277 found

Year:

  1.  15
    Theoretical Considerations on Cognitive Niche Construction.Bertolotti Tommaso & Magnani Lorenzo - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4757-4779.
    Cognitive niche theories consist in a theoretical framework that is proving extremely profitable in bridging evolutionary biology, philosophy, cognitive science, and anthropology by offering an inter-disciplinary ground, laden with novel approaches and debates. At the same time, cognitive niche theories are multiple, and differently related to niche theories in theoretical and evolutionary biology. The aim of this paper is to clarify the theoretical and epistemological relationships between cognitive and ecological niche theories. Also, by adopting a constructionist approach we will try (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  2.  18
    Interest Relativism in the Best System Analysis of Laws.Bialek Max - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4643-4655.
    Lewis’ Best System Analysis of laws of nature is often criticized on the grounds that what it means to be the “best” system is too subjective for an analysis of lawhood. Recent proponents of the BSA have embraced the view’s close connection to the particulars of scientific practice despite the objection. I distinguish two compatible versions of the objection: one opposed to mind or subject dependence and the other opposed to relativity. The BSA can answer both. Answering the anti-relative version (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  3.  6
    Introduction: Objectivity in Science.Colombo Matteo, Gervais Raoul & Sprenger Jan - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4641-4642.
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  4.  20
    Regularity Theories Disconfirmed: A Revamped Argument and a Wager.Patrick Cronin - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4913-4933.
    Regularity theories of causation assert that causal or nomic notions are to be reduced into “mere” frequencies of particular, non-nomic, co-located qualities and matters of fact. In this essay, I present a critical exploration of Armstrong and Strawson’s explanatory arguments against regularity theories. The shortcomings of these older arguments for nomic realism are identified and a revamped version which is immune to such problems is outlined and defended. I argue that anti-realism suffers substantial disconfirmation due to its comparative inability to (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  5.  62
    Doxastic Permissiveness and the Promise of Truth.J. Drake - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4897-4912.
    The purpose of this paper is to challenge what is often called the “Uniqueness” thesis. According to this thesis, given one’s total evidence, there is a unique rational doxastic attitude that one can take to any proposition. It is sensible for defenders of Uniqueness to commit to an accompanying principle that: when some agent A has equal epistemic reason both to believe that p and to believe that not p, the unique epistemically rational doxastic attitude for A to adopt with (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  6.  26
    Different Motivations, Similar Proposals: Objectivity in Scientific Community and Democratic Science Policy.Jaana Eigi - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4657-4669.
    The aim of the paper is to discuss some possible connections between philosophical proposals about the social organisation of science and developments towards a greater democratisation of science policy. I suggest that there are important similarities between one approach to objectivity in philosophy of science—Helen Longino’s account of objectivity as freedom from individual biases achieved through interaction of a variety of perspectives—and some ideas about the epistemic benefits of wider representation of various groups’ perspectives in science policy, as analysed by (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  7.  7
    Quantum Mechanics Over Sets: A Pedagogical Model with Non-Commutative Finite Probability Theory as its Quantum Probability Calculus.David Ellerman - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4863-4896.
    This paper shows how the classical finite probability theory can be reinterpreted and recast as the quantum probability calculus of a pedagogical or toy model of quantum mechanics over sets. There have been several previous attempts to develop a quantum-like model with the base field of \ replaced by \. Since there are no inner products on vector spaces over finite fields, the problem is to define the Dirac brackets and the probability calculus. The previous attempts all required the brackets (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  8.  42
    Scientific Revolutions and the Explosion of Scientific Evidence.Ludwig Fahrbach - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):5039-5072.
    Scientific realism, the position that successful theories are likely to be approximately true, is threatened by the pessimistic induction according to which the history of science is full of successful, but false theories. I aim to defend scientific realism against the pessimistic induction. My main thesis is that our current best theories each enjoy a very high degree of predictive success, far higher than was enjoyed by any of the refuted theories. I support this thesis by showing that the amount (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  9.  22
    Causal Counterfactuals Are Not Interventionist Counterfactuals.Fisher Tyrus - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4935-4957.
    In this paper I present a limitation to what may be called strictly-interventionistic causal-model semantic theories for subjunctive conditionals. And I offer a line of response to Briggs’ counterexample to Modus Ponens—given within a strictly-interventionistic framework—for the subjunctive conditional. The paper also contains some discussion of backtracking counterfactuals and backtracking interpretations. The limitation inherent to strict interventionism is brought out via a class of counterexamples. A causal-model semantics is strictly interventionistic just in case the procedure it gives for evaluating a (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  10.  20
    Counterlegal Dependence and Causation’s Arrows: Causal Models for Backtrackers and Counterlegals.Tyrus Fisher - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4983-5003.
    A counterlegal is a counterfactual conditional containing an antecedent that is inconsistent with some set of laws. A backtracker is a counterfactual that tells us how things would be at a time earlier than that of its antecedent, were the antecedent to obtain. Typically, theories that evaluate counterlegals appropriately don’t evaluate backtrackers properly, and vice versa. Two cases in point: Lewis’ ordering semantics handles counterlegals well but not backtrackers. Hiddleston’s :632–657, 2005) causal-model semantics nicely handles backtrackers but not counterlegals. Taking (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  11.  21
    Skills, Procedural Knowledge, and Knowledge-How.Benoit Gaultier - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4959-4981.
    My main intention in this article is to settle the question whether having the ability to \ is, as Ryleans think, necessary for knowing how to \, and to determine the kind of role played by procedural knowledge in knowing how to \ and in acquiring and possessing the ability to \. I shall argue, in a seemingly anti-Rylean fashion, that when it comes to know-hows that are ordinarily categorised as physical skills, or—to be, for the moment, philosophically neutral—as enabling (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  12.  2
    A Match Not Made in Heaven: On the Applicability of Mathematics in Physics.Arezoo Islami - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4839-4861.
    In his seminal 1960 paper, the physicist Eugene Wigner formulated the question of the applicability of mathematics in physics in a way nobody had before. This formulation has been entirely overlooked due to an exclusive concern with solving Wigner’s problem and explaining the effectiveness of mathematics in the natural sciences, in one way or another. Many have attempted to attribute Wigner’s unjustified conclusion—that mathematics is unreasonably effective in the natural sciences—to his formalist views on mathematics. My goal is to show (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  13.  17
    Steadfastness, Deference, and Permissive Rationality.Jaemin Jung - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):5093-5112.
    Recently, Levinstein has offered two interesting arguments concerning epistemic norms and epistemic peer disagreement. In his first argument, Levinstein claims that a tension between Permissivism and steadfast attitudes in the face of epistemic peer disagreement generally leads us to conciliatory attitudes; in his second argument, he argues that, given an ‘extremely weak version of a deference principle,’ Permissivism collapses into Uniqueness. However, in this paper, I show that when we clearly distinguish among several types of Permissivism, Permissivism\, and Permissivism\), we (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  14.  29
    Global Expressivism and the Flight From Metaphysics.Knowles Jonathan - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4781-4797.
    In recent work Huw Price has defended what he calls a global expressivist approach to understanding language and its relation to the physical world. Global expressivism rejects a representationalist picture of the language-world relation and thereby, by intention at least, also a certain metaphysical conception of what are commonly known as placement problems: how entities of the everyday, common sense world like mental states, meanings, moral values, modalities and so on fit into the natural world. Global expressivism upholds a commitment (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  15.  20
    Where is the Epistemic Community? On Democratisation of Science and Social Accounts of Objectivity.Inkeri Koskinen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4671-4686.
    This article focuses on epistemic challenges related to the democratisation of scientific knowledge production, and to the limitations of current social accounts of objectivity. A process of ’democratisation’ can be observed in many scientific and academic fields today. Collaboration with extra-academic agents and the use of extra-academic expertise and knowledge has become common, and researchers are interested in promoting socially inclusive research practices. As this development is particularly prevalent in policy-relevant research, it is important that the new, more democratic forms (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  16.  14
    On the Number of Types.Miloš Kosterec - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):5005-5021.
    In this paper, I investigate type theories from several perspectives. First, I present and elaborate the philosophical and technical motivations for these theories. I then offer a formal analysis of various TTs, focusing on the cardinality of the set of types contained in each. I argue that these TTs can be divided into four formal categories, which are derived from the cardinality of the set of their basic elementary types and the finiteness of the lengths of their molecular types. The (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  17.  89
    Epistemic Relativism, Scepticism, Pluralism.Kusch Martin - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4687-4703.
    There are a number of debates that are relevant to questions concerning objectivity in science. One of the eldest, and still one of the most intensely fought, is the debate over epistemic relativism. —All forms of epistemic relativism commit themselves to the view that it is impossible to show in a neutral, non-question-begging, way that one “epistemic system”, that is, one interconnected set of epistemic standards, is epistemically superior to others. I shall call this view “No-metajustification”. No-metajustification is commonly taken (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  18.  68
    The Objectivity of Local Knowledge. Lessons From Ethnobiology.David Ludwig - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12).
    This article develops an account of local epistemic practices on the basis of case studies from ethnobiology. I argue that current debates about objectivity often stand in the way of a more adequate understanding of local knowledge and ethnobiological practices in general. While local knowledge about the biological world often meets criteria for objectivity in philosophy of science, general debates about the objectivity of local knowledge can also obscure their unique epistemic features. In modification of Ian Hacking’s suggestion to discuss (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  19.  9
    The Objectivity of Local Knowledge. Lessons From Ethnobiology.David Ludwig - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4705-4720.
