I present in this paper a line of refutation of the Simulation Argument. I recall first Bostrom's Simulation Argument. I draw then a comparison between the Emerald Case and the core analogy underlying the Simulation Argument. I also discuss the justification of the Self-Indication Assumption and its relationship with the Simulation Argument. I show lastly that the Simulation Argument is a disguised reformulation of an application of an extended form of the Self-Indication Assumption to the situation related to (...) the Simulation Argument. (shrink)
: This article contributes to the contemporary debate regarding the young Heidegger's method of formal indication. Theodore Kisiel argues that this method constitutes a radical break with Husserl—a rejection of phenomenological reflection that paves the way to the non-reflective approach of the Beiträge. Against this view, Steven Crowell argues that formal indication is continuous with Husserlian phenomenology—a refinement of phenomenological reflection that reveals its existential sources. I evaluate this debate and adduce further considerations in favor of Crowell's view. (...) To do so, I analyze the young Heidegger's account of phenomenological communication and argue that it further reflects the continuity that Crowell identifies: as he does with reflection, Heidegger refines Husserl's account of phenomenological communication and sheds light on its existential sources. (shrink)
This paper is about two kinds of mental content and how they are related. We are going to call them representation and indication. We will begin with a rough characterization of each. The differences, and why they matter, will, hopefully, become clearer as the paper proceeds.
For Heidegger, phenomenological investigation is carried out by formal indication, the name given to the methodical approach he assumes in Being and Time. This paper attempts to draw attention to the nature of formal indication in light of the fact that it has been largely lost upon American scholarship (mainly due to its inconsistent translation). The roots of the concept of formal indication are shown in two ways. First, its thematic treatment in Heidegger's 1921/22 Winter Semester course, (...) Phenomenological Investigations into Aristotle, is examined to make clear what Heidegger silently assumes in Being and Time. Second, Heidegger's adaptation of Husserl's use of the term, indication, is outlined to clarify the concept even more. The enhanced understanding of formal indication granted by these two points leads to a better grasp of Heidegger's concept of truth, for formal indication and truth are mutually implied for Heidegger. Finally, it is suggested that the reader of Being and Time, on the basis of what formal indication demands, approach the work not as a doctrine to be learned but as a task always requiring further completion. (shrink)
The paper seeks to show how Heidegger recasts the problem of reification in Being and Time, so as to address the methodological procedure of formal indication, outlined in his early writings, in order to carry out a deconstruction of ancient ontology. By revisiting Marx's and Lukács's critique of objectification in social relations, especially the former's critique of alienation, in light of Honneth's critical theory of recognition, it is shown how a Heideggerian-inspired phenomenology of sociality could be reconstructed out of (...) the semantic correlation between reification and formal indication. (shrink)
In a recent paper in this journal, Ken Olum attempts to refute the Doomsday argument by appealing to the self-indication assumption (SIA), the idea that your very existence gives you reason to think that there are many observers. In contrast to earlier refutation attempts that use this strategy, Olum confronts and try to counter some of the objections that have been made against SIA. We argue that his defense of SIA is unsuccessful. This does not, however, mean that one (...) has to accept the Doomsday argument (or the other counterintuitive results that flow from related thought experiments). A developed theory of observation selection effects shows why the Doomsday argument is inconclusive and how one can consistently reject both it and SIA. (shrink)
This paper examines Heidegger’s account of the proper relation between philosophy and theology, and Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s critique thereof. Part I outlines Heidegger’s proposal for this relationship in his lecture “Phenomenology and Theology,” where he suggests that philosophy might aid theology by means of ‘formal indication.’ In that context Heidegger never articulates what formal indication is, so Part II exposits this obscure notion by looking at its treatment in Heidegger’s early lecture courses, as well as its roots in Husserl. (...) Part III presents Bonhoeffer’s theological response, which challenges Heidegger’s attempt to maintain a neutral ontology that remains unaffected by both sin and faith. (shrink)
Typical Gettieresque scenarios involve a subject, S, using a method, M, of believing something, p, where, normally, M is a reliable indicator of the truth of p, yet, in S’s circumstances, M is not reliable: M is deleteriously rigged. A different sort of scenario involves rigging that restores the reliability of a method M that is deleteriously rigged: M is restoratively rigged. Some theorists criticize (among others) the safe indication account of knowledge defended by Luper, Sosa, and Williamson on (...) the grounds that it treats such cases as knowledge. But other theorists also criticize the safe indication account because it treats the cases as examples of ignorance when they are really examples of knowledge. I answer both groups of critics by arguing that (1) restorative rigging can enable us to know things, and (2) restoratively rigged cases can meet the relevant conditions of the safe indication account. (shrink)
Throughout the 1920s Heidegger's answer to the question of how to conceive of the phenomenon as a phenomenon has been the “formal indication,” that is a non-subsuming, non-generalizing type of discourse. Through a detailed interpretation of the sporadic explanations he gives on the matter, I try to point out some of the inconsistencies in his conception, and then work them out. I try to show in particular how Heidegger's emphasis on the method of phenomenology, which expresses his unrelenting desire (...) to let the phenomenon be seen in itself, led him to overlook the essential role of language in phenomenological analysis. (shrink)
In this paper it is argued that the general problem of indication, increasingly discussed in the field of psychotherapy in recent years, actually is a pseudoproblem with no solution to be expected. In its objectives and premises it is trongly suggestive of conceptions and ideas of early logical empiricism, to be considered as out-of-date today. The concept of indication is identified as ambiguous, and preliminary remarks aiming at an explication of the concept are made. Finally, the consequences of (...) our arguments for the immediate problem of integration of the different therapeutic approaches are pointed out. (shrink)
In the thirties, Martin Heidegger was heavily involved with the work of Ernst Jünger (1895-1998). He says that he is indebted to Jünger for the ‘enduring stimulus’ provided by his descriptions. The question is: what exactly could this enduring stimulus be? Several interpreters have examined this question, but the recent publication of lectures and annotations of the thirties allow us to follow Heidegger’s confrontation with Jünger more precisely. -/- According to Heidegger, the main theme of his philosophical thinking in the (...) thirties was the overcoming of the metaphysics of the will to power. But whereas he seems to be quite revolutionary in heralding ‘another beginning’ of philosophy in the beginning of the thirties, he later on realized that his own revolutionary vocabulary was itself influenced by the will to power. In his later work, one of the main issues is the releasement from the wilful way of philosophical thinking. My hypothesis is that Jünger has this importance for Heidegger in the thirties, because the confrontation with Jünger’s way of thinking showed him that the other beginning of philosophy presupposes the irrevocable releasement of willing and a gelassen or non-willing way of philosophical thinking. -/- In this article, we test this hypothesis in relation to the recently published lectures, annotations and unpublished notes from the thirties. After a brief explanation of Jünger’s diagnosis of modernity (§1), we consider Heidegger’s reception of the work of Jünger in the thirties (§2). He not only sees that Jünger belongs to Nietzsche’s metaphysics of the will to power, but also shows the modern-metaphysical character of Jünger’s way of thinking. In section three, we focus on Heidegger’s confrontation with Jünger in relation to the consummation of modernity. According to Heidegger, Jünger is not only the end of modern metaphysics, but also the perishing (Verendung) of this end, the oblivion of this end in the will to power of representation. In section four, we focus on the real controversy between Jünger and Heidegger: the releasement of willing and the necessity of a radical other beginning of philosophical thinking. -/- . (shrink)
This paper examines the relationship between a family of concepts involving reliable correlation, and a family of concepts involving adaptation and biological function, as these concepts are used in the naturalistic semantic theory of Dretske's "Explaining Behavior." I argue that Dretske's attempt to marry correlation and function to produce representation fails, though aspects of his failure point the way forward to a better theory.
