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Oct 30th 2014 GMT
Manuscripts
  1. Sarah Sawyer, Contrastive Self-Knowledge and the McKinsey Paradox.
    In this paper I argue first, that a contrastive account of self-knowledge and the propositional attitudes entails an anti-individualist account of propositional attitude concepts (the concepts of belief, desire, regret, and so on), second, that the final account provides a solution to the McKinsey paradox, and third, that the account has the resources to explain why certain anti-skeptical arguments fail.
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    Emanuele Serrelli, Traits and Functions in the Evolution of Morality.
    This paper is about evolutionary explanations. They come in different kinds but mostly need traits and functions. Evolutionary theory requires traits to be inheritable although not in a strong genetic sense: ideas of “inheritance pattern” and “inheritable pattern” are explored. Function is also a necessary concept, but complex and diverse, and it lacks causal power on traits. The debate on the evolution of morality is cautious and already far from naive “just-­‐so story” explanations, but theoretical analysis fleshed into morality-­‐related examples (...)
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Oct 28th 2014 GMT
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  1. Marc Fleurbaey, Stéphane Luchini, Christophe Muller & Erik Schokkaert, Equivalent Income and Fair Evaluation of Health Care.
    We argue that the economic evaluation of health care (cost–benefit analysis) should respect individual preferences and should incorporate distributional considerations. Relying on individual preferences does not imply subjective welfarism. We propose a particular non-welfarist approach, based on the concept of equivalent income, and show how it helps to define distributional weights. We illustrate the feasibility of our approach with empirical results from a pilot survey.
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    Dan Demetriou & Michael Prideaux, Gender Exaggeration as Trans.
    Surprisingly, it follows from commonsense premises about sex and gender that there is a widely-practiced variety of transgenderism we call sex/gender “exaggerating.” Recognizing exaggeration as trans has several important consequences. One is that, since most traditional cultures endorse exaggeration, trans lifestyles (depending on where you draw the line) are usually the default. But more importantly, recognizing that gender exaggeration is trans reveals a number of sex- and gender-discriminatory practices and intolerant attitudes: from pathologizing hypergender to restricting androgenic hormones, many people (...)
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    Marcel Weber, On the Incompatibility of Biological Dynamical Mechanisms and Causal Graph Theory.
    I examine the adequacy of the causal graph-structural equations approach to causation for modeling biological mechanisms. I focus in particular on mechanisms with complex dynamics such as the PER biological clock mechanism in Drosophila. I show that a quantitative model of this mechanism that uses coupled differential equations – the well-known Goldbeter model – cannot be adequately represented in the standard (interventionist) causal graph framework, even though this framework does permit causal cycles. The reason is that the model contains dynamical (...)
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Oct 26th 2014 GMT
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  1. Robyn Repko Waller, A Response to Some Conceptual and Scientific Threats to Compatibilist Free Will.
    The aim of this dissertation is to respond to a collection of conceptual and scientific threats to compatibilist accounts of free will, particularly reasons-responsive views. Compatibilists hold that free will is compatible with the truth of determinism. Some compatibilists also claim that some actual agent at least sometimes acts freely, where it is true that she acts freely in virtue of her satisfying a specific set of control and epistemic conditions. These conditions often include the possession of certain capacities, such (...)
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Oct 23rd 2014 GMT
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  1. Wendy Kay Olsen & Wendy K. Olsen, Comment: The Usefulness of QCA Under Realist Assumptions.
    Qualitative comparative analysis (QCA) opens up two new forms of knowledge: (1) knowing about alternative pathways to one outcome (equifinality) and (2) perceiving nuances of necessary cause and sufficient cause. Several misunderstandings of QCA occur in the article by Lucas and Szatrowski (this volume, p. 1). First, there are minor problems with expressions. Second, there are differences between their philosophy of science (arguments 1, 2, and 3 below) and a realist approach. Third, they misinterpret what was meant by sufficient and (...)
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  2. Christopher A. Shrock, Thomas Reid and the Problem of Secondary Qualities.
    Direct Realism is the view that human perception takes physical entities and their mind-independent properties as immediate objects. Although this thesis is supported by common sense, many argue that it can be dismissed on philosophical or quasi-scientific grounds. This essay attempts to defend Direct Realism against one such argument, which I call the “Problem of Secondary Qualities,” using the ideas of Scottish Common Sense philosopher Thomas Reid. The first chapter of this work offers a detailed introduction to the Problem of (...)
