Aaron Cotnoir does all sorts of interesting things in his contribution to this volume. He makes a helpful distinction between syntactic and semantic objections to the thesis that composition is identity, and outlines some empirical points relevant to the syntactic issue. But the centrepiece is his development of a formal framework for addressing the semantic objections.
KatherineHawley explores and compares three theories of persistence -- endurance, perdurance, and stage theories - investigating the ways in which they attempt to account for the world around us. Having provided valuable clarification of its two main rivals, she concludes by advocating stage theory.
What is true and what is not depends upon how the world is: that there are no white ravens is true because there are no white ravens. That much, Trenton Merricks accepts. But he denies that principles about truthmaking can do any heavy lifting in metaphysics, and he provides powerful, sophisticated arguments for this denial. The hunt for individual truthmakers for specific truths is doomed once we consider negative existentials, and, on the other side of that coin, universal claims. But (...) the weaker claim that truth supervenes upon being either collapses into the platitudes about dependence that even Merricks accepts, or else collapses into the fruitless search for individual truthmakers. The reasoning is complex, yet elegant and clear, and from now on anyone wishing to use truthmaker principles to establish substantive positions in metaphysics will need to grapple with this critique. (shrink)
Temporal parts are analogous to spatial parts: just as the conference has one spatial part which occupies the seminar room, and another which occupies the lecture hall, it has one temporal part which ‘occupies’ Friday and another which ‘occupies’ Saturday. These temporal parts of the conference have half-hour coffee-breaks as temporal parts of their own; these coffee-breaks are also temporal parts of the whole conference.
This volume collects together chapters that were originally delivered at a conference on the Admissible Contents of Experience that took place at the University of Glasgow in March 2006. The original papers were first published in a special edition of The Philosophy Quarterly (July 2009). -/- Introduction (Fiona Macpherson, University of Glasgow). -- 1. Perception And The Reach Of Phenomenal Content (Tim Bayne, University of Oxford). -- 2. Seeing Causings And Hearing Gestures (Steven Butterfill, University of Warwick). -- 3. Experience (...) And Content (Alex Byrne, Massachusetts Institute of Technology). -- 4. Is Perception A Propositional Attitude? (Tim Crane, University College London). -- 5. Conscious Reference (Alva Noë, University of California, Berkeley). -- 6. What Are The Contents Of Experiences? (Adam Pautz, University of Texas at Austin). -- 7. Aspect-Switching And Visual Phenomenal Character (Richard Price, University of Oxford). -- 8. The Visual Experience Of Causation (Susanna Siegel, Harvard University). -- 9. The Admissible Contents Of Visual Experience (Michael Tye, University of Texas at Austin). -- Index. (shrink)
I argue that, despite van Inwagen's pessimism about the task, it is worth looking for answers to his General Composition Question. Such answers or 'principles of composition' tell us about the relationship between an object and its parts. I compare principles of composition with criteria of identity, arguing that, just as different sorts of thing satisfy different criteria of identity, they may satisfy different principles of composition. Variety in criteria of identity is not taken to reflect ontological variety in the (...) identity relation; I discuss whether variety in principles of composition should be taken to reflect ontological variety in the composition relation. (shrink)
Sometimes we work out by ourselves how to do something. But often we rely upon the help, advice or example of others. To this extent learning how resembles learning that: sometimes you can see the truth for yourself, but sometimes you need to phone a friend. Do the similarities end there? When we are tempted to think that knowing how differs significantly from knowing that, it is often because knowing how seems to be transmitted, acquired, taught and learned in distinctive (...) ways. Practical knowledge can’t always be obtained from books or lectures, it often requires hands-on experience, those who know how can’t always teach, and sometimes those who can’t do can nevertheless teach. (shrink)
Analytic metaphysics is in resurgence; there is renewed and vigorous interest in topics such as time, causation, persistence, parthood and possible worlds. We who share this interest often pay lip-service to the idea that metaphysics should be informed by modern science; some take this duty very seriously.2 But there is also a widespread suspicion that science cannot really contribute to metaphysics, and that scientific findings grossly underdetermine metaphysical claims. For some, this prompts the thought ‘so much the worse for metaphysics’; (...) others mutter ‘so much the worse for science’. (shrink)
If the property _being a methane molecule_ is a universal, then it is a structural universal: objects instantiate _being a methane molecule_ just in case they have the right sorts of proper parts arranged in the right sort of way. Lewis argued that there can be no satisfactory account of structural universals; in this paper I provide a satisfactory account.