This essay offers a constructive criticism of Part I of Davis’ Meaning, Expression and Thought. After a brief exposition, in Sect. 2, of the main points of the theory that will concern us, I raise a challenge in Sect. 3 for the characterization of expression that is so central to his program. I argue first of all that a sincere expression of a thought, feeling, or mood shows it. Yet attention to this fact reveals that it does not go without (...) saying how it is possible to show such things as thoughts, feelings or moods; we need an account of how this is possible, and I offer a partial such account in Sect. 4. Second, much of the attraction of Davis’ program depends on its ability to explain how linguistic meaning can be arrived at without covertly presupposing linguistic conventions. This in turn depends, in Davis’ hands, upon the claim that it is possible to express any of a wide range of ideas in the absence of conventions. I argue in Sect. 5 that the account of showing at which we will by then have arrived makes clear that Davis needs, and lacks, an explanation of how it is possible to do this. (shrink)
In this essay I attempt a philosophical analysis of the Chinese Buddhist thought of linguistic reference to shed light on how the Buddhist understands the way language refers to an ineffable reality. For this purpose, the essay proceeds in two directions: an enquiry into the linguistic thoughts of Sengzhao (374-414 CE) and Jizang (549-623 CE), two leading Chinese Madhyamika thinkers, and an analysis of the Buddhist simile of a moon-pointing finger. The two approaches respectively constitute the horizontal and vertical axes (...) of this essay. The simile of a moon-pointing finger originated in Indian Buddhism and later received much attention in Chinese Buddhism. In light of the Chinese Buddhist interpretations of the simile, I set forth six theses to make explicit the philosophic implications there involved. They are: (1) words in no way correspond with the ineffable Real and cannot say or properly express the Real; (2) words can point toward the Real by means of the forms meant or properly expressed by them; (3) the forms are plainly different from the Real and so are to be negated; (4) one who takes the forms for the Real not only misunderstands the Real but is also ignorant of the function of language; (5) the forgetting of words and their forms can dissolve the entanglement of language and thought and even lead to the intuition of the Real; (6) the intuition of the Real depends upon extra-linguistic factors as well as language. In elaborating the theses, I resort to passages in Sengzhao’s and Jizang’s works to disclose their linguistic thoughts in relation to the theses. A main concern here is to show how one can speak the unspeakable, how one can refer to an ineffable reality without committing self-contradiction. This is done in relation to their views, the theses as well as a free interpretive analysis. I construe the notion of indication as involving the imposition-cum-negation method and argue that one can use words to indicate the ineffable without at the same time describing it. The ineffable is indescribable, but it can be intimated through indication. Meanwhile, I also discuss Zhuangzi’s notion of word-forgetting as it plays a role in the simile and in Jizang’s philosophy of language. One of the purposes of this essay is to show that while valuing the therapeutic and evocative functions of religious language, Chinese Buddhist thinkers also understand the language indicatively. Without taking note of the indicative function of religious language, one cannot form an adequate picture of the Chinese Buddhist -- especially, the Chinese Madhyamaka -- philosophy of language. (shrink)
With the emergence of modern physics a conflict became apparent between the Principle of Sufficient Cause and the Principle of Physical Causal Closure. Though these principles are not logically incompatible, they could no longer be considered to be both true; one of them had to be false. The present paper makes use of this seldom noticed conflict to argue on the basis of considerations of comparative rationality for the truth of causal statements that have at least some degree of philosophico-theological (...) relevance and can be taken to indicate ( not prove) the existence of God. The paper’s comparatively modest aim is to establish belief in the existence of God as a rational metaphysical option, not as a rational obligation. In its final section, enriched causal considerations lead to an indication ( not proof) of God as that which guarantees the unified continuance of the physical world. (shrink)
Since the 1960's, work in the analytic tradition on the nature of mental and linguistic content has converged on the views that social facts about public language meaning are derived from facts about the thoughts of individuals, and that these thoughts are constituted by properties of the internal states of agents. I give a two-part argument against this picture of intentionality: first, that if mental content is prior to public language meaning, then a view of mental content much like the (...) causal-pragmatic theory presented by Robert Stalnaker in Inquiry must be correct; second, that the causal-pragmatic theory is false. I conclude with some positive suggestions regarding alternative solutions to the `problem of intentionality.'. (shrink)
In this paper I shall focus on Castaneda's notion of quasi-indicators and I shall defend the following theses: (i) Essential indexicals (‘I’, ‘here’ and ‘now’) are intrinsically perspectival mechanisms of reference and, as such, they are not reducible to any other mechanism reference...