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Oct 22nd 2014 GMT
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    Titus Stahl, What is Immanent Critique?
    This working paper examines the notion of "immanent critique", a central methodological commitment of critical theories of society. In the first part, I distinguish immanent critique - a critique which reconstructs norms immanent in a social practice which point beyond the normative self-understanding of its members - from both external and internal critique and examine three questions that a theory of immanent critique has to answer (a social ontological, an epistemological and a justificatory question). After surveying some of the classic (...)
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Oct 20th 2014 GMT
Manuscripts
  1. Paul Bou-Habib & Serena Olsaretti, Autonomy and Children's Well-Being.
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    Graham Oddie, An Argument Against Commensurate Truthmakers.
    The core of the truthmaker research program is that true propositions are made true by appropriate parts of the actual world. This idea seems to give realists their best shot at capturing a robust account of the dependence of truth on the world. For a part of the world to be a truthmaker for a particular it must suffice for, or necessitate, the truth of the proposition. There are two extreme and unsatisfactory truthmaker theories. At one extreme any part of (...)
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    Kenneth L. Pearce, How Berkeley's Gardener Knows His Cherry Tree.
Oct 19th 2014 GMT
Manuscripts
  1. Ann E. Cudd, Commitment as Motivation: Amartya Sen's Theory of Agency and the Explanation of Behavior.
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  2. Ann E. Cudd, Is Capitalism Good for Women?
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Oct 18th 2014 GMT
Manuscripts
  1. R. M. Hazen, A. Bekker, D. L. Bish, W. Bleeker, R. T. Downs, J. Farquhar, J. M. Ferry, E. S. Grew, Andrew Herbert Knoll, D. Papineau, J. P. Ralph, D. A. Sverjensky & J. W. Valley, Needs and Opportunities in Mineral Evolution Research.
    Progress in understanding mineral evolution, Earth’s changing near-surface mineralogy through time, depends on the availability of detailed information on mineral localities of known ages and geologic settings. A comprehensive database including this information, employing the mindat.org web site as a platform, is now being implemented. This resource will incorporate software to correlate a range of mineral occurrences and properties vs. time, and it will thus facilitate studies of the chang- ing diversity, distribution, associations, and characteristics of individual minerals as well (...)
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    Steven M. Duncan, In Defense of Temporal Passage.
    In this paper, I endorse and defend the Common Sense View of Time (CSVT), i.e. Presentism plus the A-theory of time, by arguing for the objective reality of temporal passage.
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    Steven M. Duncan, The Present.
    While the nature of the past and the future have received a lot of attention from recent analytic philosophers, the present has been somewhat neglected. I think the notion of the present is somewhat misunderstood and hope to rectify some of those misunderstandings in this essay. It is high time that this was done. Let's do it now!
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    Gabriel Vacariu, About Ionicioiu and Terno’s Article From 2011 and My “Epistemologically Different Worlds” Perspective From 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010.
    This paper is about Ionicioiu and Terno's paper (2011) about wave-particle duality and my EDWs pperspective (from 2005, 2006, 2008, 2010, 2011, 2014).
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Oct 16th 2014 GMT
Manuscripts
  1. Peter Dews, Nietzsche for Losers?
    Opening a symposium on Malcolm Bull’s Anti-Nietzsche, Dews retraces the logic of critical supersession in European philosophy before taking issue with the author’s account of Nietzschean will to power and the reading strategy to be pursued in the face of it.
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  2. Wayne Martin, Fichte's Theory of Pragmatic Space.
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  3. Irene McMullin, Review of Iain D. Thomson. Heidegger, Art, and Postmodernity. Cambridge-New York: Cambridge University Press, 2011. [REVIEW]
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  4. Steve Torrance & Ron Chrisley, Modelling Consciousness-Dependent Expertise in Machine Medical Moral Agents.
    It is suggested that some limitations of current designs for medical AI systems (be they autonomous or advisory) stem from the failure of those designs to address issues of artificial (or machine) consciousness. Consciousness would appear to play a key role in the expertise, particularly the moral expertise, of human medical agents, including, for example, autonomous weighting of options in (e.g.,) diagnosis; planning treatment; use of imaginative creativity to generate courses of action; sensorimotor flexibility and sensitivity; empathetic and morally appropriate (...)