    This article develops an account of local epistemic practices on the basis of case studies from ethnobiology. I argue that current debates about objectivity often stand in the way of a more adequate understanding of local knowledge and ethnobiological practices in general. While local knowledge about the biological world often meets criteria for objectivity in philosophy of science, general debates about the objectivity of local knowledge can also obscure their unique epistemic features. In modification of Ian Hacking’s suggestion to discuss (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  20.  42
    Newcomb Meets Gettier.Ittay Nissan-Rozen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4799-4814.
    I show that accepting Moss’s claim that features of a rational agent’s credence function can constitute knowledge, together with the claim that a rational agent should only act on the basis of reasons that he knows, predicts and explains evidential decision theory’s failure to recommend the right choice for the Newcomb problem. The Newcomb problem can be seen, in light of Moss’s suggestion, as a manifestation of a Gettier case in the domain of choice. This serves as strong evidence for (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  21.  20
    Explanations of Exceptions in Biology: Corrective Asymmetry Versus Autonomy.Jani Raerinne - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):5073-5092.
    It is often argued that biological generalizations have a distinctive and special status by comparison with the generalizations of other natural sciences, such as that biological generalizations are riddled with exceptions defying systematic and simple treatment. This special status of biology is used as a premise in arguments that posit a deprived explanatory, nomological, or methodological status in the biological sciences. I will discuss the traditional and still almost universally held idea that the biological sciences cannot deal with exceptions and (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  22.  14
    The Manipulation of Chemical Reactions: Probing the Limits of Interventionism.Georgie Statham - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4815-4838.
    I apply James Woodward’s interventionist theory of causation to organic chemistry, modelling three different ways that chemists are able to manipulate the reaction conditions in order to control the outcome of a reaction. These consist in manipulations to the reaction kinetics, thermodynamics, and whether the kinetics or thermodynamics predominates. It is possible to construct interventionist causal models of all of these kinds of manipulation, and therefore to account for them using Woodward’s theory. However, I show that there is an alternate, (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  23.  10
    Do the Numbers Speak for Themselves? A Critical Analysis of Procedural Objectivity in Psychotherapeutic Efficacy Research.Femke L. Truijens - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4721-4740.
    Psychotherapy research is known for its pursuit of evidence-based treatment. Psychotherapeutic efficacy is assessed by calculation of aggregated differences between pre treatment- and post treatment symptom levels. As this ‘gold standard methodology’ is regarded as ‘procedurally objective’, the efficacy number that results from the procedure is taken as a valid indicator of treatment efficacy. However, I argue that the assumption of procedural objectivity is not justified, as the methodology is build upon a problematic numerical basis. I use an empirical case (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  24.  35
    How Objective Are Biological Functions?Marcel Weber - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):4741-4755.
    John Searle has argued that functions owe their existence to the value that we put into life and survival. In this paper, I will provide a critique of Searle’s argument concerning the ontology of functions. I rely on a standard analysis of functional predicates as relating not only a biological entity, an activity that constitutes the function of this entity and a type of system but also a goal state. A functional attribution without specification of such a goal state has (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  25.  40
    Self-Referential Propositions.Bruno Whittle - 2017 - Synthese 194 (12):5023-5037.
    Are there ‘self-referential’ propositions? That is, propositions that say of themselves that they have a certain property, such as that of being false. There can seem reason to doubt that there are. At the same time, there are a number of reasons why it matters. For suppose that there are indeed no such propositions. One might then hope that while paradoxes such as the Liar show that many plausible principles about sentences must be given up, no such fate will befall (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  26.  62
    Cognition and Behavior.Ken Aizawa - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4269-4288.
    An important question in the debate over embodied, enactive, and extended cognition has been what has been meant by “cognition”. What is this cognition that is supposed to be embodied, enactive, or extended? Rather than undertake a frontal assault on this question, however, this paper will take a different approach. In particular, we may ask how cognition is supposed to be related to behavior. First, we could ask whether cognition is supposed to be behavior. Second, we could ask whether we (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  27.  7
    On Defining Cognition.Colin Allen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4233-4249.
    Should cognitive scientists be any more embarrassed about their lack of a discipline-fixing definition of cognition than biologists are about their inability to define “life”? My answer is “no”. Philosophers seeking a unique “mark of the cognitive” or less onerous but nevertheless categorical characterizations of cognition are working at a level of analysis upon which hangs nothing that either cognitive scientists or philosophers of cognitive science should care about. In contrast, I advocate a pluralistic stance towards uses of the term (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  28.  28
    Lewis’s Revised Conditional Analysis Revisited.Busck Gundersen Eline - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):1-18.
    In ‘Finkish Dispositions’, David Lewis proposed a revised conditional analysis of dispositions, designed to rule out counterexamples based on finkish dispositions and finkish lacks of dispositions. Bird and Choi have argued that Lewis’s amended analysis is vulnerable to two further types of counterexamples trading on mimicked and masked dispositions. This paper provides a diagnosis of why Lewis’s analysis inherits these problems, and investigates whether the means can be found—in Lewis’s paper or elsewhere—to defend his analysis against the counterexamples. A range (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  29.  31
    Belief and Certainty.Dylan Dodd - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4597-4621.
    I argue that believing that p implies having a credence of 1 in p. This is true because the belief that p involves representing p as being the case, representing p as being the case involves not allowing for the possibility of not-p, while having a credence that’s greater than 0 in not-p involves regarding not-p as a possibility.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  30. On the Proper Domain of Psychological Predicates.Carrie Figdor - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4289-4310.
    One question of the bounds of cognition is that of which things have it. A scientifically relevant debate on this question must explain the persistent and selective use of psychological predicates to report findings throughout biology: for example, that neurons prefer, fruit flies and plants decide, and bacteria communicate linguistically. This paper argues that these claims should enjoy default literal interpretation. An epistemic consequence is that these findings can contribute directly to understanding the nature of psychological capacities.
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  31.  80
    Automatically Minded.Ellen Fridland - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11).
    It is not rare in philosophy and psychology to see theorists fall into dichotomous thinking about mental phenomena. On one side of the dichotomy there are processes that I will label “unintelligent.” These processes are thought to be unconscious, implicit, automatic, unintentional, involuntary, procedural, and non-cognitive. On the other side, there are “intelligent” processes that are conscious, explicit, controlled, intentional, voluntary, declarative, and cognitive. Often, if a process or behavior is characterized by one of the features from either of the (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   5 citations  
  32.  32
    What is the Extension of the Extended Mind?Hajo Greif - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4311-4336.
    Two aspects of cognitive coupling, as brought forward in the Extended Mind Hypothesis, are discussed in this paper: how shall the functional coupling between the organism and some entity in his environment be spelled out in detail? What are the paradigmatic external entities to enter into that coupling? These two related questions are best answered in the light of an aetiological variety of functionalist argument that adds historical depth to the “active externalism” promoted by Clark and Chalmers and helps to (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  33.  67
    Academic Superstars: Competent or Lucky?Remco Heesen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4499-4518.
    I show that the social stratification of academic science can arise as a result of academics’ preference for reading work of high epistemic value. This is consistent with a view on which academic superstars are highly competent academics, but also with a view on which superstars arise primarily due to luck. I argue that stratification is beneficial if most superstars are competent, but not if most superstars are lucky. I also argue that it is impossible to tell whether most superstars (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  34.  24
    Affordances and the Normativity of Emotions.Rebekka Hufendiek - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4455-4476.
    The normativity of emotions is a widely discussed phenomenon. So far embodied accounts have not paid sufficient attention to the various aspects of the normativity of emotions. In this paper it shall be pointed out that embodied accounts are constrained in the way they can account for the normativity of emotions due to their commitments to naturalism, externalism, and anti-vehicle-internalism. One way to account for the normativity of emotions within a naturalist framework is to describe the intentional objects of emotions (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  35.  23
    Question Closure to Solve the Surprise Test.Daniel Immerman - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4583-4596.
    This paper offers a new solution to the Surprise Test Paradox. The paradox arises thanks to an ingenious argument that seems to show that surprise tests are impossible. My solution to the paradox states that it relies on a questionable closure principle. This closure principle says that if one knows something and competently deduces something else, one knows the further thing. This principle has been endorsed by John Hawthorne and Timothy Williamson, among others, and I trace its motivation back to (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  36.  32
    Refining Four-Dimensionalism.Shieva Kleinschmidt - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4623-4640.
    Current formulations of Four-Dimensionalism may be objected to on grounds that they are too inflexible: the formulations do not seem to allow for enough variety in the views they are paired with. For instance, Kit Fine has noted that formulations of Four-Dimensionalism in terms of instantaneous parts may be too demanding for Four-Dimensionalists who believe nothing is instantaneous. And Trenton Merricks has argued that one can think something persists four-dimensionionally without taking it to have proper temporal parts, and claims that (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  37.  11
    Towards a Unified Framework for Decomposability of Processes.Valtteri Lahtinen & Antti Stenvall - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4411-4427.
    The concept of process is ubiquitous in science, engineering and everyday life. Category theory, and monoidal categories in particular, provide an abstract framework for modelling processes of many kinds. In this paper, we concentrate on sequential and parallel decomposability of processes in the framework of monoidal categories: We will give a precise definition, what it means for processes to be decomposable. Moreover, through examples, we argue that viewing parallel processes as coupled in this framework can be seen as a category (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  38.  31
    Putting Unicepts to Work: A Teleosemantic Perspective on the Infant Mindreading Puzzle.John Michael - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4365-4388.