A number of traditional philosophers and religious thinkers advocated an ineffability thesis to the effect that the ultimate reality cannot be expressed as it truly is by human concepts and words. But this thesis has been criticized and dismissed by some modern scholars. This article intends to show the consistency of this thesis. After introducing certain criticisms set forth by the critics and examining the disputable solution offered by John Hick, the author attends to Bhartrhari's solution to tackle the main (...) problem here. This fifth-century Indian grammarian-philosopher's strategy, based on the imposition-cum-negation method, is then enlarged and supplemented to deal with the criticisms and related issues. (shrink)
There is some intuitive plausibility to the idea that composers create musical works by indicating sonic types in a historical context. But the idea is technically indefensible as it stands, requiring a thorough representational reform that also eliminates the type-theoretic commitments of current versions. On the reformed account, musical 'indication' is an operation of high level representational interpretation of concrete sounds, that can both explain the creativity of composers, and the often successful interpretations of their listeners. This approach also (...) bypasses contentious issues regarding the status of both indicated and 'initiated' types, as extensively discussed in the BJA. (shrink)
Geographic Indications (GIs) are a form of trademark protection afforded to products that are historically the product of a particular place and production process by restricting use of the name to products that actually come from the place in question; “Champagne” can only come from that region of France, for example. GIs are often proposed as a way to protect indigenous cultural products from Western appropriation: a global GI regime would ensure that “Mysore” silk sarees were produced in India, and (...) thus ensure that the traditional producers of these goods would be the beneficiaries of purchases of them. Such a strategy would return both economic value and cultural recognition to the producers of these goods. -/- In this paper, I argue that the move to branding culture puts the source indicating function of trademarks radically into question, thereby increasing the risks associated with an expansion of GIs. Increasingly, consumers consume brands not for the products they designate, but for the affiliation with the brands themselves. Since the benefits of source protection to indigenous communities depend upon a consumer’s desire to have a product actually from that source community, if consumers care more about the brand designation than the actual source, those benefits will be more difficult to realize. Instead, the logic of trademarks in late capitalism will tend to push geographic source protections toward becoming de facto IP rights in culture. -/- After an introductory section, the second section of the paper theorizes trademarks as part of a process of commodification in order to suggest that the logic of the process leads to an emphasis on brands themselves as sources of value, rather than the products to which they refer. The third section uses this theoretical frame to discuss the risk that geographic source protections will tend to reduce cultural diversity, both by tending to promote exoticized images of cultures, and by increasing the importance of standardization. The fourth section situates these concerns in the larger context of David Harvey’s work on capitalist accumulation, in order to underscore how the reification of culture discussed in the third section can be used as a tool by cultural elites to suppress dissent and treat the source protection as intellectual property rights in culture. The concluding section offers some policy suggestions for ways to ameliorate these risks. (shrink)
I discuss an argument given by Dorothy Edgington for the conclusion that indicative conditionals cannot express propositions. The argument is not effective against Robert Stalnaker's context-dependent propositional theory. I isolate and defend the feature of Stalnaker's theory that allows it to evade the argument.
§0. A familiar if obscure idea: an indicative conditional presents its consequent as holding in the actual world on the supposition that its antecedent so holds, whereas a subjunctive conditional merely presents its consequent as holding in a world, typically counterfactual, in which its antecedent holds. Consider this pair.
We will look at several theories of indicative conditionals grouped into three categories: those that base its semantics on its logical counterpart (the material conditional); intensional analyses, which bring in alternative possible worlds; and a third subgroup which denies that indicative conditionals express propositions at all. We will also look at some problems for each kind of approach.
One very popular kind of semantics for subjunctive conditionals is aclosest-worlds account along the lines of theories given by David Lewisand Robert Stalnaker. If we could give the same sort of semantics forindicative conditionals, we would have a more unified account of themeaning of ``if ... then ...'' statements, one with manyadvantages for explaining the behaviour of conditional sentences. Such atreatment of indicative conditionals, however, has faced a battery ofobjections. This paper outlines a closest-worlds account of indicativeconditionals that does better (...) than some of its cousins in explaining thebehaviour of such conditionals. The paper then discusses objectionsoffered by Dorothy Edgington and Frank Jackson to closest-worldsaccounts of indicative conditionals, and shows that these objections canbe met by the account outlined. (shrink)
This paper presents a new theory of the truth conditions for indicative conditionals. The theory allows us to give a fairly unified account of the semantics for indicative and subjunctive conditionals, though there remains a distinction between the two classes. Put simply, the idea behind the theory is that the distinction between the indicative and the subjunctive parallels the distinction between the necessary and the a priori. Since that distinction is best understood formally using the resources of two-dimensional modal logic, (...) those resources will be brought to bear on the logic of conditionals. (shrink)
Robert Stalnaker’s formal semantics for his indicative conditional (which his 1975 paper takes over from his 1968 paper and Stalnaker and Thomason 1968) validate modus ponens, as one might expect. But they do so at the cost of a tension between his philosophical remarks in his 1975 paper and his formal constraints. Stalnaker commits himself to the following: he defines a “context set” as “the possible worlds not ruled out by the presupposed background information” (Stalnaker 1975 p 142). He later (...) states a “pragmatic principle” that “normally a speaker is concerned only with possible worlds within the context set, since this set is defined as the set of possible worlds among which the speaker wishes to distinguish. So it is at least a normal expectation that the selection function should turn first to these worlds before considering counterfactual worlds—those presupposed to be non-actual” (p 144). Then two paragraphs later, in apparent reference to this principle he says “I would expect that the pragmatic principle stated above should hold without exception for indicative conditionals”. Yet when the actual world is not one in which the presuppositions all hold, from his definition of the “context set” it is not among the worlds of the context set, and elsewhere in his 1975 as well as his 1968 he stipulates that the selection function given the actual world and an antecedent true at the actual world yields the actual world (p 144 of Stalnaker 1975, condition 3 on p 104 of Stalnaker 1968). These remarks on the face of it lead to inconsistency if it is possible to presuppose falsehoods: for then the presuppositions create a context set which does not include the actual world (but may perfectly well nevertheless contain some possible worlds in which the antecedent of a given conditional holds when that antecedent is also actually true). In evaluating a conditional with a true antecedent which also holds in some world in the context set, Stalnaker enjoins us to employ a selection function which selects the actual world, and to (“without exception”) employ a selection function which selects some world in the context set in preference to any world outside it.. (shrink)
It is argued that indicative conditionals are best viewed as having truth conditions (and so they are in part factual) but that these truth conditions are ‘gappy’ which leaves an explanatory gap that can only be filled by epistemic considerations (and so indicative conditionals are in part epistemic). This dual nature of indicative conditionals gives reason to rethink the relationship between logic viewed as a descriptive discipline (focusing on semantics) and logic viewed as a discipline with a normative import (focusing (...) on epistemic notions such as ‘reasoning’, ‘beliefs’ and ‘assumptions’). In particular, it is argued that the development of formal models for epistemic states can serve as a starting point for exploring logic when viewed as a normative discipline. (shrink)
A distinction is drawn between situations as indices required for semantically evaluating sentences and situations as denotations resulting from such evaluation. For atomic sentences, possible worlds may serve as indices, and events as denotations. The distinction is extended beyond atomic sentences according to formulae-as-types and applied to implicit quantifier domain restrictions, intensionality and conditionals.