Take this banana. It is now yellow, and when I bought it yesterday it was green. How can a single object be both green all over and yellow all over without contradiction? It is, of course, the passage of time which dissolves the contradiction, but how is this possible? How can a banana ripen? These questions raise the problem of change. The problem is sometimes called the problem of temporary intrinsics, but, as I shall explain below, this emphasis on intrinsic (...) properties is misleading. (shrink)
Putative counterexamples to the Principle of Identity of Indiscernibles (PII) are notoriously inconclusive. I establish ground rules for debate in this area, offer a new response to such counterexamples for friends of the PII, but then argue that no response is entirely satisfactory. Finally, I undermine some positive arguments for PII.
Every Thing Must Go is wildly ambitious. It advances substantive views on the proper scope of metaphysics (unifying science), the nature of reality (things subservient to structures), the current state of play in quantum gravity (fragmented), and the connection between fundamental physics and the rest of science (hard to summarise). It is both fascinating and infuriating. A key theme is the dismissal of ‘neo-scholastic’ metaphysics and the promotion of ‘naturalised metaphysics’. I fear my own work qualifies as neoscholastic, and although (...) I’m reassured to have ‘some extremely intelligent and morally serious people’ as company, I’d hate to think we were ‘wasting [our] talents – and, worse, sowing systematic confusion about the world, and about how to find out about it’ (vii). So I will focus my attention on this theme. (shrink)
Vague existence can seem like the worst kind of vagueness in the world, or seem to be an entirely unintelligible notion. This bad reputation is based upon the rumour that if there is vague existence then there are non-existent objects. But the rumour is false: the modest brand of vague existence entailed by certain metaphysical theories of composition does not deserve its bad reputation.
Roughly speaking, perdurantism is the view that ordinary objects persist through time by having temporal parts, whilst endurantism is the view that they persist by being wholly present at different times. (Speaking less roughly will be important later.) It is often thought that perdurantists have an advantage over endurantists when dealing with objects which appear to coincide temporarily: lumps, statues, cats, tail-complements, bisected brains, repaired ships, and the like. Some cases – personal fission, for example – seem to involve (...) temporary coincidence between objects of the same kind. Other cases – a cat and its flesh, a statue and its lump – seem to involve objects of different kinds. (shrink)
Four-Dimensionalism is a thorough, lively and forceful defence of the claim that “necessarily, every spatiotemporal object has a temporal part at every moment at which it exists” (59). The standard four-dimensionalist view is perdurance theory, according to which everyday things like boats are temporally extended. But Sider rejects perdurance theory, nicely disparaging it as the “worm view”, and he argues for the “stage view” version of fourdimensionalism instead. According to the stage view, everyday things like boats are instantaneous, and claims (...) about the history of the Anstruther lifeboat are made true or false by the boat’s past counterparts. Sider reserves the term “four-dimensionalism” for these two views of persistence; he also defends a tenseless B-theory of time. The book develops, extends and systematises work which Sider has published over the last few years, and it makes a compelling and readable whole. I am sympathetic with many of the conclusions, but I will take issue with some of the arguments. (shrink)
Modern epistemologists don’t often discuss knowledge-how - propositional knowledge has attracted the lion’s share of attention.2 Yet the notion of knowledge-how looks useful elsewhere in philosophy - philosophers of science discuss tacit knowledge and skills, philosophers of mind disagree about whether knowing what an experience is like is a matter of knowing how to imagine or recognise it, and philosophers of language and of value consider whether knowledge of meaning or morality is knowledge-how (to use words, to follow rules, to (...) behave well).3 Without a fuller understanding of knowledge-how, it is difficult to assess these proposals. Moreover, knowledge-how is interesting qua species of knowledge - when set alongside theories of propositional knowledge, enquiry into other forms of knowledge promises to shed light on the nature of knowledge quite generally. What is it that we value about our interactions with the world, whether these interactions are through belief or through action? (shrink)