    In this paper, I show how theoretical discussion of recent research on the abilities of infants and young children to represent other agents’ beliefs has been shaped by a descriptivist conception of mental content, i.e., to the notion that the distal content of a mental representation is fixed by the core body of knowledge that is associated with that mental representation. I also show how alternative conceptions of mental content—and in particular Ruth Millikan’s teleosemantic approach—make it possible to endorse the (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  39.  34
    What Are Cognitive Processes? An Example-Based Approach.Albert Newen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4251-4268.
    The question “What are cognitive processes?” can be understood variously as meaning “What is the nature of cognitive processes?”, “Can we distinguish epistemically cognitive processes from physical and biochemical processes on the one hand, and from mental or conscious processes on the other?”, and “Can we establish a fruitful notion of cognitive process?” The present aim is to deliver a positive answer to the last question by developing criteria for what would count as a paradigmatic exemplar of a cognitive process, (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  40.  22
    Disagreement, Reliability, and Resilience.John Pittard - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4389-4409.
    Alex Worsnip has recently argued against conciliatory views that say that the degree of doxastic revision required in light of disagreement is a function of one’s antecedent reliability estimates for oneself and one’s disputant. According to Worsnip, the degree of doxastic revision is also sensitive to the resilience of these estimates; in particular, when one has positive “net resilience,” meaning that one is more confident in one’s estimate of one’s own reliability than in one’s estimate of the disputant’s reliability, less (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  41.  25
    Value of Cognitive Diversity in Science.Samuli Pöyhönen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4519-4540.
    When should a scientific community be cognitively diverse? This article presents a model for studying how the heterogeneity of learning heuristics used by scientist agents affects the epistemic efficiency of a scientific community. By extending the epistemic landscapes modeling approach introduced by Weisberg and Muldoon, the article casts light on the micro-mechanisms mediating cognitive diversity, coordination, and problem-solving efficiency. The results suggest that social learning and cognitive diversity produce epistemic benefits only when the epistemic community is faced with problems of (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  42. Must Cognition Be Representational?William Ramsey - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4197-4214.
    In various contexts and for various reasons, writers often define cognitive processes and architectures as those involving representational states and structures. Similarly, cognitive theories are also often delineated as those that invoke representations. In this paper, I present several reasons for rejecting this way of demarcating the cognitive. Some of the reasons against defining cognition in representational terms are that doing so needlessly restricts our theorizing, it undermines the empirical status of the representational theory of mind, and it encourages wildly (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  43.  55
    Arguing About Representation.Mark Rowlands - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4215-4232.
    The question of whether cognition requires representations has engendered heated discussion during the last two decades. I shall argue that the question is, in all likelihood, a spurious one. There may or may not be a fact of the matter concerning whether a given item qualifies as a representation. However, even if there is, attempts to establish whether cognition requires representation have neither practical nor theoretical utility.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  44.  14
    The Logic of the Future in Quantum Theory.Anthony Sudbery - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4429-4453.
    According to quantum mechanics, statements about the future made by sentient beings like us are, in general, neither true nor false; they must satisfy a many-valued logic. I propose that the truth value of such a statement should be identified with the probability that the event it describes will occur. After reviewing the history of related ideas in logic, I argue that it gives an understanding of probability which is particularly satisfactory for use in quantum mechanics. I construct a lattice (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  45. Spontaneous Mindreading: A Problem for the Two-Systems Account.Evan Westra - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4559-4581.
    According to the two-systems account of mindreading, our mature perspective-taking abilities are subserved by two distinct mindreading systems: a fast but inflexible, “implicit” system, and a flexible but slow “explicit” one. However, the currently available evidence on adult perspective-taking does not support this account. Specifically, both Level-1 and Level-2 perspective-taking show a combination of efficiency and flexibility that is deeply inconsistent with the two-systems architecture. This inconsistency also turns out to have serious consequences for the two-systems framework as a whole, (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  46.  37
    Responsibility for Strategic Ignorance.Jan Willem Wieland - 2017 - Synthese 194 (11):4477-4497.
    Strategic ignorance is a widespread phenomenon. In a laboratory setting, many participants avoid learning information about the consequences of their behaviour in order to act egoistically. In real life, many consumers avoid information about their purchases or the working conditions in which they were produced in order to retain their lifestyle. The question is whether agents are blameworthy for such strategically ignorant behaviour. In this paper, I explore quality of will resources, according to which agents are blameworthy, roughly, depending on (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  47.  42
    Epistemic Normativity and the Justification-Excuse Distinction.Cameron Boult - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):4065-4081.
    The paper critically examines recent work on justifications and excuses in epistemology. I start with a discussion of Gerken’s claim that the “excuse maneuver” is ad hoc. Recent work from Timothy Williamson and Clayton Littlejohn provides resources to advance the debate. Focusing in particular on a key insight in Williamson’s view, I then consider an additional worry for the so-called excuse maneuver. I call it the “excuses are not enough” objection. Dealing with this objection generates pressure in two directions: one (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  48.  33
    Conceivability Arguments for Haecceitism.Sam Cowling - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):4171-4190.
    According to haecceitism, some maximal possibilities differ even while they are qualitatively indiscernible. Since haecceitism is a modal thesis, it is typically defended by appeal to conceivability arguments. These arguments require us to conceive of qualitatively indiscernible possibilities that differ only with respect to the identity of the individuals involved. This paper examines a series of conceivability arguments for haecceitism and a variety of anti-haecceitist responses. It concludes that there is no irresistible conceivability argument for haecceitism even while anti-haecceitist responses (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  49.  32
    Lost in Translation: Unknowable Propositions in Probabilistic Frameworks.Eleonora Cresto - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):3955-3977.
    Some propositions are structurally unknowable for certain agents. Let me call them ‘Moorean propositions’. The structural unknowability of Moorean propositions is normally taken to pave the way towards proving a familiar paradox from epistemic logic—the so-called ‘Knowability Paradox’, or ‘Fitch’s Paradox’—which purports to show that if all truths are knowable, then all truths are in fact known. The present paper explores how to translate Moorean statements into a probabilistic language. A successful translation should enable us to derive a version of (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  50.  4
    Vagueness and Probability: Introduction.Richard Dietz - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):3693-3698.
    This introduction provides some background to the contributions to this volume.
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  51.  48
    Verities, the Sorites, and Theseus’ Ship.Igor Douven - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):3867-3878.
    Edgington has proposed a degree-theoretic account of vagueness that yields a highly elegant solution to the sorites paradox. This paper applies her account to the paradox of Theseus’ ship, which is generally classified among the paradoxes of material constitution and not as a sorites paradox.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  52.  18
    Vague Judgment: A Probabilistic Account.Paul Égré - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):3837-3865.
    This paper explores the idea that vague predicates like “tall”, “loud” or “expensive” are applied based on a process of analog magnitude representation, whereby magnitudes are represented with noise. I present a probabilistic account of vague judgment, inspired by early remarks from E. Borel on vagueness, and use it to model judgments about borderline cases. The model involves two main components: probabilistic magnitude representation on the one hand, and a notion of subjective criterion. The framework is used to represent judgments (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  53. The Possibility of Vagueness.Kit Fine - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):3699-3725.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  54. Declarations of Independence.Branden Fitelson & Alan Hájek - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):3979-3995.
    According to orthodox (Kolmogorovian) probability theory, conditional probabilities are by definition certain ratios of unconditional probabilities. As a result, orthodox conditional probabilities are undefined whenever their antecedents have zero unconditional probability. This has important ramifications for the notion of probabilistic independence. Traditionally, independence is defined in terms of unconditional probabilities (the factorization of the relevant joint unconditional probabilities). Various “equivalent” formulations of independence can be given using conditional probabilities. But these “equivalences” break down if conditional probabilities are permitted to have (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  55.  21
    A Case Against Convexity in Conceptual Spaces.José V. Hernández-Conde - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):4011-4037.
    The notion of conceptual space, proposed by Gärdenfors as a framework for the representation of concepts and knowledge, has been highly influential over the last decade or so. One of the main theses involved in this approach is that the conceptual regions associated with properties, concepts, verbs, etc. are convex. The aim of this paper is to show that such a constraint—that of the convexity of the geometry of conceptual regions—is problematic; both from a theoretical perspective and with regard to (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  56.  54
    Normativity, Probability, and Meta-Vagueness.Masaki Ichinose - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):3879-3900.
    This paper engages with a specific problem concerning the relationship between descriptive and normative claims. Namely, if we understand that descriptive claims frequently contain normative assertions, and vice versa, how then do we interpret the traditionally rigid distinction that is made between the two, as ’Hume’s law’ or Moore’s ’naturalistic fallacy’ argument offered. In particular, Kripke’s interpretation of Wittgenstein’s ’rule-following paradox’ is specially focused upon in order to re-consider the rigid distinction. As such, the paper argues that if descriptive and (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  57.  23
    Degrees of Belief, Expected and Actual.Rosanna Keefe - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):3789-3800.
    A framework of degrees of belief, or credences, is often advocated to model our uncertainty about how things are or will turn out. It has also been employed in relation to the kind of uncertainty or indefiniteness that arises due to vagueness, such as when we consider “a is F” in a case where a is borderline F. How should we understand degrees of belief when we take into account both these phenomena? Can the right kind of theory of the (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  58.  14
    A Myth Resurgent: Classical Foundationalism and the New Sellarsian Critique.Jeremy Randel Koons - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):4155-4169.