In 'Epistemic Folkways and Scientific Epistemology' Goldman offers a theory of justification inspired by the exemplar account of concept representation. I discuss the connection and conclude that the analogy does not support the theory offered. I then argue that Goldman's rule consequentialist framework for analysis is vulnerable to a problem of epistemic access, and use this to present an analysis of justification as an indicator concept we use to track how well the evaluated agent is doing with respect to the (...) primary epistemic norm of believing truths and not falsehoods. A theory of justification along these lines is then given, and its prospects of handling the evil demon objection to reliabilism are assessed. (shrink)
While there is now considerable experimental evidence that, on the one hand, participants assign to the indicative conditional as probability the conditional probability of consequent given antecedent and, on the other, they assign to the indicative conditional the ?defective truth-table? in which a conditional with false antecedent is deemed neither true nor false, these findings do not in themselves establish which multi-premise inferences involving conditionals participants endorse. A natural extension of the truth-table semantics pronounces as valid numerous inference patterns that (...) do seem to be part of ordinary usage. However, coupled with something the probability account gives us?namely that when conditional-free ? entails conditional-free ?, ?if ? then ?? is a trivial, uninformative truth?we have enough logic to derive the paradoxes of material implication. It thus becomes a matter of some urgency to determine which inference patterns involving indicative conditionals participants do endorse. Only thus will we be able to arrive at a realistic, systematic semantics for the indicative conditional. (shrink)
Some bilateralists have suggested that some of our negative answers to yes-or-no questions are cases of rejection. Mark Textor (2011. Is ‘no’ a force-indicator? No! Analysis 71: 448–56) has recently argued that this suggestion falls prey to a version of the Frege-Geach problem. This note reviews Textor's objection and shows why it fails. We conclude with some brief remarks concerning where we think that future attacks on bilateralism should be directed.
I defend the conception of musical works as indicated temporally initiated types against Julian Dodd's recent argument that all types are eternal and uncreated. In doing so, I develop a new account of both cultural and natural types. While types are in a certain sense determined by the properties that underlie them, not all properties determine types; and properties such as being indicated by Beethoven exist only once the temporally initiated entities that those properties essentially involve exist. A cultural type (...) such as Beethoven's Fifth Symphony is a sound pattern that has the essential property of being used in the way specified by Beethoven's singling out of that pattern. (Natural types, such as bird songs or biological species, are patterns having places in actual causal chains in nature.) Given this framework, the Fifth Symphony is an indicated type that was, in a straightforward literal sense, created by Beethoven in 1804–1808. (shrink)
Rankings of countries by perceived corruption have emerged over the past decade as leading indicators of governance and development. Designed to highlight countries that are known to be corrupt, their objective is to encourage transparency and good governance. High rankings on corruption, it is argued, will serve as a strong incentive for reform. The practice of ranking and labeling countries "corrupt," however, may have a perverse effect. Consistent with Social Labeling Theory, we argue that perceptual indices can encourage the loss (...) of needed investment and, thus, contribute to higher rates of corruption within unfavorably ranked countries. In effect, corruption indices may inhibit foreign direct investment, the effect of which is to encourage the status quo in terms of corruption ranking. Using an experimental study design, we test the effects of country corruption rankings on the assessment of country investment desirability and find ranking exposure causes shifts in country investment desirability for 10 of 12 countries studied. These findings suggest that corruption rankings, which are based on perceptions of corruption, may cause country isolation and a reduction in legitimate means of investment. (shrink)
Most studies into the performance of socially responsible investment vehicles have focused on the performance of sustainable or socially responsible mutual funds. This research has been complemented recently by a number of studies that have examined the performance of sustainable investment indices. In both cases, the majority of studies have concluded that the returns of socially responsible investment vehicles have either underperformed, or failed to outperform, comparable market indices. Although the impact of sustainable indices to date has been limited, the (...) recent launch of sustainable indices by Dow Jones and FTSE suggests that more attention is being paid to the subject by financial markets, investors, and companies. This development raises a number of important issues which are reviewed in this article: (a) the performance of indices compared with their benchmark indices; (b) the methodologies employed in compiling the indices; and (c) the impact of the indices on companies and the investment community. The article concludes with a number of suggestions for areas that merit future research. (shrink)
Socially Responsible Investment (SRI) indices play a major role in the stock markets. A connection between doing good and doing well in business is implied. Leading indices, such as the Domini Social Index and others, exemplify the movement toward investing in socially responsible corporations. However, the question remains: Does the ratings-based methodology for assessing corporate social responsibility (CSR) provide an incentive to firms excluded from SRI indices to invest in CSR? Not in its current format. The ratings-based methodology employed by (...) SRI indices in their selection processes excludes many corporations by creating limited-membership lists. This received ratings-based structure is yet to offer an incentive for most of the excluded corporations to invest in improving their levels of CSR. We, therefore, ask under what circumstances a ratings-based method for assessing CSR could provide an incentive to firms excluded from SRI indices to invest in CSR. In this article, we attempt to offer a theoretical reply to this question. We show that when all firms are publicly ranked according to SRI index parameters, such indices can indeed create a market incentive for increased investment by firms in improving their performance in the area of social responsibility. We further show that this incentive tapers off as the amount of investment required exceeds a certain point or if the amount of payback on that investment fails to reach a certain threshold. (shrink)
The standard way to represent anaphoric dependencies is to co-index the anaphor with its antecedent in the syntactic input to semantic rules, which then interpret such indices as variables. Dynamic theories (e.g. Kamp’s DRT, Heim’s File Change Semantics, Muskens’s Compositional DRT, etc) combine syntactic co-indexation with semantic left-to-right asymmetry. This captures the fact that the anaphor gets its referent from the antecedent and not vice versa. Formally, a text updates the input state of information to the output state. In particular, (...) an indexed antecedent updates the entity assigned to its index, and the output entity is then picked up as the referent by any subsequent co-indexed anaphor. (shrink)
