The goal of this paper is to offer a compositional semantics for subjunctive and indicative will conditionals, and to derive the projection properties of the types of conditionals we consider and in particular those of counterfactual conditionals. It is argued that subjunctive conditionals are "bare" conditional embedded under temporal and aspectural operators, which constrain the interpretation of the modal operators in the embedded conditional. Furthermore, it is argued that a theory of presupposition projection à la Heim together with the present (...) proposal about their logical form explains the projection facts. (shrink)
∗ These are preliminary notes for a future chapter of a book I am writing, which is going to be a linguistic guide to conditionals. I would be appreciate all the help I can get. I already have Sabine Iatridou and MichelaIppolito to thank, who both know much more about tense and tense in conditionals than I will ever know. I also need to acknowledge my admiration for Jonathan Bennett and his amazingly nutritious Philosophical Guide to (...) Conditionals. Lastly, when I was writing my dissertation, Roger Higgins urged me to study the works of Vic Dudman, where I learned a lot – among other things what a scarily complex topic this is. (shrink)
This paper investigates some metaphysical and epistemological assumptions behind Bogen and Woodward’s data-to-phenomena inferences. I raise a series of points and suggest an alternative possible Kantian stance about data-to-phenomena inferences. I clarify the nature of the suggested Kantian stance by contrasting it with McAllister’s view about phenomena as patterns in data sets.
In this paper I argue-against van Fraassen's constructive empiricism-that the practice of saving phenomena is much broader than usually thought, and includes unobservable phenomena as well as observable ones. My argument turns on the distinction between data and phenomena: I discuss how unobservable phenomena manifest themselves in data models and how theoretical models able to save them are chosen. I present a paradigmatic case study taken from the history of particle physics to illustrate my argument. The first aim of this (...) paper is to draw attention to the experimental practice of saving unobservable phenomena, which philosophers have overlooked for too long. The second aim is to explore some far-reaching implications this practice may have for the debate on scientific realism and constructive empiricism. (shrink)
This paper explores the scientific sources behind Kant’s early dynamic theory of matter in 1755, with a focus on two main Kant’s writings: Universal Natural History and Theory of the Heavens and On Fire. The year 1755 has often been portrayed by Kantian scholars as a turning point in the intellectual career of the young Kant, with his much debated conversion to Newton. Via a careful analysis of some salient themes in the two aforementioned works, and a reconstruction of the (...) scientific sources behind them, this paper shows Kant’s debt to an often overlooked scientific tradition, i.e. speculative Newtonian experimentalism. The paper argues that more than the Principia, it was the speculative experimentalism that goes from Newton’s Opticks to Herman Boerhaave’s Elementa chemiae via Stephen Hales’ Vegetable Staticks that played a central role in the elaboration of Kant’s early dynamic theory of matter in 1755. (shrink)
Experimental realism aims at striking a middle ground between scientific realism and anti-realism, between the success of experimental physics it would explain and the realism about scientific theories it would supplant. This middle ground reinstates the engineering idea that belief in scientific entities is justified on purely experimental grounds, without any commitment to scientific theories and laws. This paper argues that there is no defensible middle ground to be staked out when it comes to justifying physicists' belief in colored quarks, (...) and that experimental realism shifts, under analysis, into scientific realism. (shrink)
Die Unterscheidung von verschiedenen GedÃ¤chtnisformen und -systemen sowie die Beziehung zwischen GedÃ¤chtnis und Leiblichkeit stehen sowohl im Fokus der kognitionswissenschaftlichen, als auch der phÃ¤nomenologischen Debatte. In diesem Artikel wird versucht, beide AnsÃ¤tze zum Thema in einen Dialog zu bringen. Das LeibgedÃ¤chtnis wird hier zunÃ¤chst phÃ¤nomenologisch als der konkreteste Ausdruck des impliziten GedÃ¤chtnisses bestimmt. Basierend auf Edmund Husserls Analysen zum Zeitbewusstsein und zur leiblichen Erfahrung werden folglich die Strukturen und die Dynamik des LeibgedÃ¤chtnisses hervorgehoben. Dabei wird gezeigt, dass das LeibgedÃ¤chtnis sowohl (...) in den Wahrnehmungsprozessen als auch in der Gestaltung des prÃ¤reflektiven leiblichen Selbstbewusstseins eine unentbehrliche Rolle spielt. SchlieÃŸlich wird die Relevanz der durchgefÃ¼hrten phÃ¤nomenologischen Analysen im Rahmen der aktuellen Debatte Ã¼ber GedÃ¤chtnissysteme in den Kognitionswissenschaften diskutiert. (shrink)
This paper concerns the question of whether Pauli's Exclusion Principle (EP) vindicates the contingent truth of Leibniz's Principle of the Identity of Indiscernibles (PII) for fermions as H. Weyl first suggested with the nomenclature ‘Pauli–Leibniz principle’. This claim has been challenged by a time-honoured argument, originally due to H. Margenau and further articulated and champione by other authors. According to this argument, the Exclusion Principle—far from vindicating Leibniz's principle—would refute it, since the same reduced state, viz. an improper mixture, can (...) be assigned as a separate state to each fermion of a composite system in antisymmetric state. As a result, the two fermions do have the same monadic state-dependent properties and hence are indiscernibles. PII would then be refuted in its strong version (viz. for monadic properties). I shall argue that a misleading assumption underlies Margenau's argument: in the case of two fermions in antisymmetric state, no separate states should be invoked since the states of the two particles are entangled and the improper mixture—assigned to each fermion by reduction—cannot be taken as an ontologically separate state nor consequently as encoding monadic properties. I shall then conclude that the notion of monadic properties together with the strong version of PII are inapplicable to fermions in antisymmetric state and this undercuts Margenau's argument. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that demonstrative induction can deal with the problem ofthe underdetermination of theory by evidence. I present the historical case studyof spectroscopy in the early 1920s, where the choice among different theorieswas apparently underdetermined by spectroscopic evidence concerning the alkalidoublets and their anomalous Zeeman effect. By casting this historical episodewithin the methodological framework of demonstrative induction, the localunderdetermination among Bohr's, Heisenberg's, and Pauli's rival theories isresolved in favour of Pauli's theory of the electron's spin.