In his Material Beings, Peter van Inwagen distinguishes two questions about parthood. What are the conditions necessary and sufficient for some things jointly to compose a whole? What are the conditions necessary and sufficient for a thing to have proper parts? The first of these, the Special Composition Question (SCQ), has been widely discussed, and David Lewis has argued that an important constraint on any answer to the SCQ is that it should not permit borderline cases of composition. This is (...) a far-reaching claim, since many plausible-seeming accounts of composition do permit borderline cases. Ned Markosian has recently directed our attention to the second, the neglected Inverse Special Composition Question (ISCQ). I will argue that those who accept Lewis’s constraint on answers to the SCQ should accept an analogous constraint on answers to the ISCQ, and I will discuss the effects of such a constraint. (shrink)
‘Fusion’ is a philosophical term of art, with a variety of uses. First, it is often a synonym for ‘sum’. In this sense, a is a fusion of b, c and d iff b, c and d are parts of a, and every part of a shares a part with b, c or d. So a cat is a fusion of the cells which compose it, and the same cat is a fusion of the molecules which compose it. Relatedly, ‘fusion’ (...) can refer to the occurrence of such composition: philosophers disagree about whether fusion is widespread, about whether it can be a vague matter, and so on. (shrink)
Trenton Merricks argues against the following doctrine: Microphysical Supervenience (MS) Necessarily, if atoms A1 through An compose an object that exemplifies intrinsic qualitative properties Q1 through Qn, then atoms like A1 through An (in all their respective intrinsic qualitative properties), related to one another by all the same restricted atom-to-atom relations as A1 through An, compose an object that exemplifies Q1 through Qn. (Merricks 1998, p. 59) Imagine a person, _P_. Microphysical Supervenience entails that there is an object, the finger-complement, (...) wholly composed of all of _P_'s atoms except those in _P_'s left index-finger. After all, when we slice off _P_'s finger, we leave atoms micro- indiscernible from those in the finger-complement, and _those_ atoms compose an object, maimed _P_. Moreover, if _being conscious_ is an intrinsic property, then Microphysical Supervenience entails that the finger-complement is conscious, for maimed _P_ is conscious. But this, argues Merricks, is "simply incredible". It cannot be the case that every large collection of _P_'s atoms forms a conscious object, for then there would be "a mighty host" of conscious objects sitting in _P_'s chair (Merricks 1998, p.63). Even if there is a finger-complement, it is not conscious. So _being_ _conscious_ does not supervene upon microphysical arrangements: if _being conscious_ is an intrinsic qualitative property then Microphysical Supervenience is false. Merricks argues that _being conscious_ is indeed intrinsic, and thus that Microphysical Supervenience _is_ false. He has two reasons for supposing _being conscious_ to be intrinsic, and I object to both of these. (shrink)
Sider argues that, of maximalism and quantifier variance, the latter promises to let us make better sense of neo-Fregeanism. I argue that neo-Fregeans should, and seemingly do, reject quantifier variance. If they must choose between these two options, they should choose maximalism.
I claim that, if persisting objects have temporal parts, then there are non-supervenient relations between those temporal parts. These are relations which are not determined by intrinsic properties of the temporal parts. I use the Kripke-Armstrong 'rotating homogeneous disc' argument in order to establish this claim, and in doing so I defend and develop that argument. This involves a discussion of instantaneous velocity, and of the causes and effects of rotation. Finally, I compare alternative responses to the rotating disc argument, (...) and consider the implications of my arguments for the doctrines of Humean Supervenience and unrestricted mereology. (shrink)
1. E.J. Lowe claims that quantum physics provides examples of ontic indeterminacy, of vagueness in the world. Any such claim must confront the Evans-Salmon argument to the effect that the notion of ontic indeterminacy is simply incoherent (Evans 1978, Salmon 1981: 243-46). Lowe argues that a standard version of the Evans-Salmon argument fails quite generally (Lowe 1994). Harold Noonan (1995) has outlined a non-standard version of the argument, but Lowe argues that this non-standard version fails for specifically quantum mechanical (...) reasons (Lowe 1997). He claims that it is perfectly coherent to suppose that his quantum case is an example of ontic indeterminacy. (shrink)
Closest-continuer or best-candidate accounts of persistence seem deeply unsatisfactory, but it’s hard to say why. The standard criticism is that such accounts violate the ‘only a and b’ rule, but this criticism merely highlights a feature of the accounts without explaining why the feature is unacceptable. Another concern is that such accounts violate some principle about the supervenience of persistence facts upon local or intrinsic facts. But, again, we do not seem to have an independent justification for this supervenience claim. (...) Instead, I argue that closest continuer accounts are committed to unexplained correlations between distinct existences, and that this is their fundamental flaw. We can have independent justification for rejecting such correlations, but what the justification is depends upon much broader issues in ontology. There is no one-size-fits all objection to closest-continuer accounts of persistence. (shrink)
