This is a 'state of the art' collection of essays on the relation between probabilities, especially conditional probabilities, and conditionals. It provides new negative results which sharply limit the ways conditionals can be related to conditional probabilities. There are also positive ideas and results which will open up new areas of research. The collection is intended to honour Ernest W. Adams, whose seminal work is largely responsible for creating this area of inquiry. As well as describing, evaluating, and (...) applying Adams' work the contributions extend his ideas in directions he may or may not have anticipated, but that he certainly inspired. In addition to a wide range of philosophers of science, the volume should interest computer scientists and linguists. (shrink)
Among philosophers, there are at least two prevalent views about the core concept of intentional action. View I (Adams 1986, 1997; McCann 1986) holds that an agent S intentionally does an action A only if S intends to do A. View II (Bratman 1987; Harman 1976; and Mele 1992) holds that there are cases where S intentionally does A without intending to do A, as long as doing A is foreseen and S is willing to accept A as a (...) consequence of S’s action. Joshua Knobe (2003a) presents intriguing data that may be taken to support the second view.1 Knobe’s data show an asymmetry in folk judgements. People are more inclined to judge that S did A intentionally, even when not intended, if A was perceived as causing a harm (e.g. harming the environment). There is an asymmetry because people are not inclined to see S’s action as intentional, when not intended, if A is perceived as causing a beneﬁt (e.g. helping the environment). In this paper we will discuss Knobe’s results in detail. We will raise the question of whether his ordinary language surveys of folk judgments have accessed core concepts of intentional action. We suspect that instead Knobe’s surveys are tapping into pragmatic aspects of intentional language and its role in moral praise and blame. We will suggest alternative surveys that we plan to conduct to get at this difference, and we will attempt to explain the pragmatic usage of intentional language. (shrink)
In a recent paper, Al Mele (2003) suggests that the Simple View of intentional action is “fiction” because it is “wholly unconstrained” by a widely shared (folk) concept of intentional action. The Simple View (Adams, 1986, McCann, 1986) states that an action is intentional only if intended. As evidence that the Simple View is not in accord with the folk notion of intentional action, Mele appeals to recent surveys of folk judgments by Joshua Knobe (2003, 2004a, 2004b). Knobe’s surveys (...) appear to show that the folk judge unintended but known side effects of actions to be performed intentionally. In this paper we will reject Mele’s suggestion that the Simple View is “fiction.” We will also discuss the relationship between surveys and philosophical theories, and the abilities of surveys to access folk core concepts. We will argue that considerations of both fail to support Mele’s suggestion. (shrink)
Different inferences in probabilistic logics of conditionals 'preserve' the probabilities of their premisses to different degrees. Some preserve certainty, some high probability, some positive probability, and some minimum probability. In the first case conclusions must have probability I when premisses have probability 1, though they might have probability 0 when their premisses have any lower probability. In the second case, roughly speaking, if premisses are highly probable though not certain then conclusions must also be highly probable. In the third case (...) conclusions must have positive probability when premisses do, and in the last case conclusions must be at least as probable as their least probable premisses. Precise definitions and well known examples are given for each of these properties, characteristic principles are shown to be valid and complete for deriving conclusions of each of these kinds, and simple trivalent truthtable 'tests' are described for determining which properties are possessed by any given inference. Brief comments are made on the application of these results to certain modal inferences such as "Jones may own a car, and if he does he will have a driver's license. Therefore, he may have a driver's license.". (shrink)