Two major themes in the literature on indicative conditionals are (1) that the content of indicative conditionals typically depends on what is known;1 (2) that conditionals are intimately related to conditional probabilities.2 In possible world semantics for counterfactual conditionals, a standard assumption is that conditionals whose antecedents are metaphysically impossible are vacuously true.3 This aspect has recently been brought to the fore, and defended by Tim Williamson, who uses it in to characterize alethic necessity by exploiting such equivalences as: A⇔¬A (...) A. One might wish to postulate an analogous connection for indicative conditionals, with indicatives whose antecedents are (in some relevant sense) epistemically impossible being vacuously true: and indeed, the modal account of indicative conditionals of Brian Weatherson has exactly this feature.4 This allows one to characterize an epistemic modal by the equivalence A⇔¬A→A. For simplicity, in what follows we write A as KA and think of it as expressing that subject S knows that A.5 The connection to probability has received much attention. Stalnaker (1970) suggested, as a way of articulating the ‘Ramsey Test’, the following very general schema for indicative conditionals relative to some probability function P: P(A→B) = P(B|A) 1For example, Nolan (2003); Weatherson (2001); Gillies (2007). 2For example Stalnaker (1970); McGee (1989); Adams (1975). 3Lewis (1973). See Nolan (1997) for criticism. 4‘epistemically possible’ here means incompatible with what is known (where ‘what is known’ is to be cashed out in some relevant sense). 5This idea was suggested to me in conversation by John Hawthorne. I do not know of it being explored in print. The plausibility of this characterization will depend on the exact sense of ‘epistemically possible’ in play—if it is compatibility with what a single subject knows, then can be read ‘the relevant subject knows that p’. If it is more delicately formulated, we might be able to read as the epistemic modal ‘must’.. (shrink)
This paper is in three sections. In the first I describe and illustrate three uses of indices of truth in semantics. The way I illustrate this classification is not completely uncontroversial, but I expect that my intuitions on this matter are generally shared. In the second section I broach a question which is central to the metaphysics of time, namely: how should certain temporal indices of truth - times - be fitted within this classificatory scheme? I sketch three proposals as (...) to how this might be done, and show how they constitute different metaphysical conceptions of the nature of time. Finally, in the third section I turn to a specific problem with the classification of times (as indices of truth) I call 'non-indexical'. Mellor (1981) thinks this problem insoluble, and argues that it shows this classification to be absurd. However, by appealing to the modal analogues of the issues involved, I first show that Mellor's argument is question- begging, and then go on to show how the non-indexical classification of times might undermine the presuppositions on which his argument rests. The paper attempts to contribute to a discussion of the question raised in section II, not to provide a definitive answer to it. (shrink)
Various indices are used to track poverty, development, and gender equity at the population level. Some of them—the UNDP’s Human and Gender-RelatedDevelopment Indices and the World Bank’s Poverty Index associated with the first Millennium Development Goal—have become highly influential. This paper argues that these prominent indices are deeply flawed and therefore distort our moral judgments and misguide resource allocations by governments, international agencies, and NGOs. Examination of these flaws reveals useful pointers toward developing better indices—though much interdisciplinary work will be (...) needed before sound and practicable indices are actually available. (shrink)
In his Explaining Behavior, Fred Dretske uses a reliabilist theory of representation to try to vindicate the use of intentional explanation for behaviour against latter-day elitninativism. Although Dretske's indicator semantics turns on the notion of function, he himself never explicitly defines what function means. Dretske's reticence in discussing function may ultimately be an error, for, as I argue, his implicit understanding of what a function amounts to does not fit with data from op rant conditioning. Still, this need not be (...) a deep flaw in Dretske and I offer one way in which we may patch up the notion of function via the changes known to occur with learning in the brain. Ultimately, I conclude that the only facts needed to explain behaviour are (1) the conditions in the world that are paired with neuronal circuit activation (as picked out by goals in some circumstances); and (2) what motor output that condition triggers. (shrink)
Review of: Frans H. van Eemeren, Peter Houtlosser, A. Francisca Snoeck Henkemans: Argumentative Indicators in Discourse. A Pragma-Dialectical Study Content Type Journal Article Pages 519-524 DOI 10.1007/s10503-010-9182-7 Authors Manfred Kienpointner, Institut für Sprachen und Literaturen, Universität Innsbruck, Innrain 52, 6020 Innsbruck, Austria Journal Argumentation Online ISSN 1572-8374 Print ISSN 0920-427X Journal Volume Volume 24 Journal Issue Volume 24, Number 4.
This paper presents a new theory of the truth conditions for indicative conditionals. The theory allows us to give a fairly uniﬁed account of the semantics for indicative and subjunctive conditionals, though there remains a distinction between the two classes. Put simply, the idea behind the theory is that the distinction between the indicative and the subjunctive parallels the distinction between the necessary and the a priori. Since that distinction is best understood formally using the resources of two-dimensional modal logic, (...) those resources will be brought to bear on the logic of conditionals. (shrink)
Recently there has been some interest in studying the explanation of meaning by using signaling games. I shall argue that the meaning of signals in signaling games remains sufficiently unclear to motivate further investigation. In particular, the possibility of distinguishing imperatives and indicatives at a fundamental level will be explored. Thereby I am trying to preserve the generality of the signaling games framework while bringing it closer to human languages. A number of convergence results for the evolutionary dynamics of our (...) models will be proved. (shrink)
After nearly three decades of discussion about sustainable development are we any nearer to achieving it? And do we even know what a sustainable world will look like for future generations? Early definitions of sustainable development were so broad as to allow a range of interpretations based largely on individual interests and anthropocentric needs. We are measuring the performance of countless indicators of sustainable development, but is this more an exercise in applying data than meaningful progress? This article explores the (...) ultimate goals of sustainable development and the most important means of achieving this by analyzing and comparing two frameworks designed to direct attention to the fundamental means and the ends of sustainable development. (shrink)
Figuring prominently in their decisions regarding which theories to pursue are scientists' appeals to the promise or lack of promise of those theories. Yet philosophy of science has had little to say about how one is to assess theory promise. This essay identifies several indices that might be consulted to determine whether or not a theory is promising and worthy of pursuit. Various historical examples of appeals to such indices are introduced.