Jointly, separately, and in collaboration with others, Steven French and Décio Krause have been central to recent debates about identity and individuality in modern physics; their new book draws together many threads, and is interesting in all sorts of ways. It’s not an easy read, because it ranges wide and digs deep: you’ll need some knowledge of physics to get anywhere, you’ll need an idea of Who Was Who amongst the Great Physicists to follow the historical sections, and you’ll need (...) plenty of formal know-how to get the most out of the chapters on set theory and logic. But even if you’re not fully-equipped for all this, it is well worth persisting conscientiously, skimming, or cherry-picking, according to your temperament. The book contains valuable insights into the philosophy of quantum physics; the metaphysics of spacetime; the metaphysics, epistemology and semantics of identity, indiscernibility and naming; the logic of indeterminacy; and the nature of sortals. There are thought-provoking methodological asides about the relationships between science and philosophy, between formal theory and interpretation, and between set theory and contingent facts. Moreover, the historical sections show the Great Physicists grappling with these substantive philosophical issues. (Tip: if you’re only going to read one chapter, make it chapter 4, where the philosophical juice is especially concentrated.). (shrink)
Simon Saunders argues that, although distinct objects must be discernible, they need only be weakly discernible (Saunders 2003, 2006a). I will argue that this combination of views is unmotivated: if there can be objects which differ only weakly, there can be objects which don’t differ at all.
Philosophy of Science Today offers a state-of-the-art guide to this fast-developing area. An eminent international team of authors covers a wide range of topics at the intersection of philosophy and the sciences, including causation, realism, methodology, epistemology, and the philosophical foundations of physics, biology, and psychology.
The best arguments for the 1/3 answer to the Sleeping Beauty problem all require that when Beauty awakes on Monday she should be uncertain what day it is. I argue that this claim should be rejected, thereby clearing the way to accept the 1/2 solution.
The main claim of this essay is that knowledge is no more valuable than lasting true belief. This claim is surprising. Doesn't knowledge have a unique and special value? If the main claim is correct and if, as it seems, knowledge is not lasting true belief, then knowledge does not have a unique value: in whatever way knowledge is valuable, lasting true belief is just as valuable. However, this result does not show that knowledge is worthless, nor does it undermine our knowledge gathering practices. There (...) is, rather, a positive philosophical payoff: skepticism about knowledge is defused. Assuming one can have lasting true belief, then even if one cannot have knowledge, one can have something just as valuable. . (shrink)
I clarify and defuse an argument for skepticism about justification with the aid of some results from recent linguistic theory. These considerations illuminate debates about the structure of justification.
A common misunderstanding of Grice's distinction between <br>saying and implicating is that the hearer in a conversation <br>needs to use what is said in a calculation to determine what <br>is implicated. This mistake lead some to misconstrue the relation <br>between pragmatics and semantics.
The shareholder wealth maximization objective for corporate management can be a very effective tool for decision making. However, it can also be used to rationalize the commission of unethical or socially irresponsible actions. Overemphasis on the SWM objective by some companies can lead to dangerous or disastrous consequences for consumers, employees, or the general population. Even so, issues of business ethics and social responsibility (BE-SR) are almost totally ignored in corporate finance textbooks. If the typical coverage of corporate finance courses (...) is represented by these textbooks, then financial educators are abdicating their responsibility to help prepare future corporate managers to recognize and deal with BE-SR issues effectively. (shrink)
Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream shows ethical conflicts to be resolved relationally. Quarreling lovers divide Duke Theseus's Athenian court in advance of his own nuptial celebration, forcing the Duke to decide moral questions based on their ethical consequences. King Oberon's conflicted fairy world meddles in human affairs, adding to the ethical confusion. Athenian workmen vie for roles in a court performance that becomes both a theatrical travesty and a triumph of relational ethics owing to Bottom, the character most within relation (...) itself. Paradoxically, the “dream” elevates relating per se to self-consciousness. Hegel's dialectical, Jean-Luc Nancy's transfiguring, and Martin Buber's relational perspectives take up Shakespeare's premise of treating ontology and ethics as facets of the same movement. Just as the play enacts Hegel's assertion that all (inevitable) alienation must be overcome, so it also shows Nancy's and Buber's symbolic consecration of ethical being as mutuality. (shrink)