The distinguished philosopher Robert M. Adams presents a major work on virtue, which is once again a central topic in ethical thought. A Theory of Virtue is a systematic, comprehensive framework for thinking about the moral evaluation of character. Many recent attempts to stake out a place in moral philosophy for this concern define virtue in terms of its benefits for the virtuous person or for human society more generally. In Part One of this book Adams presents and (...) defends a conception of virtue as intrinsic excellence of character, worth prizing for its own sake and not only for its benefits. In the other two parts he addresses two challenges to the ancient idea of excellence of character. One challenge arises from the importance of altruism in modern ethical thought, and the question of what altruism has to do with intrinsic excellence. Part Two argues that altruistic benevolence does indeed have a crucial place in excellence of character, but that moral virtue should also be expected to involve excellence in being for other goods besides the well-being (and the rights) of other persons. It explores relations among cultural goods, personal relationships, one's own good, and the good of others, as objects of excellent motives. The other challenge, the subject of Part Three of the book, is typified by doubts about the reality of moral virtue, arising from experiments and conclusions in social psychology. Adams explores in detail the prospects for an empirically realistic conception of excellence of character as an object of moral aspiration, endeavor, and education. He argues that such a conception will involve renunciation of the ancient thesis of the unity or mutual implication of all virtues, and acknowledgment of sufficient 'moral luck' in the development of any individual's character to make virtue very largely a gift, rather than an individual achievement, though nonetheless excellent and admirable for that. (shrink)
The Multicultural Imagination is a challenging inquiry into the complex interrelationship between our ideas about race, color and the unconscious. Drawing on clinical case material, Michael Vannoy Adams argues that race is just as important as sex or any other content of the unconscious. He does not assume that racism will simply vanish if we psychoanalyze a patient, but shows how a non-defensive ego and a self-image that is receptive to other-images can move us towards a more productive (...) discourse of cultural differences. The Multicultural Imagination provokes the reader--analyst or not--to confront personally those unconscious attitudes which stand in the way of authentic multicultural relationships. (shrink)
How can the Body and Blood of Christ, without ever leaving heaven, come to be really present on eucharistic altars where the bread and wine still seem to be? Thirteenth and fourteenth century Christian Aristotelians thought the answer had to be "transubstantiation." -/- Acclaimed philosopher, Marilyn McCord Adams, investigates these later medieval theories of the Eucharist, concentrating on the writings of Thomas Aquinas, Giles of Rome, Duns Scotus, and William Ockham, with some reference to Peter Lombard, Hugh of St. (...) Victor, and Bonaventure. She examines how their efforts to formulate and integrate this theological datum provoked them to make significant revisions in Aristotelian philosophical theories regarding the metaphysical structure and location of bodies, differences between substance and accidents, causality and causal powers, and fundamental types of change. Setting these developments in the theological context that gave rise to the question draws attention to their understandings of the sacraments and their purpose, as well as to their understandings of the nature and destiny of human beings. -/- Adams concludes that their philosophical modifications were mostly not ad hoc, but systematic revisions that made room for transubstantiation while allowing Aristotle still to describe what normally and naturally happens. By contrast, their picture of the world as it will be (after the last judgment) seems less well integrated with their sacramental theology and their understandings of human nature. (shrink)
This short source describes the history of the kalam and how it was adopted by Muslims. Furthermore it outlines an argument made by al-Ghazali in defense of the existence of a Creator. The chapter as a whole concerns the kalam cosmological argument, which holds that there is a reason for the existence of the universe.