    One important strand of Sellars’s attack on classical foundationalism from Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind is his thesis about the priority of is-talk over looks-talk. This thesis has been criticized extensively in recent years, and classical foundationalism has found several contemporary defenders. I revisit Sellars’s thesis and argue that is-talk is epistemically prior to looks-talk in a way that undermines classical foundationalism. The classical foundationalist claims that epistemic foundations are constituted by the agent’s set of looks-judgments. However, I argue (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  59.  27
    Adjectival Vagueness in a Bayesian Model of Interpretation.Daniel Lassiter & Noah D. Goodman - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):3801-3836.
    We derive a probabilistic account of the vagueness and context-sensitivity of scalar adjectives from a Bayesian approach to communication and interpretation. We describe an iterated-reasoning architecture for pragmatic interpretation and illustrate it with a simple scalar implicature example. We then show how to enrich the apparatus to handle pragmatic reasoning about the values of free variables, explore its predictions about the interpretation of scalar adjectives, and show how this model implements Edgington’s Vagueness: a reader, 1997) account of the sorites paradox, (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   3 citations  
  60.  48
    Vague Credence.Aidan Lyon - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):3931-3954.
    It is natural to think of precise probabilities as being special cases of imprecise probabilities, the special case being when one’s lower and upper probabilities are equal. I argue, however, that it is better to think of the two models as representing two different aspects of our credences, which are often vague to some degree. I show that by combining the two models into one model, and understanding that model as a model of vague credence, a natural interpretation arises that (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  61.  16
    Hearsay Viewed Through the Lens of Trust, Reputation and Coherence.Francesco Martini - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):4083-4099.
    Hearsay or indirect testimony receives little discussion even today in epistemology, and yet it represents one of the cardinal modes for the transmission of knowledge and for human cognitive development. It suffices to think of school education whereby a student listens to teachers reporting knowledge acquired, often indirectly, from the most varied sources such as text books, newspapers, personal memory, television, etc… Or let us consider the importance of oral tradition in the social and cultural development of civilisations. Or even (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  62.  12
    Coherence of de Finetti Coherence.Daniele Mundici - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):4055-4063.
    We prove that de Finetti coherence is preserved under taking products of coherent books on two sets of independent events. This establishes a desirable closure property of coherence: were it not the case it would raise a question mark over the utility of de Finetti’s notion of coherence.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  63.  46
    Tolerance and Higher-Order Vagueness.Peter Pagin - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):3727-3760.
    The idea of higher-order vagueness is usually associated with conceptions of vagueness that focus on the existence of borderline cases. What sense can be made of it within a conception of vagueness that focuses on tolerance instead? A proposal is offered here. It involves understanding ‘definitely’ not as a sentence operator but as a predicate modifier, and more precisely as an intensifier, that is, an operator that shifts the predicate extension along a scale. This idea is combined with the author’s (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  64.  27
    Perceptual Content is Indexed to Attention.Adrienne Prettyman - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):4039-4054.
    Attention seems to raise a problem for pure representationalism, the view that phenomenal content supervenes on representational content. The problem is that shifts of attention sometimes seem to bring about a change in phenomenal content without a change in representational content. I argue that the representationalist can meet this challenge, but that doing so requires a new view of the representational content of perception. On this new view, the representational content of perception is always relative to a way of attending. (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  65.  31
    From Values to Probabilities.Wlodek Rabinowicz - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):3901-3929.
    According to the fitting-attitude analysis of value , to be valuable is to be a fitting object of a pro-attitude. In earlier publications, setting off from this format of analysis, I proposed a modelling of value relations which makes room for incommensurability in value. In this paper, I first recapitulate the value modelling and then move on to suggest adopting a structurally similar analysis of probability. Indeed, many probability theorists from Poisson onwards did adopt an analysis of this kind. This (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  66.  7
    From Values to Probabilities.Wlodek Rabinowicz - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):3901-3929.
    According to the fitting-attitude analysis of value, to be valuable is to be a fitting object of a pro-attitude. In earlier publications, setting off from this format of analysis, I proposed a modelling of value relations which makes room for incommensurability in value. In this paper, I first recapitulate the value modelling and then move on to suggest adopting a structurally similar analysis of probability. Indeed, many probability theorists from Poisson onwards did adopt an analysis of this kind. This move (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  67. Intuitionistc Probability and the Bayesian Objection to Dogmatism.Martin Smith - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):3997-4009.
    Given a few assumptions, the probability of a conjunction is raised, and the probability of its negation is lowered, by conditionalising upon one of the conjuncts. This simple result appears to bring Bayesian confirmation theory into tension with the prominent dogmatist view of perceptual justification – a tension often portrayed as a kind of ‘Bayesian objection’ to dogmatism. In a recent paper, David Jehle and Brian Weatherson observe that, while this crucial result holds within classical probability theory, it fails within (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  68.  34
    Undead Argument: The Truth-Functionality Objection to Fuzzy Theories of Vagueness.Nicholas J. J. Smith - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10).
    From Fine and Kamp in the 70’s—through Osherson and Smith in the 80’s, Williamson, Kamp and Partee in the 90’s and Keefe in the 00’s—up to Sauerland in the present decade, the objection continues to be run that fuzzy logic based theories of vagueness are incompatible with ordinary usage of compound propositions in the presence of borderline cases. These arguments against fuzzy theories have been rebutted several times but evidently not put to rest. I attempt to do so in this (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  69.  35
    Interventionist Decision Theory.Reuben Stern - 2017 - Synthese 194 (10):4133-4153.
    Jim Joyce has argued that David Lewis’s formulation of causal decision theory is inadequate because it fails to apply to the “small world” decisions that people face in real life. Meanwhile, several authors have argued that causal decision theory should be developed such that it integrates the interventionist approach to causal modeling because of the expressive power afforded by the language of causal models, but, as of now, there has been little work towards this end. In this paper, I propose (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  70.  19
    Resisting the Historical Objections to Realism: Is Doppelt’s a Viable Solution?Mario Alai - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3267-3290.
    There are two possible realist defense strategies against the pessimistic meta-induction and Laudan’s meta-modus tollens: the selective strategy, claiming that discarded theories are partially true, and the discontinuity strategy, denying that pessimism about past theories can be extended to current ones. A radical version of discontinuity realism is proposed by Gerald Doppelt: rather than discriminating between true and false components within theories, he holds that superseded theories cannot be shown to be even partially true, while present best theories are demonstrably (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  71.  18
    Do Bets Reveal Beliefs?Jean Baccelli - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3393-3419.
    This paper examines the preference-based approach to the identification of beliefs. It focuses on the main problem to which this approach is exposed, namely that of state-dependent utility. First, the problem is illustrated in full detail. Four types of state-dependent utility issues are distinguished. Second, a comprehensive strategy for identifying beliefs under state-dependent utility is presented and discussed. For the problem to be solved following this strategy, however, preferences need to extend beyond choices. We claim that this a necessary feature (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  72.  78
    Quine’s Conjecture on Many-Sorted Logic.Thomas William Barrett & Hans Halvorson - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3563-3582.
    In this paper we settle a conjecture suggested by Quine. Our theorem makes precise the relationship between many-sorted logic and single-sorted logic and yields a remark about a criterion for theoretical equivalence proposed by Glymour.
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  73.  52
    Quine’s Conjecture on Many-Sorted Logic.Thomas William Barrett & Hans Halvorson - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3563-3582.
    Quine often argued for a simple, untyped system of logic rather than the typed systems that were championed by Russell and Carnap, among others. He claimed that nothing important would be lost by eliminating sorts, and the result would be additional simplicity and elegance. In support of this claim, Quine conjectured that every many-sorted theory is equivalent to a single-sorted theory. We make this conjecture precise, and prove that it is true, at least according to one reasonable notion of theoretical (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  74.  80
    The Applicability of Mathematics to Physical Modality.Nora Berenstain - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3361-3377.
    This paper argues that scientific realism commits us to a metaphysical determination relation between the mathematical entities that are indispensible to scientific explanation and the modal structure of the empirical phenomena those entities explain. The argument presupposes that scientific realism commits us to the indispensability argument. The viewpresented here is that the indispensability of mathematics commits us not only to the existence of mathematical structures and entities but to a metaphysical determination relation between those entities and the modal structure of (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  75.  44
    Cognitive Penetration and the Cognition–Perception Interface.Daniel C. Burnston - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3645-3668.
    I argue that discussions of cognitive penetration have been insufficiently clear about what distinguishes perception and cognition, and what kind of relationship between the two is supposed to be at stake in the debate. A strong reading, which is compatible with many characterizations of penetration, posits a highly specific and directed influence on perception. According to this view, which I call the “internal effect view” a cognitive state penetrates a perceptual process if the presence of the cognitive state causes a (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  76.  12
    Reflections on New Thinking About Scientific Realism.Anjan Chakravartty - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3379-3392.
    In August 2014 the Universities of Pretoria and Johannesburg hosted a major international conference in Cape Town, ‘New Thinking about Scientific Realism’, to assess extant discussions of the view in hopes of opening up new avenues of research, and to sow the seeds of further development and consideration of these prospective lines of inquiry. In this, the concluding essay of the Special Issue collecting some of the descendants of these earlier presentations, I extract some of the more striking themes to (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  77.  18
    On Individual Risk.Philip Dawid - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3445-3474.
    We survey a variety of possible explications of the term “Individual Risk.” These in turn are based on a variety of interpretations of “Probability,” including classical, enumerative, frequency, formal, metaphysical, personal, propensity, chance and logical conceptions of probability, which we review and compare. We distinguish between “groupist” and “individualist” understandings of probability, and explore both “group to individual” and “individual to group” approaches to characterising individual risk. Although in the end that concept remains subtle and elusive, some pragmatic suggestions for (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  78. The Subject Matter of Phenomenological Research: Existentials, Modes, and Prejudices.Anthony Vincent Fernandez - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3543-3562.