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  5. Daniel Watts, Review of P Stokes and A J Buben (Eds) (2011). Kierkegaard and Death. Bloomington: Indiana University Press. [REVIEW]
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  6. Daniel Watts, Søren Kierkegaard.
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    David Ellerman, Does Classical Liberalism Imply Democracy?
    There is a fault line running through classical liberalism as to whether or not democratic self-governance is a necessary part of a liberal social order. The democratic and non-democratic strains of classical liberalism are both present today—particularly in America. Many contemporary libertarians and neo-Austrian economists represent the non-democratic strain. We will take the late James M. Buchanan as a representative of democratic classical liberalism (with assists from the earlier democratic classical liberal philosophers, John Stuart Mill and John Dewey). Unpacking the (...)
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    David Ellerman, Four Ways From Universal to Particular: How Chomsky's Language-Acquisition Faculty is Not Selectionist.
    Following the development of the selectionist theory of the immune system, there was an attempt to characterize many biological mechanisms as being "selectionist" as juxtaposed to "instructionist." But this broad definition would group Darwinian evolution, the immune system, embryonic development, and Chomsky's language-acquisition mechanism as all being "selectionist." Yet Chomsky's mechanism (and embryonic development) are significantly different from the selectionist mechanisms of biological evolution or the immune system. Surprisingly, there is a very abstract way using two dual mathematical logics to (...)
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    David Ellerman, On Classical Finite Probability Theory as a Quantum Probability Calculus.
    This paper shows how the classical finite probability theory (with equiprobable outcomes) can be reinterpreted and recast as the quantum probability calculus of a pedagogical or "toy" model of quantum mechanics over sets (QM/sets). There are two parts. The notion of an "event" is reinterpreted from being an epistemological state of indefiniteness to being an objective state of indefiniteness. And the mathematical framework of finite probability theory is recast as the quantum probability calculus for QM/sets. The point is not to (...)
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    David Ellerman, Partitions and Objective Indefiniteness.
    Classical physics and quantum physics suggest two meta-physical types of reality: the classical notion of a objectively definite reality with properties "all the way down," and the quantum notion of an objectively indefinite type of reality. The problem of interpreting quantum mechanics (QM) is essentially the problem of making sense out of an objectively indefinite reality. These two types of reality can be respectively associated with the two mathematical concepts of subsets and quotient sets (or partitions) which are category-theoretically dual (...)
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    David Ellerman, Why Delayed Choice Experiments Do NOT Imply Retrocausality.
    There is a fallacy that is often involved in the interpretation of quantum experiments involving a certain type of separation such as the: double-slit experiments, which-way interferometer experiments, polarization analyzer experiments, Stern-Gerlach experiments, and quantum eraser experiments. The fallacy leads not only to flawed textbook accounts of these experiments but to flawed inferences about retrocausality in the context of delayed choice versions of separation experiments.
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Oct 15th 2014 GMT
Manuscripts
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    Stan Klein, A Defense of Experiential Realism: The Need to Take Phenomenological Reality on its Own Terms in the Study of the Mind.
    In this paper I argue for the importance of treating mental experience on its own terms. In defense of “experiential realism” I offer a critique of modern psychology’s all-too-frequent attempts to effect an objectification and quantification of personal subjectivity. The question is “What can we learn about experiential reality from indices that, in the service of scientific objectification, transform the qualitative properties of experience into quantitative indices?” I conclude that such treatment is neither necessary for realizing, nor sufficient for capturing, (...)
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Oct 13th 2014 GMT
Manuscripts
  1. Bob Brecher, The Holocaust.
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Oct 11th 2014 GMT
Manuscripts
  1. Miklós Rédei, A Categorial Approach to Relativistic Locality.
    Relativistic locality is interpreted in this paper as a web of conditions expressing the compatibility of a physical theory with the underlying causal structure of spacetime. Four components of this web are distinguished: spatiotemporal locality, along with three distinct notions of causal locality, dubbed CL-Independence, CL-Dependence, and CL-Dynamic. These four conditions can be regimented using concepts from the categorical approach to quantum field theory initiated by Brunetti, Fredenhagen, and Verch (2003). A covariant functor representing a general quantum field theory is (...)