Modifications of current theories of ordinal, interval and extensive measurement are presented, which aim to accomodate the empirical fact that perfectly exact measurement is not possible (which is inconsistent with current theories). The modification consists in dropping the assumption that equality (in measure) is observable, but continuing to assume that inequality (greater or lesser) can be observed. The modifications are formulated mathematically, and the central problems of formal measurement theory--the existence and uniqueness of numerical measures consistent with data--are re-examined. Some (...) results also are given on a problem which does not arise in current theories: namely that of determining limits of accuracy attainable on the basis of observations. (shrink)
Applying first-order logic to derive the consequences of laws that are only approximately true of empirical phenomena involves idealization of a kind that is akin to applying arithmetic to calculate the area of a rectangular surface from approximate measures of the lengths of its sides. Errors in the data, in the exactness of the lengths in one case and in the exactness of the laws in the other, are in some measure transmitted to the consequences deduced from them, and the (...) aim of a theory of idealization is to describe this process. The present paper makes a start on this in the case of applied first-order logic, and relates it to Plato's picture of a world or model of 'appearances' in which laws are only approximately true, but which to some extent resembles an ideal world or model in which they are exactly true. (shrink)
. Syllogisms like Barbara, “If all S is M and all M is P, then all S is P”, are here analyzed not in terms of the truth of their categorical constituents, “all S is M”, etc., but rather in terms of the corresponding proportions, e.g., of Ss that are Ms. This allows us to consider the inferences’ approximate validity, and whether the fact that most Ss are Ms and most Ms are Ps guarantees that most Ss are Ps. It (...) turns out that no standard syllogism is universally valid in this sense, but special ‘default rules’ govern approximate reasoning of this kind. Special attention is paid to inferences involving existential propositions of the “Some S is M” form, where it is does not make sense to say “Almost some S is M”, but where it is important that in everyday speech, “Some” does not mean “At least one”, but rather “A not insignificant number”. (shrink)
I suppose that 'ravens are black' is an inexact generalization having a degree of truth measured by the proportion of ravens that are black, and a probability measured by its expected degree of truth in different 'possible worlds.' Given this, 'ravens are black' differs in truth, probability, and confirmation from 'non-black things are not ravens', and this suggests a new approach to Hempel's Paradox as well as to other aspects of confirmation. Basic concepts of a formal theory developing this approach (...) are described, and some of its fundamental laws are given, together with sketches of applications. (shrink)
An informal theory is set forth of relations between abstract entities, includingcolors, physical quantities, times, andplaces in space, and the concrete things thathave them, or areat orin them, based on the assumption that there are close analogies between these relations and relations between abstractsets and the concrete things that aremembers of them. It is suggested that even standard scientific usage of these abstractions presupposes principles that are analogous to postulates of abstraction, identity, and other fundamental principles of set theory. Also (...) discussed is the significance of important disanalogies between sets and physical abstractions, including especiallymodal andtemporal aspects of physical abstractions, which is related to the problem of the characterizingconstancy, of colors, physical attributes, and locations in space. (shrink)
LetL(K) denote the lattice (ordered by inclusion) of quasivarieties contained in a quasivarietyK and letD 2 denote the variety of distributive (0, 1)-lattices with 2 additional nullary operations. In the present paperL(D 2) is described. As a consequence, ifM+N stands for the lattice join of the quasivarietiesM andN, then minimal quasivarietiesV 0,V 1, andV 2 are given each of which is generated by a 2-element algebra and such that the latticeL(V 0+V1), though infinite, still admits an easy and nice description (...) (see Figure 2) while the latticeL(V 0+V1+V2), because of its intricate inner structure, does not. In particular, it is shown thatL(V 0+V1+V2) contains as a sublattice the ideal lattice of a free lattice with free generators. Each of the quasivarietiesV 0,V 1, andV 2 is generated by a 2-element algebra inD 2. (shrink)
The Birkhoff-Maltsev problem asks for a characterization of those lattices each of which is isomorphic to the lattice L(K) of all subquasivarieties for some quasivariety K of algebraic systems. The current status of this problem, which is still open, is discussed. Various unsolved questions that are related to the Birkhoff-Maltsev problem are also considered, including ones that stem from the theory of propositional logics.
That inferences of the form "If M then S and possibly M, therefore possibly S" are invalid in possible worlds modal logics can be viewed as another fallacy of material implication. However, this paper argues that properly analyzing this and related inferences requires treating the possibility involved as a practical modality. Specifically, ordinary language propositions of the form "It is possible that M" must be understood to mean that there is a non-negligible probability of M being the case. But this (...) entails reexamining the very idea of logical validity. (shrink)
Aspects of a formal theory of approximate generalizations, according to which they have degrees of truth measurable by the proportions of their instances for which they are true, are discussed. The idealizability of laws in theories of fundamental measurement is considered: given that the laws of these theories are only approximately true "in the real world", does it follow that slight changes in the extensions of their predicates would make them exactly true?