The multifarious nature of biodiversity is considered in relation to difficulties of definite determination and managerial mandates for monitoring. At a micro scale there is some convergence with the concept of community, but the linkage is largely lost in the spectra of temporal scope, spatial scales, successional seres, and taxonomic trajectories. Practicality points to selecting suitable suites of indicators as surrogates for particular purposes. Domains of partial ordering on multiple indicators constitute comparable collectives, whereas different domains require recognition of special (...) situations. Theoretical treatise and practical process can proceed in parallel, with dialogue and cross-fertilization serving to invigorate and inspire; whereas compulsive concern for completeness and consistency can be counter-productive as well as unduly expensive. Inability to completely capture all aspects of biodiversity in one full formulation is interesting and integral to issues of biocomplexity. (shrink)
In this paper I explore a version of standard (expected utility) decision theory in which the probability parameter is interpreted as an objective chance believed by agents to obtain and values of this parameter are fixed by indicative conditionals linking possible actions with possible outcomes. After reviewing some recent developments centering on the common-cause counterexamples to the standard approach, I introduce and briefly discuss the key notions in my own approach. (This approach has essentially the same results as the causal (...) approach in common-cause cases.) I then discuss the Rule of Dominance and find, in the context of the present proposal, that it cannot serve as an independent source of action justification. Turning next to Newcomb''s Problem, I argue that the much discussed issue of back-tracking counterfactuals is something of a red herring for decision theory. Once the twin distractions of back-tracking counterfactuals and Dominance Reasoning are set aside the 1-box solution emerges as a natural consequence of the present proposal. It is of interest that this proposal agrees with the causal approach in the standard common-cause examples and the expected-utility approach in the Newcomb case: one can be smart and rich and keep on smoking. (shrink)
Despite the prevalence of post-colonial theory in the humanities and social sciences, why is it that the two main secular formations in the study of religion(s), as philosophy of religion and history of religions, continue to deploy very similar mechanisms that reconstitute past imperialisms such as the hegemony of theory as specifically Western and/or the division of labor between universal and particular knowledge formations? To answer this question this paper stages an oblique engagement between the seemingly divergent discourses: (i) philosophy (...) of religion, (ii) history of religion—more specifically the area specialism called South Asian religions, and (iii) post-colonial theory especially where these discourses intersect with the discipline of Indology and the representation of Indic phenomena. A different version of this engagement occurs in Hegel’s Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion (LPR). A post-colonial reading of the LPR reveals closer and often unacknowledged connections between the birth of these two disciplines. More importantly the LPR anticipates the auto-immunizing mechanism that underpins the continued lack of engagement between the various disciplines of contemporary religions. Ironically, this mechanism, it will be argued, is located in the very heart of the comparative enterprise itself. (shrink)
If K is an index of relative voting power for simple voting games, the bicameral postulate requires that the distribution of K -power within a voting assembly, as measured by the ratios of the powers of the voters, be independent of whether the assembly is viewed as a separate legislature or as one chamber of a bicameral system, provided that there are no voters common to both chambers. We argue that a reasonable index â if it is to be used (...) as a tool for analysing abstract, âuninhabitedâ decision rules â should satisfy this postulate. We show that, among known indices, only the Banzhaf measure does so. Moreover, the ShapleyâShubik, DeeganâPackel and Johnston indices sometimes witness a reversal under these circumstances, with voter x âless powerfulâ than y when measured in the simple voting game G1 , but âmore powerfulâ than y when G1 is âbicamerally joinedâ with a second chamber G2 . Thus these three indices violate a weaker, and correspondingly more compelling, form of the bicameral postulate. It is also shown that these indices are not always co-monotonic with the Banzhaf index and that as a result they infringe another intuitively plausible condition â the price monotonicity condition. We discuss implications of these findings, in light of recent work showing that only the ShapleyâShubik index, among known measures, satisfies another compelling principle known as the bloc postulate. We also propose a distinction between two separate aspects of voting power: power as share in a fixed purse (P-power) and power as influence (I-power). (shrink)
The question as to whether or not an argument isadditional may be decisive in the evaluation ofjudicial decisions. It is, however, often difficult todistinguish between arguments that are additional(obiter dicta) and arguments that are not (ratio decidendi). This paper will focus on twoproblems concerning this distinction: thecharacterization of obiter dicta and theiridentification. A pragma-dialectical approach toargumentation will be the framework in which theseproblems will be addressed. Its insights intodialogical aspects of argumentation will be used tocharacterize obiter dicta. And its assessment (...) oflinguistic clues for the recognition of argumentationstructures will be used for the identification ofobiter dicta. Problems related to the identificationof obiter dicta will be illustrated through ananalysis of decisions in which the expressions anyway, for that matter and if onlybecause are considered as indicative of obiter dicta. (shrink)
Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act forbids discrimination in employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin Ã¢â¬â and sex. Although the sex provision was treated as a joke at the time (and was originally introduced by a Southern Congressman in an attempt to defeat the bill), the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC) Ã¢â¬â charged with enforcing the Act Ã¢â¬â discovered in its first year of operation that 40% or more of the complaints warranting investigation charged (...) discrimination on the basis of sex. According to a report by the EEOC, nearly 6,000 charges of sex discrimination were filed with that agency in 1971 alone, a 62% increase over the previous year. Title VII extends as well to practices which aid and abet discrimination. For example, the Act forbids job advertisements from indicating a preference for one sex or the other unless sex is a bona fide occupational qualification for employment. In interpreting this provision, the EEOC has ruled that even the practice of labeling help-wanted columns as "Male" or "Female" should be considered a violation of the law. (shrink)
Context: Non-dualistic thinking is an alternative to realism and constructivism. Problem: In the absence of a distinct definition of the term “description,” the question comes up of what exactly can be included in non-dualistic descriptions, and in how far the definition of this term affects the relation between theory and empirical practice. Furthermore, this paper is concerned with the question of whether non-dualism and dualism differ in their implications. Method: I provide a wider semantic framework for the term “description” by (...) means of George Spencer Brown’s terminology in his calculus of indications as laid out in Laws of Form. The connection of descriptions and distinctions enables descriptions to comprise reflections and language as well as empirical observations. Results: Non-dualism can be thought of in different ways but still has essential elements in common with dualism. Implications: Non-dualism, as well as dualism, is an argumentation technique suitable for specific situations, but without significant differences in implications. (shrink)
Organic farming is expected to contribute to conserving national biodiversity on farms, especially remnant, old, and undisturbed small biotopes, forests, and permanent grassland. This objective cannot rely on the legislation of organic farming solely, and to succeed, farmers need to understand the goals behind it. A set of indicators with the purpose of facilitating dialogues between expert and farmer on wildlife quality has been developed and tested on eight organic farms. “Weed cover in cereal fields,” was used as an indicator (...) of floral and faunal biodiversity in the cultivated land, and “uncultivated biotope area” on the farm was used as a general measure of wildlife habitats. Functional grouping of herbaceous plants (discriminating between “high conservation value” plant species and “competitive”/“ruderal” species) and low mobility butterflies were used as indicators of conservation value, especially focusing on the few sites left with considerable remnant conservation value. The dialog processes revealed that the organic farmers’ ideas and goals of conservation of wildlife quality were not necessarily the same as for biologists; the farmers expressed very different opinions on the biological rooted idea, that wildlife quality is related to the absence of agricultural impact. However, farmers also stated that the information given by the indicators and especially the dialogue with the biologist had influenced their perception and awareness of wildlife. We conclude that, combined with a dialogue process, using these indicators when mapping wildlife quality could be an important key component of a farm wildlife management advisory tool at farm level. (shrink)
M. Dominicy, « L'adaptation des modèles grecs dans la versification latine. Les indices d'une conscience métrique (Catulle 62 ; Horace, Carm. 2.18) », Ars Scribendi. Interférences, N° 6, 2012. À partir de deux exemples (Catulle 62 et Horace, Carm. 2.18), on analyse, par l'étude du refrain catullien et de la réception par Horace de formules métriques grecques dans un mètre rare, l'impact qu'exerce l'importation en latin de modèles métrique étrangers (grecs en l'occurrence) sur la prise de conscience (...) - Brèves.
