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Profile: Fernando Birman (Delft University of Technology)
  1. Fernando Birman (2011). Horwich On The Leibnizian Ratio Against Absolute Space And Motion. European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 7 (1):11-24.
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  2. Fernando Birman (2010). Pragmatic Concerns and Images of the World. Philosophia 38 (4):715-731.
    I defend a pragmatist reinterpretation of Sellars’s famous manifest-scientific distinction. I claim that in order to do justice to this important distinction we must first recognize, despite what philosophers—including, arguably, Sellars—often make of it, that the distinction does not draw an epistemological or metaphysical boundary between different kinds of objects and events, but a pragmatic boundary between different ways in which we interact with objects and events. Put differently, I argue that the manifest-scientific distinction, in my view, can be best (...)
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  3. Fernando Birman (2009). On the Rationality of Decisions with Unreliable Probabilities. Disputatio 26 (3):97-116.
    The standard Bayesian recipe for selecting the rational choice is presented. A familiar example in which the recipe fails to produce any definite result is introduced. It is argued that a generalization of Gärdenfors’ and Sahlin’s theory of unreliable probabilities — which itself does not guarantee a solution to the problem — offers the best available approach. But a number of challenges to this approach are also presented and discussed.
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  4. Fernando Birman (2009). Quantum Mechanics and the Plight of Physicalism. Journal for General Philosophy of Science 40 (2):207-225.
    The literature on physicalism often fails to elucidate, I think, what the word physical in physical ism precisely means. Philosophers speak at times of an ideal set of fundamental physical facts, or they stipulate that physical means non-mental , such that all fundamental physical facts are fundamental facts pertaining to the non-mental. In this article, I will probe physicalism in the very much tangible framework of quantum mechanics. Although this theory, unlike “ideal physics” or some “final theory of non-mentality”, is (...)
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  5. Fernando Birman (2009). Quantum Mechanics, Correlations, and Relational Probability. Critica 41 (1):3-22.
    This article sets forth and discusses the Ithaca Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics (IIQM). Section 1 presents the standard formalism of quantum mechanics and the measurement problem. Section 2 sketches Everett’s interpretation as a preamble to IIQM. Section 3 sets out IIQM’s central claim: it is possible to make sense of quantum mechanics by taking as the proper (and only) subject of physics the correlations among subsystems. Section 4 introduces a theorem of quantum mechanics, the SSC theorem, which supports this claim. (...)
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