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Oct 10th 2014 GMT
Manuscripts
  1. Brian Collins, A Utilitarian Account of Political Obligation.
    One of the core issues in contemporary political philosophy is concerned with `political obligation.' Stated in an overly simplified way, the question being asked when one investigates political obligation is, "What, if anything, do citizens owe to their government and how are these obligations generated if they do exist?" The majority of political philosophers investigating this issue agree that a political obligation is a moral requirement to act in certain ways concerning political matters (e.g. a moral requirement to obey the (...)
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    Emanuele Serrelli & Francesca Micol Rossi, A Conceptual Taxonomy of Adaptation in Evolutionary Biology.
    The concept of adaptation is employed in many fields such as biology, psychology, cognitive sciences, robotics, social sciences, even literacy and art,1 and its meaning varies quite evidently according to the particular research context in which it is applied. We expect to find a particularly rich catalogue of meanings within evolutionary biology, where adaptation has held a particularly central role since Darwin’s The Origin of Species (1859) throughout important epistemological shifts and scientific findings that enriched and diversified the concept. Accordingly, (...)
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    Emanuele Serrelli, The Gaia Narrative and its Link with Symbiosis and Symbiogenesis.
    First, we will address the unnecessary link between symbio-studies and Gaia, asking for the historical and epistemological reasons why they become associated. In particular, we contend that the association is mediated by the common interest in large-scale physico-chemical and biochemical patterns, rather than by an emphasis on harmony, equilibrium, and cooperation (Visvader 1992). Second, we will ask what Gaia is in a metatheoretical sense: is it a scientific hypothesis, a theory, a metaphor, an inspired invention, or a resurgence of antiscientific (...)
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Oct 9th 2014 GMT
New books
  1. Elena Ficara (ed.) (2014). Contradictions. Logic, History, Actuality. De Gruyter.
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  2. Pina Marsico & Luca Tateo (eds.) (forthcoming). (Eds.), Ordinary Things and Their Extraordinary Meanings, Charlotte (NC),. Information Age Publishing.
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Oct 8th 2014 GMT
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    Joseph Raz, Why the State.
    A broadly sketched exploration of the theory of state-law and of the ways developments in international law are transforming states.
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Oct 6th 2014 GMT
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    Danny Frederick, The Consequentialist Explanation of Political Authority: A Critique of Huemer’s Critique.
    How could a state have the moral authority to promulgate and enforce laws that citizens are obliged to obey? That is the problem of political authority. The Consequentialist Explanation of Political Authority contends that great social benefits depend upon there being a state with political authority. In his book, The Problem of Political Authority, Michael Huemer considers different types of explanation of political authority and he rejects them all. I show that the objections he raises to consequentialist accounts are confused (...)
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Oct 3rd 2014 GMT
Manuscripts
  1. Brendan Myers, Charlene Elsby, Kimberly Baltzer-Jaray & Nola Semczyszyn, Clear and Present Thinking: A Handbook in Logic and Rationality.
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    Adam Elga & Agustin Rayo, Fragmentation and Information Access.
    In order to predict and explain behavior, one cannot specify the mental state of an agent merely by saying what information she possesses. Instead one must specify what information is available to an agent relative to various purposes. Specifying mental states in this way allows us to accommodate cases of imperfect recall, cognitive accomplishments involved in logical deduction, the mental states of confused or fragmented subjects, and the difference between propositional knowledge and know-how .
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Oct 2nd 2014 GMT
Manuscripts
  1. Chenyang Li, Confucian Moral Cultivation, Longevity, and Public Policy.
    By investigating the link between the Confucian ideal of longevity and moral cultivation, I argue that Confucian moral cultivation is founded on the ideal of harmony, and, in this connection, it promotes a holistic, healthy life, of which longevity is an important component. My argument is internal to Confucianism, in the sense that it aims to show these concepts are coherently constructed within the Confucian philosophical framework; I do not go beyond the Confucian framework to prove its validity. Finally, I (...)
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Oct 1st 2014 GMT
Manuscripts
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    Aaron Smuts, How Much Should We Be Moved by the Fate of Anna Karenina?
    It is widely assumed that we can meaningfully talk about emotional reactions as being appropriate or inappropriate. Much of the discussion has focused on one kind of appropriateness, that of fittingness. An emotional response is appropriate only if it fits its object. For instance, fear only fits dangerous things. There is another dimension of appropriateness that has been relatively ignored — proportionality. For an emotional reaction to be appropriate not only must the object fit, the reaction should be of the (...)
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