Byrne & Russon suggest that the production of action by primates is hierarchically organised. We assess the evidence for hierarchical structure in the comprehension of action by primates. Focusing on work with human children we evaluate several possible indices of program-level comprehension.
This study focuses on the application of multicriteria decision-making techniques, specifically the analytic hierarchy process (AHP), to identify corporate socialresponsibility information which both companies and stakeholders consider relevant and material. This work explains how the AHP methodology was applied in the selection of material indicators in corporate social responsibility reporting, the interpretation of these indicators and their relative importance. The results of this study are summarized in 60 indicators distributed in four areas: environment, economy, corporate governance and social. As this (...) last area contains the greatest number of indicators, it was divided into four sub-areas (human resources, human rights, product responsibility and society). (shrink)
This paper focuses on development of a composite diversity index that is appropriate for use in social reporting. Critics of currents methods argue that simplecounts of race or other attributes for measuring diversity are not sufficient for measuring the complexities of a diverse workplace. To address this criticism, broader and more appropriate diversity indices based on probability and multiple measures are demonstrated by applying quantitative models developed in biodiversity and political science research. US IPEDS data, available for more than 4,500 (...) higher education institutions, are used to demonstrate the model. The paper sets the stage for diversity reporting by describing selected reporting frameworks and relevant court rulings. (shrink)
The following article examines critically Robert Veaten's argument that respect for patient autonomy invalidates the concept of medically indicated treatment. I contend that when judgments of medically indicated treatment are distinguished from what ought to be done in a given case, all things considered, they are compatible with patient autonomy. Yet there remains a significant danger, which needs to be guarded against, that physicians will use these judgments to dominate their interactions with patients. Medicine would be impoverished, however, if physicians (...) were barred from using clinical judgment to recommend medically indicated treatment. Keywords: clinical judgment, doctor's orders, medically indicated, physician-patient relationship CiteULike Connotea Del.icio.us What's this? (shrink)
Time is a fundamental dimension of consciousness. Many studies of the “sense of agency” have investigated whether we attribute actions to ourselves based on a conscious experience of intention occurring prior to action, or based on a reconstruction after the action itself has occurred. Here, we ask the same question about a lower level aspect of action experience, namely awareness of the detailed spatial form of a simple movement. Subjects reached for a target, which unpredictably jumped to the side on (...) some trials. Participants (1) expressed their expectancy of a target shift during the upcoming movement, (2) pointed at the target as quickly and accurately as possible before returning to the start posiment to the target shift if required and (3) reproduced the spatial path of the movement they had just made, as accurately as possible, to give an indication of their awareness of the pointing movement. We analysed the spatial disparity between the initial and the reproduced movements on those with a target shift. A negative disparity value, or undershoot, suggests that motor awareness merely reflects a sluggish record of coordinated motor performance, while a positive value, or overshoot, suggests that participants’ intention to point to the shifting target contributes more to their awareness of action than their actual pointing movement. Undershoot and overshoot thus measure the reconstructive (motoric) and the preconstuctive (intentional) aspects of action awareness, respectively. We found that trials on which subjects strongly expected a target shift showed greater overshoot and less undershoot than trials with lower expectancy. Conscious expectancy therefore strongly influences the experience of the detailed motor parameters of our actions. Further, a delay inserted either between the expectancy judgement and the pointing movement, or between the pointing movement and the reproduction of the movement, had no effect on visuomotor adjustment but strongly influenced action awareness. Delays during either interval boosted undershoots, suggesting increased reliance on a time-limited sensory memory for action. The experience of action is thus strongly influenced by prior thoughts and expectations, but only over a short time period. Thus, awareness of our actions is a dynamic and relatively flexible mixture of what we intend to do, and what our motor system actually does. (shrink)
Synaesthesia is considered a rare perceptual capacity, and one that is not capable of cultivation. However, meditators report the experience quite commonly, and in questionnaire surveys, respondents claimed to experience synaesthesia in 35% of meditation retreatants, in 63% of a group of regular meditators, and in 86% of advanced teachers. These rates were significantly higher than in nonmeditator controls, and displayed significant correlations with measures of amount of meditation experience. A review of ancient texts found reports suggestive of synaesthesia in (...) advanced meditators from India and China. These findings suggest that synaesthesia may be cultivated by meditation, and that laboratory studies of meditators could be rewarding. (shrink)
I present arguments against both explicit and implicit versions of the simulation theory for intersubjective understanding. Logical, developmental, and phenomenological evidence counts against the concept of explicit simulation if this is to be understood as the pervasive or default way that we understand others. The concept of implicit (subpersonal) simulation, identified with neural resonance systems (mirror systems or shared representations), fails to be the kind of simulation required by simulation theory, because it fails to explain how neuronal processes meet constraints (...) that involve instrumentality and pretense. Implicit simulation theory also fails to explain how I can attribute a mental or emotion state that is different from my own to another person. I also provide a brief indication of an alternative interpretation of neural resonance systems. (shrink)
Two forms of independent action by consciousness have been proposed by various researchers – free will and holistic processing. (Holistic processing contributes to the formation of behavior through the holistic use of brain programs and encoding.) The well-known experiment of Libet et al. (1983) implies that if free will exists, its action must consist of making a selection among alternatives presented by the brain. As discussed herein, this result implies that any physical changes mind can produce in the brain are (...) very small, and this in turn implies that holistic processing would also act to select among brain programs. The latter process would contribute to flexibility of behavior, which would therefore be an indication of the possible presence of consciousness in an animal. Because locomotion requires response to varying and unpredictable conditions, the above conclusions support the idea that simple forms of consciousness appear very early in the evolutionary line of the animal kingdom. (shrink)
On a literal reading of `Computing Machinery and Intelligence'', Alan Turing presented not one, but two, practical tests to replace the question `Can machines think?'' He presented them as equivalent. I show here that the first test described in that much-discussed paper is in fact not equivalent to the second one, which has since become known as `the Turing Test''. The two tests can yield different results; it is the first, neglected test that provides the more appropriate indication of (...) intelligence. This is because the features of intelligence upon which it relies are resourcefulness and a critical attitude to one''s habitual responses; thus the test''s applicablity is not restricted to any particular species, nor does it presume any particular capacities. This is more appropriate because the question under consideration is what would count as machine intelligence. The first test realizes a possibility that philosophers have overlooked: a test that uses a human''s linguistic performance in setting an empirical test of intelligence, but does not make behavioral similarity to that performance the criterion of intelligence. Consequently, the first test is immune to many of the philosophical criticisms on the basis of which the (so-called) `Turing Test'' has been dismissed. (shrink)
In Knowledge and the Flow of Information, Fred Dretske explains representational content by appealing to natural indication: a mental representation has its content in virtue of being a reliable natural indicator of a particular type of state of the world. His account fails for several reasons, not the least of which is that it cannot account for misrepresentation. Recognizing this, Dretske adds a twist in his more recent work on representational content (sketched in 'Misrepresentation' and elaborated in Explaining Behavior): (...) a mental representation acquires its semantic content when the fact that it naturally indicates some type of state of the world acquires explanatory relevance. This shift in emphasis from natural indication to function (and, so, to behaviour) is intended to address the disjunction problem. Whether or not it succeeds (I argue that it does not), new problems emerge as a direct result of the shift to emphasis on behaviour. First, although Dretske appeals to appropriate response behaviours for particular types of representations, it is not at all clear that such behaviours exist. Second, Dretske's theory cannot account for representations that never figure in the behaviour of the organism of which they are a part. In response to these problems, I suggest two possible routes to recovery: one, an appeal to implicit beliefs (or dispositions); and, two, an appeal to compositionality. Although it seems clear that Dretske must enlist one of these options if he is to formulate a successful causal naturalist theory of representational content, given his theoretical commitments, neither option is readily available to him. (shrink)
The form of nominalism known as 'mathematical fictionalism' is examined and found wanting, mainly on grounds that go back to an early antinominalist work of Rudolf Carnap that has unfortunately not been paid sufficient attention by more recent writers.