This paper is roughly in two parts. The first deals with whether know-how is constituted by propositional knowledge, as discussed primarily by Gilbert Ryle (1949) The concept of mind. London: Hutchinson, Jason Stanley and Timothy Williamson (2001). Knowing how. Journal of Philosophy, 98, pp. 411–444 as well as Stephen Hetherington (2006). How to know that knowledge-that is knowledge-how. In S. Hetherington (Ed.) Epistemology futures. Oxford: Oxford University Press. The conclusion of this first part is that know-how sometimes does and sometimes (...) does not consist in propositional knowledge. The second part defends an analysis of know-how inspired by KatherineHawley’ (2003). Success and knowledge-how. American Philosophical Quarterly, 40, pp. 19–31, insightful proposal that know-how requires counterfactual success. I conclude by showing how this analysis helps to explain why know-how sometimes does and sometimes does not consist of propositional knowledge. (shrink)
Our world is a world of change. Children are born and grow into adults. Material possessions rust and decay with age and ultimately perish. Yet scepticism about change is as old as philosophy itself. Heraclitus, for example, argued that nothing could survive the replacement of parts, so that it is impossible to step into the same river twice. Zeno argued that motion is paradoxical, so that nothing can alter its location. Parmenides and his followers went even further, arguing that the (...) very concept of qualitative change is inconsistent. Change in any respect is impossible, they argued, as change requires difference and nothing differs from itself. Few today would accept the Eleatic conclusion that change is impossible. But the topic of change continues to be a source of much debate, as it brings together various issues that are central to metaphysics, language, and logic – including identity, persistence, time, tense, and temporal logic. Author Recommends Wasserman, Ryan. 'The Problem of Change.' Philosophy Compass 1 (2006): 1–10. This article presents the problem of change and provides a brief survey of potential solutions. Haslanger, Sally. 'Persistence Through Time.' The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics . Eds. M. Loux and D. Zimmerman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2003. This article presents the problem of change and provides a detailed survey of potential solutions. Heller, Mark. 'Things Change.' Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (1992): 695–704. This article presents, explains, and defends the temporal parts solution to the problem of change. Hinchliff, Mark. 'The Puzzle of Change.' Philosophical Perspectives 10 (1996): 119–36. This article presents, explains, and defends the presentist solution to the problem of change. Wasserman, Ryan. 'The Argument from Temporary Intrinsics.' Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (2003): 413–19. This article presents, explains, and defends the relationist solution to the problem of change. Sider, Theodore. Four-Dimensionalism . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. This book provides an introduction to various issues related to the problem of change, including the nature of time, tense, and persistence. Chapter 5 presents, explains, and defends the stage-view solution to the problem of change. Online Materials Change. URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/change/ The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on change, by Chris Mortensen. Time. URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/time/ The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on time, by Ned Markosian. Temporal Parts. URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/temporal-parts/ The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on temporal parts, by KatherineHawley. Material Constitution. URL: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/material-constitution/ The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy entry on material constitution, by Ryan Wasserman. Persistence Bibliography. URL: http://tedsider.org/teaching/pp_bibliography.pdf A bibliography on change and related issues, by Theodore Sider. Sample Syllabus Books on Syllabus Rea, Michael. Material Constitution: A Reader . Lanham: Rowman & Littlefield, 1997. Sider, Theodore. Four-Dimensionalism . Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001. van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. 2008. Metaphysics: The Big Questions . 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008. Week 1: Time and Tense Four-Dimensionalism , chapters 1 and 2. Markosian, Ned. 'A Defence of Presentism.' Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, Volume 1. Ed. D. Zimmerman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004: 47–82. In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 116-123. In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 124-129. Week 2: Time and Persistence Four-Dimensionalism , chapter 3. McGrath, Matthew. 'Temporal Parts.' Philosophy Compass 2 (2007): 730–48. In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 265-267. Hawthorne, J, Scala, M., and Wasserman, R. 