    In this essay I address the question, “What is the subject matter of phenomenological research?” I argue that in spite of the increasing popularity of phenomenology, the answers to this question have been brief and cursory. As a result, contemporary phenomenologists lack a clear framework within which to articulate the aims and results of their research, and cannot easily engage each other in constructive and critical discourse. Examining the literature on phenomenology’s identity, I show how the question of phenomenology’s subject (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  79.  31
    A Pragmatic, Existentialist Approach to the Scientific Realism Debate.Curtis Forbes - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3327-3346.
    It has become apparent that the debate between scientific realists and constructive empiricists has come to a stalemate. Neither view can reasonably claim to be the most rational philosophy of science, exclusively capable of making sense of all scientific activities. On one prominent analysis of the situation, whether we accept a realist or an anti-realist account of science actually seems to depend on which values we antecedently accept, rather than our commitment to “rationality” per se. Accordingly, several philosophers have attempted (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  80.  89
    Realism and its Representational Vehicles.Steven French - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3311-3326.
    In this essay I shall focus on the adoption of the Semantic Approach by structural realists, including myself, who have done so on the grounds that it wears its structuralist sympathies on its sleeve. Despite this, the SA has been identified as standing in tension with the ontological commitments of the so-called ’ontic’ form of this view and so I shall explore that tension before discussing the usefulness of the SA in framing scientific representation and concluding with a discussion of (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  81.  23
    Predictive Success, Partial Truth and Duhemian Realism.Gauvain Leconte - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3245-3265.
    According to a defense of scientific realism known as the “divide et impera move”, mature scientific theories enjoying predictive success are partially true. This paper investigates a paradigmatic historical case: the prediction, based on Fresnel’s wave theory of light, that a bright spot should figure in the shadow of a disc. Two different derivations of this prediction have been given by both Poisson and Fresnel. I argue that the details of these derivations highlight two problems of indispensability arguments, which state (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  82.  20
    Looking Angry and Sounding Sad: The Perceptual Analysis of Emotional Expression.Trip Glazer - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3619-3643.
    According to the Perceptual Analysis of Emotional Expression, behaviors express emotions by making them perceptually manifest. A smile is an expression of joy because an observer who sees a smile can see joy. A pout is an expression of grief because an observer who sees a pout can see grief. And a growl is an expression of anger because an observer who hears a growl can hear anger. The idea is not simply that expressions can enable the perception of emotion, (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  83.  43
    How to Be Fairer.Conrad Heilmann & Stefan Wintein - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3475-3499.
    We confront the philosophical literature on fair division problems with axiomatic and game-theoretic work in economics. Firstly, we show that the proportionality method advocated in Curtis is not implied by a general principle of fairness, and that the proportional rule cannot be explicated axiomatically from that very principle. Secondly, we suggest that Broome’s notion of claims is too restrictive and that game-theoretic approaches can rectify this shortcoming. More generally, we argue that axiomatic and game-theoretic work in economics is an indispensable (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  84.  68
    Epistemic Selectivity, Historical Threats, and the Non-Epistemic Tenets of Scientific Realism.Timothy D. Lyons - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3203-3219.
    The scientific realism debate has now reached an entirely new level of sophistication. Faced with increasingly focused challenges, epistemic scientific realists have appropriately revised their basic meta-hypothesis that successful scientific theories are approximately true: they have emphasized criteria that render realism far more selective and, so, plausible. As a framework for discussion, I use what I take to be the most influential current variant of selective epistemic realism, deployment realism. Toward the identification of new case studies that challenge this form (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  85.  45
    Does Functionalism Entail Extended Mind?Kengo Miyazono - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3523-3541.
    In discussing the famous case of Otto, a patient with Alzheimer’s disease who carries around a notebook to keep important information, Clark and Chalmers argue that some of Otto’s beliefs are physically realized in the notebook. In other words, some of Otto’s beliefs are extended into the environment. Their main argument is a functionalist one. Some of Otto’s beliefs are physically realized in the notebook because, first, some of the beliefs of Inga, a healthy person who remembers important information in (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  86.  32
    Frege, Fiction and Force.Jessie Munton - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3669-3692.
    Discussion of Frege’s theory of fiction has tended to focus on the problem of empty names, and has consequently missed the truly problematic aspect of the theory, Frege’s commitment to the view that even fictional sentences that contain no empty names fail to refer. That claim prima facie conflicts with his commitment to the cognitive transparency of sense, and the determination of reference by sense. Resolving this tension compels us to recognize that fiction for Frege is a special kind of (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  87.  36
    Optimistic Realism About Scientific Progress.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3291-3309.
    Scientific realists use the “no miracle argument” to show that the empirical and pragmatic success of science is an indicator of the ability of scientific theories to give true or truthlike representations of unobservable reality. While antirealists define scientific progress in terms of empirical success or practical problem-solving, realists characterize progress by using some truth-related criteria. This paper defends the definition of scientific progress as increasing truthlikeness or verisimilitude. Antirealists have tried to rebut realism with the “pessimistic metainduction”, but critical (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  88. Epistemic Injustice in Utterance Interpretation.Andrew Peet - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3421-3443.
    This paper argues that underlying social biases are able to affect the processes underlying linguistic interpretation. The result is a series of harms systematically inflicted on marginalised speakers. It is also argued that the role of biases and stereotypes in interpretation complicates Miranda Fricker's proposed solution to epistemic injustice.
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  89.  8
    Scientific Realism: Quo Vadis? Introduction: New Thinking About Scientific Realism.Stathis Psillos & Emma Ruttkamp-Bloem - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3187-3201.
    This Introduction has two foci: the first is a discussion of the motivation for and the aims of the 2014 conference on New Thinking about Scientific Realism in Cape Town South Africa, and the second is a brief contextualization of the contributed articles in this special issue of Synthese in the framework of the conference. Each focus is discussed in a separate section.
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  90.  75
    Replacing Recipe Realism.Juha Saatsi - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3233-3244.
    Many realist writings exemplify the spirit of ‘recipe realism’. Here I characterise recipe realism, challenge it, and propose replacing it with ‘exemplar realism’. This alternative understanding of realism is more piecemeal, robust, and better in tune with scientists’ own attitude towards their best theories, and thus to be preferred.
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  91.  28
    Physicalism as an Empirical Hypothesis.David Spurrett - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3347-3360.
    Bas van Fraassen claims that materialism involves false consciousness. The thesis that matter is all that there is, he says, fails to rule out any kinds of theories. The false consciousness consists in taking materialism to be cognitive rather than an existential stance, or attitude, of deference to the current content of science in matters of ontology, and a favourable attitude to completeness claims about the content of science at a time. The main argument Van Fraassen provides for saying that (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  92.  13
    Univalent Foundations as Structuralist Foundations.Dimitris Tsementzis - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3583-3617.
    The Univalent Foundations of Mathematics provide not only an entirely non-Cantorian conception of the basic objects of mathematics but also a novel account of how foundations ought to relate to mathematical practice. In this paper, I intend to answer the question: In what way is UF a new foundation of mathematics? I will begin by connecting UF to a pragmatist reading of the structuralist thesis in the philosophy of mathematics, which I will use to define a criterion that a formal (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  93.  22
    Univalent Foundations as Structuralist Foundations.Dimitris Tsementzis - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3583-3617.
    The Univalent Foundations of Mathematics provide not only an entirely non-Cantorian conception of the basic objects of mathematics but also a novel account of how foundations ought to relate to mathematical practice. In this paper, I intend to answer the question: In what way is UF a new foundation of mathematics? I will begin by connecting UF to a pragmatist reading of the structuralist thesis in the philosophy of mathematics, which I will use to define a criterion that a formal (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  94.  28
    Understanding the Selective Realist Defence Against the PMI.Peter Vickers - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3221-3232.
    One of the popular realist responses to the pessimistic meta-induction is the ‘selective’ move, where a realist only commits to the ‘working posits’ of a successful theory, and withholds commitment to ‘idle posits’. Antirealists often criticise selective realists for not being able to articulate exactly what is meant by ‘working’ and/or not being able to identify the working posits except in hindsight. This paper aims to establish two results: sometimes a proposition is, in an important sense, ‘doing work’, and yet (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  95.  20
    Unification, the Answer to Resemblance Questions.Erik Weber & Merel Lefevere - 2017 - Synthese 194 (9):3501-3521.
    In the current literature on scientific explanation unification became unfashionable in favour of causal approaches. We want to bring unification back into the picture. In this paper we demonstrate that resemblance questions do occur in scientific practice and that they cannot be properly answered without unification. Our examples show that resemblance questions about particular facts demand what we call causal network unification, while resemblance questions about regularities require what we call mechanism unification. We clarify how these types of unification relate (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  96.  27
    Two New Objections to Explanationism.Bryan C. Appley & Gregory Stoutenburg - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):3069-3084.
    After a period of inactivity, interest in explanationism as a thesis about the nature of epistemic justification has been renewed. Poston and McCain have both recently offered versions of explanationist evidentialism. In this paper, we pose two objections to explanationist evidentialism. First, explanationist evidentialism fails to state a sufficient condition for justification. Second, explanationist evidentialism implies a vicious regress.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  97.  24
    A Russellian Account of Suspended Judgment.Philip Atkins - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):3021-3046.
