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May 26th 2015 GMT
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    Alexander Hughes, (In)Determinism, Branching Time, and Branching Space.
    The branching time analysis grounds the possibilities entailed by temporal indeterminism in a branching temporal structure. I construct a spatial analog of the branching time analysis – the branching space analysis – according to which the possibilities entailed by spatial indeterminism are grounded in branching spatial structure. The construction proceeds in such a way as to show the analogies between the branching space and branching time analyses. I argue that the two views are a package. In particular: the theoretical virtues (...)
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    Susanna Schellenberg, Comments on Susanna Siegel's The Contents of Visual Experience.
May 24th 2015 GMT
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  1. Matthew A. Crawford, Moral Relativism: Can One Community Give Another a Reason to Change?
    This paper examines the popular philosophical theory of moral relativism. Traditionally, the theory argues that communities have their own conceptual frameworks of morality that are inaccessible to those outside of the community. Thus, one community cannot give another community a moral reason to change a practice. In this paper, I will examine David Velleman’s version of the theory presented in his book Foundations for Moral Relativism. This version posits that the drive towards mutual interpretability is a universal drive among human (...)
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May 22nd 2015 GMT
Manuscripts
  1. Z. Gyenis & Miklós Rédei, Why Bertrand's Paradox is Not Paradoxical but is Felt So.
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  2. Miklós Rédei, Assessing the Status of the Common Cause Principle.
    The Common Cause Principle, stating that correlations are either consequences of a direct causal link between the correlated events or are due to a common cause, is assessed from the perspective of its viability and it is argued that at present we do not have strictly empirical evidence that could be interpreted as disconfirming the principle. In particular it is not known whether spacelike correlations predicted by quantum field theory can be explained by properly localized common causes, and EPR correlations (...)
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    Danny Frederick, Entrepreneurship: Alertness, Judgment and Conjecture.
    I criticise, from a critical rationalist perspective, Israel Kirzner's notion of entrepreneurial alertness and Matthew McCaffrey's endorsement of Joseph Salerno's rival account of entrepreneurial judgment.
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May 21st 2015 GMT
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  1. Janet Folina, Gödel on How to Have Your Mathematics and Know It Too.
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  2. Janet Folina, Poincaré and the Invention of Convention.
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May 20th 2015 GMT
volume 96, issue 1, 2015
  1. Lee Walters, Possible World Semantics and True‐True Counterfactuals.
    The standard semantics for counterfactuals ensures that any counterfactual with a true antecedent and true consequent is itself true. There have been many recent attempts to amend the standard semantics to avoid this result. I show that these proposals invalidate a number of further principles of the standard logic of counterfactuals. The case against the automatic truth of counterfactuals with true components does not extend to these further principles, however, so it is not clear that rejecting the latter should be (...)
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May 18th 2015 GMT
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    Steven Sverdlik, Deterrent Punishment in Utilitarianism.
    This is a presentation of the utilitarian approach to punishment. It is meant for students. The first section discusses Bentham's psychological hedonism. The second briefly criticizes it. The third section explains abstractly how utilitarianism would determine of the right amount of punishment. The fourth section applies the theory to some cases, and brings out how utilitarianism could favor punishments more or less severe than the lex talionis.
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May 16th 2015 GMT
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    Alfred Gierer, Eriugena and Al-Kindi. Protagonists of Pro-Scientific Change in Philosophical and Theological Thought.
    Ancient Greek philosophers were the first to postulate the possibility of explaining nature in theoretical terms and to initiate attempts at this. With the rise of monotheistic religions of revelation claiming supremacy over human reason and envisaging a new world to come, studies of the natural order of the transient world were widely considered undesirable. Later, in the Middle Ages, the desire for human understanding of nature in terms of reason was revived. This article is concerned with the fundamental reversal (...)
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May 15th 2015 GMT
New books
  1. Stephan Blatti Paul F. Snowdon (ed.) (forthcoming). Essays on Animalism. Oxford University Press.
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  1. David Pietraszewski, Oliver Curry, Michael Bang Petersen, Leda Cosmides & John Tooby, Constituents of Political Cognition: Race, Party Politics, and the Alliance Detection System.
