phenomenal consciousness developed in (McDermott 2001, 20007). A key aspect of conscious perceptions is their connection to the distinction between appearance and reality. Perceptions must often be corrected. To do so requires that the logic of perception be able to represent the logical structure of judgment events, that is, to include the formulas of (...)
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Sep 2nd 2014 GMT
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    T. Parent, Neo-Sellarsian Metaphilosophy.
    Science often conflicts with our everyday experience. For instance, we typically assume the existence of agency, norms, etc.—yet such things are absent from scientific theory. For Sellars, philosophy’s aim is to resolve these discrepancies between the “manifest” and “scientific” images. However, some might protest that philosophers should not “negotiate” ontology with science—the scientific image should instead claim hegemony. I defend the Sellarsian by arguing that we are simply unable to jettison central parts of the “manifest image.” That is so, even (...)
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    T. Parent, The Empirical Case Against Infallibilism.
    Philosophers and psychologists generally hold that, in light of the empirical data, a subject lacks infallible access to her own mental states. However, while subjects certainly are fallible in some ways, I show that the data fails to discredit that a subject has infallible access to her own occurrent thoughts and judgments. This is argued, first, by revisiting the empirical studies, and carefully scrutinizing what is shown exactly. Second, I argue that if the data were interpreted to rule out all (...)
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    Kenneth L. Pearce, Arnauld's Verbal Distinction Between Ideas and Perceptions.
    In his dispute with Malebranche about the nature of ideas, Arnauld endorses a form of direct realism. This appears to conflict with views put forward by Arnauld and his collaborators in the Port-Royal Grammar and Logic where the distinction between verbs and nouns is based on a distinction between mental acts and their (internal, mind-dependent) objects. I show that, although Arnauld identifi es perceptions with ideas, he recognizes a distinction in meaning between the words `perception' and `idea,' and this distinction (...)
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