    Suspended judgment poses a serious problem for Russellianism. In this paper I examine several possible solutions to this problem and argue that none of them is satisfactory. Then I sketch a new solution. According to this solution, suspended judgment should be understood as a sui generis propositional attitude. By this I mean that it cannot be reduced to, or explained in terms of, other propositional attitudes, such as belief. Since suspended judgment is sui generis in this sense, sentences that ascribe (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  98.  49
    Rejecting Pereboom’s Empirical Objection to Agent-Causation.Jordan Baker - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):3085-3100.
    In this paper I argue that Pereboom’s empirical objection to agent causation fails to undermine the most plausible version of agent-causal libertarianism. This is significant because Pereboom concedes that such libertarianism is conceptually coherent and only falls to empirical considerations. To substantiate these claims I outline Pereboom’s taxonomy of agent-causal views, develop the strongest version of his empirical objections, and then show that this objection fails to undermine what I consider the most plausible view of agent-causal libertarianism, namely, reconciliatory integrationist (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  99.  77
    Virtuous Distinctions.Will Fleisher - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):2973–3003.
    Virtue epistemology has been divided into two camps: reliabilists and responsibilists. This division has been attributed in part to a focus on different types of virtues, viz., faculty virtues and character virtues. I will argue that this distinction is unhelpful, and that we should carve up the theoretical terrain differently. Making several better distinctions among virtues will show us two important things. First, that responsibilists and reliabilists are actually engaged in different, complementary projects; and second, that certain responsibilist critiques of (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  100.  35
    Agency of Belief and Intention.A. K. Flowerree - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):2763-2784.
    In this paper, I argue for a conditional parity thesis: if we are agents with respect to our intentions, we are agents with respect to our beliefs. In the final section, I motivate a categorical version of the parity thesis: we are agents with respect to belief and intention. My aim in this paper is to show that there is no unique challenge facing epistemic agency that is not also facing agency with respect to intention. My thesis is ambitious on (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  101.  71
    Why Broad Content Can't Influence Behaviour.Cressida Gaukroger - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):3005–3020.
    This article examines one argument in favour of the position that the relational properties of mental states do not have causal powers over behaviour. This argument states that we establish that the relational properties of mental states do not have causal powers by considering cases where intrinsic properties remain the same but relational properties vary to see whether, under such circumstances, behaviour would ever vary. The individualist argues that behaviour will not vary with relational properties alone, which means that they (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  102. Should Have Known.Sanford C. Goldberg - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):2863-2894.
    In this paper I will be arguing that there are cases in which a subject, S, should have known that p, even though, given her state of evidence at the time, she was in no position to know it. My argument for this result will involve making two claims. The uncontroversial claim is this: S should have known that p when another person has, or would have, legitimate expectations regarding S’s epistemic condition, the satisfaction of these expectations would require that (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  103. Distributed Selves: Personal Identity and Extended Memory Systems.Richard Heersmink - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):3135–3151.
    This paper explores the implications of extended and distributed cognition theory for our notions of personal identity. On an extended and distributed approach to cognition, external information is under certain conditions constitutive of memory. On a narrative approach to personal identity, autobiographical memory is constitutive of our diachronic self. In this paper, I bring these two approaches together and argue that external information can be constitutive of one’s autobiographical memory and thus also of one’s diachronic self. To develop this claim, (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  104.  11
    Epistemic Inconsistency and Categorical Coherence: A Study of Probabilistic Measures of Coherence.Michael Hughes - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):3153-3185.
    Is logical consistency required for a set of beliefs or propositions to be categorically coherent? An affirmative answer is often assumed by mainstream epistemologists, and yet it is unclear why. Cases like the lottery and the preface call into question the assumption that beliefs must be consistent in order to be epistemically rational. And thus it is natural to wonder why all inconsistent sets of propositions are incoherent. On the other hand, Easwaran and Fitelson have shown that particular kinds of (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  105. How to Expect a Surprising Exam.Brian Kim & Anubav Vasudevan - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):3101-3133.
    In this paper, we provide a Bayesian analysis of the well-known surprise exam paradox. Central to our analysis is a probabilistic account of what it means for the student to accept the teacher's announcement that he will receive a surprise exam. According to this account, the student can be said to have accepted the teacher's announcement provided he adopts a subjective probability distribution relative to which he expects to receive the exam on a day on which he expects not to (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  106.  53
    A Hyperintensional Criterion of Irrelevance.Stephan Krämer - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):2917-2930.
    On one important notion of irrelevance, evidence that is irrelevant in an inquiry may rationally be discarded, and attempts to obtain evidence amount to a waste of resources if they are directed at irrelevant evidence. The familiar Bayesian criterion of irrelevance, whatever its merits, is not adequate with respect to this notion. I show that a modification of the criterion due to Ken Gemes, though a significant improvement, still has highly implausible consequences. To make progress, I argue, we need to (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  107.  51
    Why Doxastic Responsibility is Not Based on Direct Doxastic Control.Andrea Kruse - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):2811-2842.
    The aim of this paper is to argue that doxastic responsibility, i.e., responsibility for holding a certain doxastic attitude, is not based on direct doxastic control. There are two different kinds of direct doxastic control to be found in the literature, intentional doxastic control and evaluative doxastic control. Although many epistemologists agree that we do not have intentional doxastic control over our doxastic attitudes, it has been argued that we have evaluative doxastic control over the majority of our doxastic attitudes. (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  108.  26
    Introduction to the Special Issue “Doxastic Agency and Epistemic Responsibility”.Andrea Kruse & Heinrich Wansing - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):2667-2671.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  109.  21
    Wigner’s Puzzle and the Pythagorean Heuristic.Jane McDonnell - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):2931-2948.
    It is argued that mathematics is unreasonably effective in fundamental physics, that this is genuinely mysterious, and that it is best explained by a version of Pythagorean metaphysics. It is shown how this can be reconciled with the fact that mathematics is not always effective in real world applications. The thesis is that physical structure approaches isomorphism with a highly symmetric mathematical structure at very high energy levels, such as would have existed in the early universe. As the universe cooled, (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  110.  88
    Attitudinal Control.Conor McHugh - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):2745-2762.
    Beliefs are held to norms in a way that seems to require control over what we believe. Yet we don’t control our beliefs at will, in the way we control our actions. I argue that this problem can be solved by recognising a different form of control, which we exercise when we revise our beliefs directly for reasons. We enjoy this form of attitudinal control not only over our beliefs, but also over other attitudes, including intentions—that is, over the will (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  111.  24
    Against a Descriptive Vindication of Doxastic Voluntarism.Nikolaj Nottelmann - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):2721-2744.
    In this paper, I examine whether doxastic voluntarism should be taken seriously within normative doxastic ethics. First, I show that currently the psychological evidence does not positively support doxastic voluntarism, even if I accept recent conclusions by Matthias Steup that the relevant evidence does not decisively undermine voluntarism either. Thus, it would seem that normative doxastic ethics could not justifiedly appeal directly to voluntarist assumptions. Second, I attempt to bring out how doxastic voluntarists may nevertheless hope to stir methodological worries (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  112.  50
    Responsible Belief and Epistemic Justification.Rik Peels - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):2895-2915.
    For decades, philosophers have displayed an interest in what it is to have an epistemically justified belief. Recently, we also find among philosophers a renewed interest in the so-called ethics of belief: what is it to believe responsibly and when is one’s belief blameworthy? This paper explores how epistemically justified belief and responsible belief are related to each other. On the so-called ‘deontological conception of epistemic justification’, they are identical: to believe epistemically responsibly is to believe epistemically justifiedly. I argue (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  113.  29
    Inscrutability and Visual Objects.Ben Phillips - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):2949-2971.
    The thesis that the visual system represents objects has garnered empirical support from a variety of sources in recent decades. But what kinds of things qualify as “objects” in the relevant sense? Are they ordinary three-dimensional bodies? Are they the facing surfaces of three-dimensional bodies? I argue that there is no fact of the matter: what we have are equally acceptable ways of assigning extensions to the relevant visual states. The view I defend bears obvious similarities to Quine’s thesis that (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  114.  43
    Negative Doxastic Voluntarism and the Concept of Belief.Hans Rott - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):2695-2720.
    Pragmatists have argued that doxastic or epistemic norms do not apply to beliefs, but to changes of beliefs; thus not to the holding or not-holding, but to the acquisition or removal of beliefs. Doxastic voluntarism generally claims that humans acquire beliefs in a deliberate and controlled way. This paper introduces Negative Doxastic Voluntarism according to which there is a fundamental asymmetry in belief change: humans tend to acquire beliefs more or less automatically and unreflectively, but they tend to withdraw beliefs (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  115.  49
    Believing Intentionally.Matthias Steup - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):2673-2694.
    According to William Alston, we lack voluntary control over our propositional attitudes because we cannot believe intentionally, and we cannot believe intentionally because our will is not causally connected to belief formation. Against Alston, I argue that we can believe intentionally because our will is causally connected to belief formation. My defense of this claim is based on examples in which agents have reasons for and against believing p, deliberate on what attitude to take towards p, and subsequently acquire an (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  116. On the Analogy of Free Will and Free Belief.Verena Wagner - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):2785-2810.
    Compatibilist methods borrowed from the free will debate are often used to establish doxastic freedom and epistemic responsibility. Certain analogies between the formation of intention and belief make this approach especially promising. Despite being a compatibilist myself in the practical debate, I will argue that compatibilist methods fail to establish doxastic freedom. My rejection is not based on an argument against the analogy of free will and free belief. Rather, I aim at showing that compatibilist free will and free belief (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  117.  40
    Remarks on the Logic of Imagination. A Step Towards Understanding Doxastic Control Through Imagination.Heinrich Wansing - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):2843-2861.
