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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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  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
Manuscripts
  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. 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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5. 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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  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
Manuscripts
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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
Manuscripts
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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 prevent (what I call) “self-blind equivocation,” i.e., equivocation that is introspectively undetectable. Such equivocation is allowed, 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
Manuscripts
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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
Manuscripts
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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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    Steven Sverdlik, The Intrinsic Value of Retribution.
    Retributivist approaches to the philosophy of punishment are usually based on certain fundamental moral claims. One of these claims is also accepted, or at least treated sympathetically, by some consequentialists. It is this: -/- Intrinsic Value (IV): The deserved suffering of morally guilty wrongdoers has intrinsic value. -/- IV is sometimes supported by the construction of examples similar to Kant’s ‘desert island’. These are meant to show that there is intrinsic value in the suffering of a wrongdoer, even if none (...)
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Aug 31st 2014 GMT
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  1. Scott Hill, Synthetic Reductionism in Moral Philosophy.
    I defend the view that moral properties are identical to properties that can be expressed without using moral vocabulary.
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    Dietrich Franz & Christian List, From Degrees of Belief to Beliefs: Lessons From Judgment-Aggregation Theory.
    What is the relationship between degrees of belief and (all-or-nothing) beliefs? Can the latter be expressed as a function of the former, without running into paradoxes? We reassess this “belief-binarization” problem from the perspective of judgment-aggregation theory. Although some similarities between belief binarization and judgment aggregation have been noted before, the literature contains no general study of the implications of aggregation-theoretic impossibility and possibility results for belief binarization. We seek to fill this gap. At the centre of this paper is (...)
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Aug 29th 2014 GMT
Manuscripts
  1. Seamus Bradley & Katie Siobhan Steele, Should Subjective Probabilities Be Sharp?
    There has been much recent interest in imprecise probabilities, models of belief that allow unsharp or fuzzy credence. There have also been some influential criticisms of this position. Here we argue, chiefly against Elga (2010), that subjective probabilities need not be sharp. The key question is whether the imprecise probabilist can make reasonable sequences of decisions. We argue that she can. We outline Elga's argument and clarify the assumptions he makes and the principles of rationality he is implicitly committed to. (...)
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Aug 28th 2014 GMT
Manuscripts
  1. Susan G. Sterrett, Locke, Memory & Personal Identity: Me and My Memory, Together Forever.
    Locke's views on memory are too often oversimplified. This previously unpublished essay by S. G. Sterrett takes a sympathetic look at Locke's writings on the topic. The most interesting (and plausible) accounts of memory hold that, rather than simply retrieving stored entities, remembering is an act intrinsically and intimately involving a specific person --- if person is taken in Locke's sense -- and so these accounts support Locke's appeal to memory in his discussion of personal identity.
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Aug 25th 2014 GMT
Manuscripts
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    Terence Rajivan Edward, Astrology, Fate and Causation.
    Some philosophers assert that astrology is a false theory. The simplest way to argue against all astrology is to identify a proposition that any kind of astrology must be committed to and then show that this proposition is false. In this paper I draw attention to some misconceptions regarding which propositions any kind of astrology is committed to.
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Aug 22nd 2014 GMT
Manuscripts
  1. Daniel Davis, L1 Effects on the Articulation of Samaritan Hebrew.
    In this thesis, I will discuss the effects of the linguistic divide in the Samaritan community with respect to the articulation of the liturgical language of Samaritan Hebrew. I first encountered the Samaritans in 2010 while on my first visit to the Palestinian city of Nablus. I had been to Israel many times prior, yet as a young Jewish American, I had never before had the opportunity to travel to the Palestinian Territories. Given the prominence of the political situation, I (...)
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  2. Donald W. Loveland, Richard E. Hodel & Susan G. Sterrett, Three Views of Logic: Mathematics, Philosophy, Computer Science.
    Demonstrating the different roles that logic plays in the disciplines of computer science, mathematics, and philosophy, this concise undergraduate textbook covers select topics from three different areas of logic: proof theory, computability theory, and nonclassical logic. The book balances accessibility, breadth, and rigor, and is designed so that its materials will fit into a single semester. Its distinctive presentation of traditional logic material will enhance readers' capabilities and mathematical maturity. The proof theory portion presents classical propositional logic and first-order logic (...)