    Research suggests that the mind contains a set of adaptations for detecting alliances: an alliance detection system, which monitors for, encodes, and stores alliance information and then modifies the activation of stored alliance categories according to how likely they will predict behavior within a particular social interaction. Previous studies have established the activation of this system when exposed to explicit competition or cooperation between individuals. In the current studies we examine if shared political opinions produce these same effects. In particular, (...)
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    Gerald Hull, Tracking the Moral Truth: Debunking Street’s Darwinian Dilemma.
    Sharon Street’s 2006 article “A Darwinian Dilemma for Realist Theories of Value” challenges the epistemological pretensions of the moral realist, of the nonnaturalist in particular. Given that “Evolutionary forces have played a tremendous role in shaping the content of human evaluative attitudes” – why should one suppose such attitudes and concomitant beliefs would track an independent moral reality? Especially since, on a nonnaturalist view, moral truth is causally inert. I abstract a logical skeleton of Street’s argument and, with its aid, (...)
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    Rory Madden, The Persistence of Animate Organisms.
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May 13th 2015 GMT
Manuscripts
  1. P. Cornelissen, M. C. Gresnigt, R. A. Vermeulen, J. Bokdam & R. Smit, Transition of a Sambucus Nigra L. Dominated Woody Vegetation Into Grassland by a Self Regulating Multi-Species Herbivore Assemblage.
    We describe and analyse how large herbivores strongly diminished a woody vegetation, dominated by the unpalatable shrub Sambucus nigra L. and changed it into grassland. Density of woody species and cover of vegetation were measured in 1996, 2002 and 2012 in the grazed Oostvaardersplassen. In 2002 and 2012 we also measured density and cover in an ungrazed control site. In 2002 we measured intensity of browsing and bark loss of Sambucus shrubs in the grazed and control sites. In the grazed (...)
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May 9th 2015 GMT
Manuscripts
  1. Cristina Bicchieri, Norms, Conventions, and the Power of Expectations.
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  2. Stella Sandford, The Pregnant Male as Myth and Metaphor in Classical Greek Literature.
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  3. Eric Schliesser, Sympathy: A History.
    Our modern-day word for sympathy is derived from the classical Greek word for fellow-feeling. Both in the vernacular as well as in the various specialist literatures within philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, economics, and history, "sympathy" and "empathy" are routinely conflated. In practice, they are also used to refer to a large variety of complex, all-too-familiar social phenomena: for example, simultaneous yawning or the giggles. Moreover, sympathy is invoked to address problems associated with social dislocation and political conflict. It is, then, turned (...)
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  4. Jürgen Landes & Jon Williamson, Justifying Objective Bayesianism on Predicate Languages.
    Objective Bayesianism says that the strengths of one’s beliefs ought to be probabilities, calibrated to physical probabilities insofar as one has evidence of them, and otherwise sufficiently equivocal. These norms of belief are often explicated using the maximum entropy principle. In this paper we investigate the extent to which one can provide a unified justification of the objective Bayesian norms in the case in which the background language is a first-order predicate language, with a view to applying the resulting formalism (...)
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May 7th 2015 GMT
Manuscripts
  1. M. Post & Cor Weele, Principles of Tissue Engineering for Food.
    The technology required for tissue-engineering food is the same as for medical applications, and in fact is derived from it. There are major differences in the implementation of those technologies, primarily related to the enormous scale required for food production and the different economical framework. In addition, the emotional context of food tissue engineering is also more complex than for medical applications. On the other hand, the tissues that are generated do not need to integrate in the body, with less (...)
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May 4th 2015 GMT
Manuscripts
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    Terence Rajivan Edward, Another Solution to the Surprise Exam Paradox.
    I identify an assumption that the students should not rely on. Even if students are entitled to assume that the teacher was sincere at the time of giving the exam announcement, there is a reason against them assuming the following: if the teacher believes that the exam will not be a surprise on a certain day, the teacher will not give the exam on that day. The reason I present does not involve doubting the moral goodness of the teacher.