are ambiguous. In the mouth of someone who cannot remember whether it was Michael, or rather someone else, who was top scorer, (1) can express the epistemic possibility that Michael led the league in scoring. But from someone who knows that Michael did not even play last season, but is wondering what would have happened if he had, (1) means something quite diﬀerent. Now where it has this quite diﬀerent meaning, (...) class='Hi'> (1) may still turn out to be the expression of some epistemic possibility. Perhaps where (1) does not express the epistemic possibility of ‘Michael led the league in scoring’, it expresses the epistemic possibility of ‘Michael would have led the league in scoring’. Analysis of this ‘would have’ statement, together with an exploration of the suspicion that the ‘might have’ statement is ambiguous between these two epistemic possibilities, will have to await another occasion. (Although a ﬁrst stab at the ‘would have’ statement’s analysis is this: for some contextually relevant p, if p were true, then Michael would have led the league in scoring.) The important point for present purposes is that (1) is ambiguous between an expression of the epistemic possibility of ‘Michael led the league in scoring’ and some quite diﬀerent reading. (shrink)
This book examines John Locke's claims about the nature and workings of language. Walter Ott proposes a new interpretation of Locke's thesis that words signify ideas in the mind of the speaker, and argues that rather than employing such notions as sense or reference, Locke relies on an ancient tradition that understands signification as reliable indication. He then uses this interpretation to explain crucial areas of Locke's metaphysics and epistemology, including essence, abstraction, knowledge, and mental representation. His discussion, which (...) is the first book-length treatment of its topic, challenges many of the current orthodox readings of Locke, and will be of interest to historians of philosophy and philosophers of language alike. (shrink)
The functionalist conception of mental properties, together with their multiple realizability, is often taken to entail their irreducibility. It might seem that the only way to revise that judgement is to weaken the requirements traditionally imposed on reduction. However, Jaegwon Kim has recently argued that we should, on the contrary, strengthen those requirements, and construe reduction as what I propose to call “logical reduction”, a model of reduction inspired by emergentism. Moreover, Kim claims that what he calls “functional reduction” allows (...) one to reduce (at least some) mental properties by these new standards. I argue against both theses. First, I present a counterexample to the emergentist model of reduction: The model judges irreducible certain properties which are clearly reducible. Second, I contestthat functional reduction as construed by Kim satisfies the emergentist constraints. Functional reduction implies, over and above a functional definition of the reduced property, the indication of its realizers. But the latter information corresponding to the discovery of a (local) bridge law, is empirical and not purely logical. (shrink)
Stich begins his paper "What is a Theory of Mental Representation?" (1992) by noting that while there is a dizzying range of theories of mental representation in today's philosophical market place, there is very little self-conscious reflection about what a theory of mental representation is supposed to do. This is quite remarkable, he thinks, because if we bother to engage in such reflection, some very surprising conclusions begin to emerge. The most surprising conclusion of all, according to Stich, is that (...) most of the philosophers in this field are undertaking work that is quite futile:
It is my contention that most of the players in this very crowded field have _no_ coherent project that could possibly be pursued successfully with the methods they are using. (p.244)
Stich readily admits that this is a startling conclusion; so startling, he thinks, that some may even take it as an indication that he has simply "failed to figure out what those who are searching for a theory of mental representation are up to" (p.244). But it is a conclusion that he is willing to stand by, and he sets about it defending it in the body of his paper. (shrink)
Adams Thesis has much evidence in its favour, but David Lewis famously showed that it cannot be true, in all but the most trivial of cases, if conditionals are proprositions and their probabilities are classical probabilities of truth. In this paper I show thatsimilar results can be constructed for a much wider class of conditionals. The fact that these results presuppose that the logic of conditionals is Boolean motivates a search for a non-Boolean alternative. It is argued that the exact (...) proposition expressed by a conditional depends on the context in which it is uttered. Consequentlyits probability of truth will depend not only on the probabilities of the various propositions it might express, but also on the probabilities of the contexts determining which proposition it does in fact express.The semantic theory developed from this is then shown to explain why agents degrees of belief satisfyAdams Thesis. Finally the theory is compared with proposals for a three-valued logic of conditionals. (shrink)
A paper by Schulz (Philos Stud 149:367–386, 2010) describes how the suppositional view of indicative conditionals can be supplemented with a derived view of epistemic modals. In a recent criticism of this paper, Willer (Philos Stud 153:365–375, 2011) argues that the resulting account of conditionals and epistemic modals cannot do justice to the validity of certain inference patterns involving modalised conditionals. In the present response, I analyse Willer’s argument, identify an implicit presupposition which can plausibly be denied and show that (...) accepting it would blur the difference between plain assumptions and their epistemic necessitations. (shrink)