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  3. Abraham Schwab, Barbara Brenner, Joseph Goldfarb, Rochhelle Hirschhorn & Sean Philpott, Biobanks and the Human Microbiome in The Human Microbiome: Ethical, Legal, and Social Concerns.
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  4. Abraham Schwab, Mary Ann Bailey, Joseph Goldfarb, Kurt Hirschhorn, Rosamond Rhodes & Brett Trusko, Property and Research on the Human Microbiome in The Human Microbiome: Ethical, Legal, and Social Concerns.
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  5. Nada Gligorov, Abraham Schwab, Lily Frank & Brett Trusko, Privacy, Confidentiality, and New Ways of Knowing More in The Human Microbiome: Ethical, Legal, and Social Concerns.
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    Selim Berker, The Unity of Grounding.
    I argue that there is only one grounding/in-virtue-of relation, and that it is indispensable for normative inquiry.
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    Hilary Greaves, Antiprioritarianism.
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    Theron Pummer, The Priority Monster.
    The Priority View implies that we sometimes have nontrivially stronger reason to benefit a person, the worse off in absolute terms this person would be if she did not receive the benefit in question. This view seems plausible. Nonetheless I will argue that it is inconsistent with the conjunction of a number of independently intuitively plausible claims. One such claim is that we should spare a very badly off person from many years of intense pain rather than spare someone else (...)
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    David Wallace, Emergence of Particles From Bosonic Quantum Field Theory.
    An examination is made of the way in which particles emerge from linear, bosonic, massive quantum field theories. Two different constructions of the one-particle subspace of such theories are given, both illustrating the importance of the interplay between the quantum-mechanical linear structure and the classical one. Some comments are made on the Newton-Wigner representation of one-particle states, and on the relationship between the approach of this paper and those of Segal, and of Haag and Ruelle.
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Aug 21st 2014 GMT
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    Robert Briscoe, Virtual Representation in Pictorial Space.
    Philosophical theories of depiction are typically structured by two assumptions: first, that depiction is a form of representation and, second, that the vehicle of a picture’s representational content is the design visible on its 2D surface. In this paper, I introduce a novel, empirically motivated resemblance theory of depiction that rejects both structuring assumptions. According to what I call the deep resemblance theory, pictures work by presenting virtual models of objects in phenomenally 3D, pictorial space. The first structuring assumption, according (...)
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Aug 20th 2014 GMT
Manuscripts
  1. Casey Helgeson, There is No Asymmetry of Identity Assumptions in the Debate Over Selection and Individuals.
    A long-running dispute concerns which adaptation-related explananda natural selection can be said to explain. (The issue is conceptual, not empirical { and orthogonal adaptationism.) At issue are explananda of the form: why a given individual organism has a given adaptation rather than that same individual having another trait. It is broadly agreed that one must be ready to back up a `No' answer with an appropriate theory of trans-world identity for individuals. I argue, against the conventional wisdom, that the same (...)
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    Danny Frederick, Haack’s Defective Discussion of Popper and the Courts.
    Susan Haack criticises the US courts’ use of Karl Popper’s epistemology in discriminating acceptable scientific testimony. She claims that acceptable testimony should be reliable and that Popper’s epistemology is useless in discriminating reliability. She says that Popper’s views have been found acceptable only because they have been misunderstood and she indicates an alternative epistemology which she says can discriminate reliable theories. However, her account of Popper’s views is a gross and gratuitous misrepresentation. Her alternative epistemology cannot do what she claims (...)
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Aug 19th 2014 GMT
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  1. Antonella Corradini & Uwe Meixner, Prefazione A: Quantum Physics Meets the Philosophy of Mind. New Essays on the Mind-Body Relation in Quantum-Theoretical Perspective.
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    Franz Dietrich & Christian List, Probabilistic Opinion Pooling Generalized -- Part One: General Agendas.
    How can different individuals' probability assignments to some events be aggregated into a collective probability assignment? Classic results on this problem assume that the set of relevant events -- the agenda -- is a sigma-algebra and is thus closed under disjunction (union) and conjunction (intersection). We drop this demanding assumption and explore probabilistic opinion pooling on general agendas. One might be interested in the probability of rain and that of an interest-rate increase, but not in the probability of rain or (...)
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