    Imagination has recently attracted considerable attention from epistemologists and is recognized as a source of belief and even knowledge. One remarkable feature of imagination is that it is often and typically agentive: agents decide to imagine. In cases in which imagination results in a belief, the agentiveness of imagination may be taken to give rise to indirect doxastic control and epistemic responsibility. This observation calls for a proper understanding of agentive imagination. In particular, it calls for the development of a (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  118.  34
    Time, Change and Time Without Change.Ken Warmbrod - 2017 - Synthese 194 (8):3047-3067.
    The issue whether there is any necessary connection between time and change turns, I argue, on the problem of what constitutes an accurate measurement of how much time passes. Given a plausible hypothesis about how time is measured, Shoemaker’s well known argument that time can pass without change can be seen to be unsound. But Shoemaker’s conclusion is not therefore false. The same hypothesis about time measurement supports a revised version of Shoemaker’s argument, and the revised argument does establish that (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  119.  16
    Bisimulation and Expressivity for Conditional Belief, Degrees of Belief, and Safe Belief.Mikkel Birkegaard Andersen, Thomas Bolander, Hans van Ditmarsch & Martin Holm Jensen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2447-2487.
    Plausibility models are Kripke models that agents use to reason about knowledge and belief, both of themselves and of each other. Such models are used to interpret the notions of conditional belief, degrees of belief, and safe belief. The logic of conditional belief contains that modality and also the knowledge modality, and similarly for the logic of degrees of belief and the logic of safe belief. With respect to these logics, plausibility models may contain too much information. A proper notion (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  120. Do Non-Philosophers Think Epistemic Consequentialism is Counterintuitive?James Andow - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2631-2643.
    Direct epistemic consequentialism is the idea that X is epistemically permissible iff X maximizes epistemic value. It has received lots of attention in recent years and is widely accepted by philosophers to have counterintuitive implications. There are various reasons one might suspect that the relevant intuitions will not be widely shared among non-philosophers. This paper presents an initial empirical study of ordinary intuitions. The results of two experiments demonstrate that the counterintuitiveness of epistemic consequentialism is more than a philosophers' worry---the (...)
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  121. Aristotelian Essentialism: Essence in the Age of Evolution.Christopher J. Austin - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2539-2556.
    The advent of contemporary evolutionary theory ushered in the eventual decline of Aristotelian Essentialism (Æ) – for it is widely assumed that essence does not, and cannot have any proper place in the age of evolution. This paper argues that this assumption is a mistake: if Æ can be suitably evolved, it need not face extinction. In it, I claim that if that theory’s fundamental ontology consists of dispositional properties, and if its characteristic metaphysical machinery is interpreted within the framework (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  122.  41
    Particles, Causation, and the Metaphysics of Structure.Anjan Chakravartty - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2273-2289.
    I consider the idea of a structure of fundamental physical particles being causal. Causation is traditionally thought of as involving relations between entities—objects or events—that cause and are affected. On structuralist interpretations, however, it is unclear whether or how precisely fundamental particles can be causally efficacious. On some interpretations, only relations exist; on others, particles are ontologically dependent on their relations in ways that problematize the traditional picture. I argue that thinking about causal efficacy in this context generates an inevitable (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  123.  20
    Clouds and Blood. More on Vagueness and the Mass/Count Distinction.Gennaro Chierchia - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2523-2538.
    A vagueness-based approach to the mass/count distinction was developed in Chierchia. Liebesman argues against Chierchia’s proposal developing four arguments against it. He furthermore tries to make a case that regardless of the details of C’s proposal no vagueness-based account of the distinction is viable. In this paper I show that Liebesman’s arguments against C don’t go through and that a line of investigation on the mass count contrast in terms of vagueness is not only viable but also perhaps a source (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  124. Realism and the Absence of Rivals.Finnur Dellsén - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2427-2446.
    Among the most serious challenges to scientific realism are arguments for the underdetermination of theory by evidence. This paper defends a version of scientific realism against what is perhaps the most influential recent argument of this sort, viz. Kyle Stanford’s New Induction over the History of Science. An essential part of the defense consists in a probabilistic analysis of the slogan “absence of evidence is not evidence of absence”. On this basis it is argued that the likelihood of a theory (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  125.  96
    Dynamical Versus Structural Explanations in Scientific Revolutions.Mauro Dorato - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2307-2327.
    By briefly reviewing three well-known scientific revolutions in fundamental physics (the discovery of inertia, of special relativity and of general relativity), I claim that problems that were supposed to be crying for a dynamical explanation in the old paradigm ended up receiving a structural explanation in the new one. This claim is meant to give more substance to Kuhn’s view that revolutions are accompanied by a shift in what needs to be explained, while suggesting at the same time the existence (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  126.  68
    How to Account for Quantum Non-Locality: Ontic Structural Realism and the Primitive Ontology of Quantum Physics.Michael Esfeld - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2329-2344.
    The paper has two aims: (1) it sets out to show that it is well motivated to seek for an account of quantum non-locality in the framework of ontic structural realism (OSR), which integrates the notions of holism and non-separability that have been employed since the 1980s to achieve such an account. However, recent research shows that OSR on its own cannot provide such an account. Against this background, the paper argues that by applying OSR to the primitive ontology theories (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  127.  81
    Conditioning Using Conditional Expectations: The Borel–Kolmogorov Paradox.Z. Gyenis, G. Hofer-Szabó & M. Rédei - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2595-2630.
    The Borel–Kolmogorov Paradox is typically taken to highlight a tension between our intuition that certain conditional probabilities with respect to probability zero conditioning events are well defined and the mathematical definition of conditional probability by Bayes’ formula, which loses its meaning when the conditioning event has probability zero. We argue in this paper that the theory of conditional expectations is the proper mathematical device to conditionalize and that this theory allows conditionalization with respect to probability zero events. The conditional probabilities (...)
    Direct download (8 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  128.  12
    Structuralism, Causation and Explanation.Andreas Hüttemann - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2251-2253.
  129.  70
    Poincaré’s Aesthetics of Science.Milena Ivanova - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2581-2594.
    This paper offers a systematic analysis of Poincaré’s understanding of beauty in science. In particular, the paper examines the epistemic significance Poincaré attributes to aesthetic judgement by reconstructing and analysing his arguments on simplicity and unity in science. I offer a consistent reconstruction of Poincaré’s account and show that for Poincaré simplicity and unity are regulative principles, linked to the aim of science—that of achieving understanding of how phenomena relate. I show how Poincaré’s account of beauty in science can be (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  130.  37
    Multiple Reference and Vague Objects.Giovanni Merlo - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2645-2666.
    Kilimanjaro is an example of what some philosophers would call a ‘vague object’: it is only roughly 5895 m tall, its weight is not precise and its boundaries are fuzzy because some particles are neither determinately part of it nor determinately not part of it. It has been suggested that this vagueness arises as a result of semantic indecision: it is because we didn’t make up our mind what the expression “Kilimanjaro” applies to that we can truthfully say such things (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  131. Moderately Naturalistic Metaphysics.Matteo Morganti & Tuomas E. Tahko - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2557-2580.
    The present paper discusses different approaches to metaphysics and defends a specific, non-deflationary approach that nevertheless qualifies as scientifically-grounded and, consequently, as acceptable from the naturalistic viewpoint. By critically assessing some recent work on science and metaphysics, we argue that such a sophisticated form of naturalism, which preserves the autonomy of metaphysics as an a priori enterprise yet pays due attention to the indications coming from our best science, is not only workable but recommended.
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  132.  39
    Finality Revived: Powers and Intentionality.David S. Oderberg - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2387-2425.
    Proponents of physical intentionality argue that the classic hallmarks of intentionality highlighted by Brentano are also found in purely physical powers. Critics worry that this idea is metaphysically obscure at best, and at worst leads to panpsychism or animism. I examine the debate in detail, finding both confusion and illumination in the physical intentionalist thesis. Analysing a number of the canonical features of intentionality, I show that they all point to one overarching phenomenon of which both the mental and the (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  133.  90
    Are Causal Facts Really Explanatorily Emergent? Ladyman and Ross on Higher-Level Causal Facts and Renormalization Group Explanation.Alexander Reutlinger - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2291-2305.
    In their Every Thing Must Go, Ladyman and Ross defend a novel version of Neo- Russellian metaphysics of causation, which falls into three claims: (1) there are no fundamental physical causal facts (orthodox Russellian claim), (2) there are higher-level causal facts of the special sciences, and (3) higher-level causal facts are explanatorily emergent. While accepting claims (1) and (2), I attack claim (3). Ladyman and Ross argue that higher-level causal facts are explanatorily emergent, because (a) certain aspects of these higher-level (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  134.  37
    Structuralism with and Without Causation.Juha Saatsi - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2255-2271.
    This paper explores the status of causation in structuralist metaphysics of physics. What role (if any) does causation play in understanding ‘structure’ in ontological structural realism? I address this question by examining, in a structuralist setting, arguments for and against the idea that fundamental physics deals, perhaps exclusively, with causal properties. I will argue (against Esfeld, Dorato and others) that a structuralist interpretation of fundamental physics should diverge from ‘causal structuralism’. Nevertheless, causation outside fundamental physics, and the basic motivation for (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  135.  98
    ‘Identity’ as a Mereological Term.Jeroen Smid - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2367-2385.
    The mereological predicate ‘is part of’ can be used to define the predicate ‘is identical with’. I argue that this entails that mereological theories can be ideologically simpler than nihilistic theories that do not use the notion of parthood—contrary to what has been argued by Ted Sider. Moreover, if one accepts an extensional mereology, there are good philosophical reasons apart from ideological simplicity to give a mereological definition of identity.