'Recombination, Humean Supervenience, and Causal Constraints: An Argument for Temporal Parts?' Oxford Studies in Metaphysics , Volume 1. Ed. D. Zimmerman, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004: 301-318. Week 3: Change and Presentism In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 141-149. In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 267-269. In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 269-281. Week 4: Change and Temporal Parts Four-Dimensionalism , pp. 92–8. Heller, Mark. 'Things Change.' Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 52 (1992): 695–704. Lombard, Lawrence. 'The Doctrine of Temporal Parts and the "No Change" Objection.' Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 54 (1994): 365–72. Week 5: Change, Relationism, and Adverbialism Hawley, Katherine. 'Why Temporary Properties are not Relations between Physical Objects and Times.' Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 98 (1998): 211–16. Wasserman, Ryan. 'The Argument from Temporary Intrinsics.' Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (2003): 413–19. Lewis, David. 'Tensing the Copula.' Mind 111 (2002): 1–13. Caplan, Ben. 'Why so Tense about the Copula?' Mind 114 (2007): 703–8. Week 6: Change and Tropes Ehring, Douglas. 'Lewis, Temporary Intrinsics and Momentary Tropes.' Analysis 57 (1997): 254–8. MacBride, Fraser. 'Four New Ways to Change Your Shape.' Australasian Journal of Philosophy 79 (2001): 81–9. Simons, Peter. 'On Being Spread Out in Time: Temporal Parts and the Problem of Change.' Existence and Explanation . Eds. W. Spohn, B.C. van Fraassen, and B. Skyrms. Dordrecht: Kluwer, 1991: 131-147. Weeks 7 and 8: Special Topic – Material Change Four-Dimensionalism , chapter 5. Selections from Material Constitution: A Reader. Week 9: Special Topic – Change of Position In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 186-195. In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 195-215. Week 10: Special topic – Changing the Past In van Inwagen, P. and Zimmerman, D. Metaphysics: The Big Questions. 2nd ed. Oxford: Blackwell, 2008: 224-235. van Iwagen, Peter. 'Changing the Past.' Oxford Studies in Metaphysics , Volume 5 . Ed. D. Zimmerman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009: 1-22. Hudson, H. and Wasserman, R. 'Van Inwagen on Time Travel and Changing the Past.' Oxford Studies in Metaphysics , Volume 5. Ed. D. Zimmerman. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2009: 41-49. (shrink)
The Vagueness Argument for universalism only works if you think there is a good reason not to endorse nihilism. Sider’s argument from the possibility of gunk is one of the more popular reasons. Further, Hawley has given an argument for the necessity of everything being either gunky or composed of mereological simples. I argue that Hawley’s argument rests on the same premise as Sider’s argument for the possibility of gunk. Further, I argue that that premise can be used (...) to demonstrate the possibility of simples. Once you stick it all together, you get an absurd consequence. I then survey the possible lessons we could draw from this, arguing that whichever one you take yields an interesting result. (shrink)
We analyse and assess the qualified majority (QM) decision rule for the Council of Ministers of the EU, adopted at the Council of the European Union, Brussels, 23 June 2007. This rule is essentially the same as that adopted at the Inter-Governmental Conference, Brussels, 18 June 2004. We compare this rule with the QM rule prescribed in the Treaty of Nice, and the scientifically-based rule known as the ‘Jagelonian Compromise’.
This book constitutes the refereed proceedings of the 8th International Conference on Theory and Applications of Satisfiability Testing, SAT 2005, held in St Andrews, Scotland in June 2005. The 26 revised full papers presented together with 16 revised short papers presented as posters during the technical programme were carefully selected from 73 submissions. The whole spectrum of research in propositional and quantified Boolean formula satisfiability testing is covered including proof systems, search techniques, probabilistic analysis of algorithms and their properties, (...) problem encodings, industrial applications, specific tools, case studies, and empirical results. (shrink)
In Memoriam: Vonne Lund (July 4th 1955–June 3rd 2009) Content Type Journal Article Pages 101-103 DOI 10.1007/s10806-010-9275-1 Authors Helena Rocklinsberg, Department of Animal Environment and Health; Ethics, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU), Box 7068, 750 07 Uppsala, Sweden Mickey Gjerris, Danish Centre for Bioethics and Risk Assessment, University of Copenhagen, Rolighedsvej 25, 1958 Frederiksberg C, Denmark Journal Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics Online ISSN 1573-322X Print ISSN 1187-7863 Journal Volume Volume 24 Journal Issue Volume 24, Number 2.
We analyse and evaluate the qualified majority (QM) decision rule for the Council of Ministers of the EU adopted at the EU Inter-Governmental Conference, Brussels, 18 June 2004 . We compare this rule with the QM rule prescribed in the Treaty of Nice, and the rule included in the original draft Constitution proposed by the European Convention in July 2003. We use a method similar to the one we used in  and .