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May 3rd 2015 GMT
Manuscripts
  1. Nicholas Shackel, The Normativity of Rationality.
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  2. Rachel Sterken, Generics in Context : Generalisation, Context and Communication.
    This thesis consists of four chapters and an introduction. The first chapter is concerned with cases of purported genericity which are true despite only a minority of the kind in question satisfying the predicated property and whose predicated property is somehow striking. I argue that such cases are pathological, and hence shouldn’t be used as evidence for claims about the nature of genericity or the semantics of generics. In particular, these cases pose no difficulty for theorists who want to solve (...)
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May 2nd 2015 GMT
Manuscripts
  1. Christopher McCammon, Rean Reasons: A Republican Theory of Legitimacy and Justification.
    There is a kind of power no one should have over anyone else, even if they don’t do anything with this power, or even if they only use this power for good. The republican tradition of political philosophy calls this kind of power domination. Here, I develop a theory of domination, and use this theory to advance our understanding of political legitimacy and justification. My account of domination refines recent neo-republican attempts to identify dominating social power with the capacity to (...)
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  2. Adam R. Thompson, Blame Within Reason.
    My dissertation develops a novel response to global skepticism about responsibility—the view that no one is fit to be held responsible for anything. Though P.F. Strawson offered a highly influential account of holding and being responsible, his argument is widely considered to fail as a response to global skepticism. The primary worry is that he only describes our practice of holding responsible but does not justify it. I propose an unorthodox Strawson-style account of holding and being responsible and employ that (...)
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Apr 30th 2015 GMT
Manuscripts
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    Robert Kowalenko, Thabo Mbeki, Postmodernism, and the Consequences [Manuscript].
    Explanations of former South African President Thabo Mbeki’s public and private views on the aetiology of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in the country remain partial at best without the recognition that the latter presuppose and imply a postmodernist/postcolonialist philosophy of science that erases the line separating the political from the scientific. Evidence from Mbeki’s public speeches, interviews, and private and anonymous writings suggests that it was postmodernist/postcolonialist theory that inspired him to doubt the “Western” scientific consensus on HIV/AIDS and to implement (...)
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Apr 29th 2015 GMT
Manuscripts
  1. Fabian Freyenhagen, Autonomy's Substance.
    Autonomy has to be conceived substantively in order to serve as the qualifying condition for receiving the full set of individual liberal rights — or so I argue in this paper. I show that the common distinction between content-neutral and substantive accounts of autonomy is riddled by confusion and ambiguities, and provide a clear alternative taxonomy. At least insofar as we are concerned with liberal settings, the real question is whether or not the value and norm implied by an account (...)
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  2. Fiona Hughes, Um Potencial Político No Juízo Estético Reflexionante: Kant, Hannah Arendt E “Pequena Esparta”, de Ian Hamilton Finlay [A Political Potential in Aesthetic Reflective Judgement: Kant, Hannah Arendt and Ian Hamilton Finlay’s “Little Sparta”].
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  3. Wayne Martin, Sabine Michalowski, Timo Jütten & Matthew Burch, Achieving CRPD Compliance: Is the Mental Capacity Act of England and Wales Compatible with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disability? If Not, What Next?
    In 2014 the Essex Autonomy Project undertook a six month project, funded by the AHRC, to provide technical advice to the UK Ministry of Justice on the question of whether the Mental Capacity Act is compliant with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Over the course of the project, the EAP research team organised a series of public policy roundtables, hosted by the Ministry of Justice, and which brought together leading experts to discuss and debate (...)
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  4. Wayne Martin, Stoic Transcendentalism and the Doctrine of Oikeiosis.
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Apr 28th 2015 GMT
volume 43, issue 2, 2015
  1. Aldo Frigerio & Ciro Florio, Two Omnipotent Beings?
    The idea of omnipotence plays a crucial role within the framework of classical theism. God is typically considered omnipotent, that is, able to perform any action. Sometimes, it is said that for God there is no difference between will and action; everything he wishes happens. However, as one reflects on the concept of omnipotence, some rather complex questions arise; the range of God’s possible “actions” is not clear. What are the boundaries of the power of an omnipotent being, if these (...)
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