The aim of this paper is to present a new perspective under which branching-time semantics can be viewed. The set of histories (maximal linearly ordered sets) in a tree structure can be endowed in a natural way with a topological structure. Properties of trees and of bundled trees can be expressed in topological terms. In particular, we can consider the new notion of topological validity for Ockhamist temporal formulae. It will be proved that this notion of validity is equivalent to (...) validity with respect to bundled trees. (shrink)
Philosophers and Buddhist scholars have noted the affinities between David Hume’s empiricism and the Buddhist philosophical tradition. I show that it was possible for Hume to have had contact with Buddhist philosophical views. The link to Buddhism comes through the Jesuit scholars at the Royal College of La Flèche. Charles François Dolu was a Jesuit missionary who lived at the Royal College from 1723–1740, overlapping with Hume’s stay. He had extensive knowledge both of other religions and cultures and of scientific (...) ideas. Dolu had had first-hand experience with Theravada Buddhism as part of the second French embassy to Siam in 1687–1688. In 1727, Dolu also had talked with Ippolito Desideri, a Jesuit missionary who visited Tibet and made an extensive study of Tibetan Buddhism from 1716–1721. It is at least possible that Hume heard about Buddhist ideas through Dolu. (shrink)
This paper explores the question concerning the relationship between basic and higher layers of experience and self-experience. The latter distinction implicitly presupposes the idea of a univocal foundation. After explaining the formal ontological law of foundation, an attempt is made to clarify how the idea of foundation may be suitable to understand the relationship among moments, or layers, of self-experience. To this aim, the phenomenological descriptions of self- and world-experience in dementia and schizophrenia are compared. The comparison between these two, (...) in many ways radically different, pathologies allows us to highlight both the potentialities and the limits of resorting to the foundational relationship for the description of lived experience. Taking the challenges coming from the description of dementia and schizophrenia into serious consideration, the meaning of the “stratified” account of self-experience will be eventually reassessed, and a way to complement the idea of foundation among layers will be proposed. (shrink)
In this opinion piece, the authors offer their personal and idiosyncratic views of the future of the philosophy of science, focusing on its relationship with the history of science and metaphysics, respectively. With regard to the former, they suggest that the Kantian tradition might be drawn upon both to render the history and philosophy of science more relevant to philosophy as a whole and to overcome the challenges posed by naturalism. When it comes to the latter, they suggest both that (...) metaphysics has much to learn from the philosophy of science and that it offers an array of tools that philosophers of science can themselves appropriate. (shrink)
L’arte della memoria è uno degli archetipi della cultura occidentale fin dall’antica Grecia: è stato Platone ad ‘inventare’ l’immagine dell’anima come blocco di cera, su cui le sensazioni si imprimono come segni di sigilli; ed è stato poi Aristotele a riprendere in parte questo modello, arricchendolo però di temi fondamentali. Ma anche in epoche successive l’arte della memoria ha svolto una funzione fondamentale intrecciandosi a temi sia epistemologici che di schietta natura metafisica. Questo volume, frutto di un seminario tenuto alla (...) Scuola Normale nel settembre 2006, intende ripercorrere alcune delle principali stazioni della riflessione sulla memoria fra antichità e mondo moderno chiedendosi se, e in quale misura, questa relativa continuità di approccio si debba ad un consapevole attingere alla tradizione platonica e aristotelica; se, e in quale misura, elementi comuni o varianti del modello iniziale siano riportabili alle metafore adottate, sin da subito, per la descrizione dei processi mentali – riconducibili in ogni caso all’idea comune di ‘tracce’ che la sensazione imprime nell’anima. (shrink)