This twelfth volume of Correspondence contains authoritative and fully annotated texts of all known letters sent both to and from Bentham between July 1824 and June 1828. The 301 letters, most of which have never before been published, have been collected from archives, public and private, in Britain, the United States of America, Switzerland, France, Japan, and elsewhere, as well as from the major collections of Bentham Papers at University College London Library and the British Library. -/- In mid-1824 (...) Bentham was still preoccupied with the Greek struggle for independence against Turkey, though his active involvement waned as he became disenchanted with the behaviour of the deputies sent to London by the Greek National Assembly. His international reputation was reflected in his continuing contact with Simón Bolívar and Bernardino Rivadavia in South America, and with John Quincy Adams, John Neal, Henry Wheaton, and others in the United States, and his forging of new contacts in Guatemala, India, and Egypt. In the autumn of 1825 he visited France, where he stayed with Jean Baptiste Say and La Fayette, and was fêted by the French liberals. -/- Bentham made considerable progress drafting material for his pannomion, or complete code of laws, and in particular for his Constitutional and Procedure Codes, while John Stuart Mill edited the massive Rationale of Judicial Evidence. Bentham became increasingly active in the cause of law reform, and exchanged a series of letters on the subject with Robert Peel, the Home Secretary, and Henry Brougham. He maintained his friendships with John and Sarah Austin, George and Harriet Grote, James and John Stuart Mill, John Bowring, Joseph Hume, Francis Burdett, Francis Place, and Joseph Parkes, re-established contact with the third Marquis of Lansdowne, son of his old friend the first Marquis, and made new acquaintances in James Humphreys, Sutton Sharpe, and Albany Fonblanque. (shrink)
Maximizing act consequentialism holds that actions are morally permissible if and only if they maximize the value of consequences—if and only if, that is, no alternative action in the given choice situation has more valuable consequences.[i] It is subject to two main objections. One is that it fails to recognize that morality imposes certain constraints on how we may promote value. Maximizing act consequentialism fails to recognize, I shall argue, that the ends do not always justify the means. Actions with (...) maximally valuable consequences are not always permissible. The second main objection to maximizing act consequentialism is that it mistakenly holds that morality requires us to maximize value. Morality, I shall argue, only requires that we satisfice (promote sufficiently) value, and thus leaves us a greater range of options than maximizing act consequentialism recognizes. (shrink)
I begin with a personal confession. Philosophical discussions of existence have always bored me. When they occur, my eyes glaze over and my attention falters. Basically ontological questions often seem best decided by banging on the table--rocks exist, fairies do not. Argument can appear long-winded and miss the point. Sometimes a quick distinction resolves any apparent difficulty. Does a falling tree in an earless forest make noise, ie does the noise exist? Well, if noise means that an ear must be (...) there to hear it, then the answer to the question is evidently "no." But if noise means that, if there were (counterfactually) someone there, then he would hear it, then just as obviously, the answer becomes "yes.". (shrink)
The point of departure for this panel is a somewhat controversial paper that I published in the American Mathematical Monthly under the title “Does mathematics need new axioms?” . The paper itself was based on a lecture that I gave in 1997 to a joint session of the American Mathematical Society and the Mathematical Association of America, and it was thus written for a general mathematical audience. Basically, it was intended as an assessment of Gödel’s program for new axioms that (...) he had advanced most prominently in his 1947 paper for the Monthly, entitled “What is Cantor’s continuum problem?” . My paper aimed to be an assessment of that program in the light of research in mathematical logic in the intervening years, beginning in the 1960s, but especially in more recent years. (shrink)
This paper is intended as a critical examination of the question of when the use of computer simulations is beneficial to scientific explanations. This objective is pursued in two steps: First, I try to establish clear criteria that simulations must meet in order to be explanatory. Basically, a simulation has explanatory power only if it includes all causally relevant factors of a given empirical configuration and if the simulation delivers stable results within the measurement inaccuracies of the input parameters. If (...) a simulation is not explanatory, it can still be meaningful for exploratory purposes, but only under very restricted conditions. In the second step, I examine a few examples of Axelrod-style simulations as they have been used to understand the evolution of cooperation (Axelrod, Schüßler) and the evolution of the social contract (Skyrms). These simulations do not meet the criteria for explanatory validity and it can be shown, as I believe, that they lead us astray from the scientific problems they have been addressed to solve and at the same time bar our imagination against more conventional but still better approaches. (shrink)