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  136.  27
    Malfunction Defended.Ema Sullivan-Bissett - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2501-2522.
    Historical accounts of biological function are thought to have, as a point in their favour, their being able to accommodate malfunction. Recently, this has been brought into doubt by Paul Sheldon Davies’s argument for the claim that both selected malfunction (that of the selected functions account) and weak etiological malfunction (that of the weak etiological account), are impossible. In this paper I suggest that in light of Davies’s objection, historical accounts of biological function need to be adjusted to accommodate malfunction. (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  137. Revelation and Physicalism.Kelly Trogdon - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2345-2366.
    According to experiential revelation, phenomenal concepts reveal the nature of the phenomenal properties they refer to. Some see experiential revelation as posing a direct challenge to physicalism. The basic idea is this: given experiential revelation, were phenomenal properties physical/functional in nature they would be presented as such when you think of them under phenomenal concepts, but phenomenal concepts don’t present their referents in this way. I argue that, while this argument on a plausible reconstruction fails, the thesis of experiential revelation (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  138.  37
    The Paradox of the Diffusiveness of Power.Xiaoxing Zhang - 2017 - Synthese 194 (7):2489-2500.
    Although the topic of basic act is controversial, theorists of agency normally agree that complex performances are based on comparatively simple ones. To the extent that we can attribute powers to agents over various tasks, it is also plausible to suppose that our powers over complex tasks are based on powers over the simple. Chisholm once formulated this idea in terms of the principle of the diffusiveness of power. In the present paper, however, we shall argue that the principle which (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  139.  48
    A Robust Enough Virtue Epistemology.Fernando Broncano-Berrocal - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6).
    What is the nature of knowledge? A popular answer to that long-standing question comes from robust virtue epistemology, whose key idea is that knowing is just a matter of succeeding cognitively—i.e., coming to believe a proposition truly—due to an exercise of cognitive ability. Versions of robust virtue epistemology further developing and systematizing this idea offer different accounts of the relation that must hold between an agent’s cognitive success and the exercise of her cognitive abilities as well as of the very (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   3 citations  
  140.  27
    Accessibility of Reformulated Mathematical Content.Stefan Buijsman - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6).
    I challenge a claim that seems to be made when nominalists offer reformulations of the content of mathematical beliefs, namely that these reformulations are accessible to everyone. By doing so, I argue that these theories cannot account for the mathematical knowledge that ordinary people have. In the first part of the paper I look at reformulations that employ the concept of proof, such as those of Mary Leng and Ottavio Bueno. I argue that ordinary people don’t have many beliefs about (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  141. The Modal Account of Luck Revisited.J. Adam Carter & Martin Peterson - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6):2175-2184.
    According to the canonical formulation of the modal account of luck [e.g. Pritchard ], an event is lucky just when that event occurs in the actual world but not in a wide class of the nearest possible worlds where the relevant conditions for that event are the same as in the actual world. This paper argues, with reference to a novel variety of counterexample, that it is a mistake to focus, when assessing a given event for luckiness, on events distributed (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  142.  33
    On Denying Presuppositions.Lenny Clapp - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6).
    Strawson :96–118, 1964) argued that definite NPs trigger presuppositions as an aspect of their conventional meanings, and this semantic conception of presupposition triggers is incorporated into the binding theory of presuppositions. The phenomenon of presupposition denials, however, presents a problem for the semantic conception of presupposition triggers, for in such denials the alleged semantic presuppositions seem to be “cancelled” by a negation operator. Geurts :274–307, 1998; Presupposition and pronouns, 1999) attempts to solve this problem by utilizing the binding theory’s allowance (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  143.  89
    How to Define Levels of Explanation and Evaluate Their Indispensability.Christopher Clarke - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6).
    Some explanations in social science, psychology and biology belong to a higher level than other explanations. And higher explanations possess the virtue of abstracting away from the details of lower explanations, many philosophers argue. As a result, these higher explanations are irreplaceable. And this suggests that there are genuine higher laws or patterns involving social, psychological and biological states. I show that this ‘abstractness argument’ is really an argument schema, not a single argument. This is because the argument uses the (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  144. Rational Action Without Knowledge (and Vice Versa).Jie Gao - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6):1901-1917.
    It has been argued recently that knowledge is the norm of practical reasoning. This norm can be formulated as a bi-conditional: it is appropriate to treat p as a reason for acting if and only if you know that p. Other proposals replace knowledge with warranted or justified belief. This paper gives counter-examples of both directions of any such bi-conditional. To the left-to-right direction: scientists can appropriately treat as reasons for action propositions of a theory they believe to be false (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  145.  3
    Rational Action Without Knowledge.Jie Gao - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6):1901-1917.
    No categories
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  146. Rational Action Without Knowledge.Jie Gao - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6):1901-1917.
    No categories
    Direct download  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  147.  15
    Solitary Social Belief.John D. Greenwood - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6).
    Many contemporary accounts of social belief are committed to the view that social beliefs can only be held by a plurality of individuals. Gilbert Socializing metaphysics, 2003) characterizes “joint commitments” as the “social atoms” of social belief and other forms of social intentionality, and Tuomela maintains that social belief and other forms of social intentionality are bound by a “collectivity condition.” Such theorists thus rule out the possibility of solitary social belief, that is, a social belief held by an individual (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  148.  25
    The Man Without Properties.Boris Hennig - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6).
    Contemporary philosophical logic rests on a distinction between things and properties. Properties are thought to differ from things in that their proper expression is incomplete or unsaturated. In this paper, I will argue that Aristotle did not distinguish between things and properties in this way. I will show, first, that Aristotle’s essences are not properties, and that certain passages in Aristotle make sense only if we do not take accidents to be properties either. The notion of a property is thus (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  149.  14
    Infinite Lotteries, Large and Small Sets.Luc Lauwers - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6):2203-2209.
    One result of this note is about the nonconstructivity of countably infinite lotteries: even if we impose very weak conditions on the assignment of probabilities to subsets of natural numbers we cannot prove the existence of such assignments constructively, i.e., without something such as the axiom of choice. This is a corollary to a more general theorem about large-small filters, a concept that extends the concept of free ultrafilters. The main theorem is that proving the existence of large-small filters requires (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  150.  16
    Probabilistic Consistency Norms and Quantificational Credences.Benjamin Lennertz - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6).
    In addition to beliefs, people have attitudes of confidence called credences. Combinations of credences, like combinations of beliefs, can be inconsistent. It is common to use tools from probability theory to understand the normative relationships between a person’s credences. More precisely, it is common to think that something is a consistency norm on a person’s credal state if and only if it is a simple transformation of a truth of probability. Though it is common to challenge the right-to-left direction of (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  151. Causation, Physics, and Fit.Christian Loew - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6):1945–1965.
    Our ordinary causal concept seems to fit poorly with how our best physics describes the world. We think of causation as a time-asymmetric dependence relation between relatively local events. Yet fundamental physics describes the world in terms of dynamical laws that are, possible small exceptions aside, time symmetric and that relate global time slices. My goal in this paper is to show why we are successful at using local, time-asymmetric models in causal explanations despite this apparent mismatch with fundamental physics. (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  152.  13
    A Note on Visions of Henkin.María Manzano & Enrique Alonso - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6):1839-1840.
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  153.  24
    Statements of Inference and Begging the Question.Matthew W. McKeon - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6):1919-1943.
    I advance a pragmatic account of begging the question according to which a use of an argument begs the question just in case it is used as a statement of inference and it fails to state an inference the arguer or an addressee can perform given what they explicitly believe. Accordingly, what begs questions are uses of arguments as statements of inference, and the root cause of begging the question is an argument’s failure to state an inference performable by the (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  154. Is Genetic Drift a Force?Charles H. Pence - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6).
    One hotly debated philosophical question in the analysis of evolutionary theory concerns whether or not evolution and the various factors which constitute it may profitably be considered as analogous to “forces” in the traditional, Newtonian sense. Several compelling arguments assert that the force picture is incoherent, due to the peculiar nature of genetic drift. I consider two of those arguments here—that drift lacks a predictable direction, and that drift is constitutive of evolutionary systems—and show that they both fail to demonstrate (...)
    Direct download (8 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  155.  35
    Supervaluational Propositional Content.Benjamin Rohrs - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6).
    It’s not clear what supervaluationists should say about propositional content. Does a vague sentence, e.g., ‘Harry is bald’, express one proposition, or a barrage of propositions, or none at all? Or is the matter indeterminate? The supervaluationist canon is not decisive on the issue; authoritative passages can be cited in favor of each of the proposals just mentioned. Furthermore, some detractors have argued that supervaluationism is incapable of providing any coherent account of propositional content. This paper considers each of the (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  156. On the Preference for More Specific Reference Classes.Paul D. Thorn - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6):2025-2051.
    In attempting to form rational personal probabilities by direct inference, it is usually assumed that one should prefer frequency information concerning more specific reference classes. While the preceding assumption is intuitively plausible, little energy has been expended in explaining why it should be accepted. In the present article, I address this omission by showing that, among the principled policies that may be used in setting one’s personal probabilities, the policy of making direct inferences with a preference for frequency information for (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  157.  38
    The Problem of Retention.Matthew Tugby - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6).
    A popular version of anti-Humeanism is one that views fundamental properties as being irreducibly dispositional in nature, and it is a view to which I am attracted. Proponents of this view typically object to Humean regularity theories of laws on the basis that they do not explain why our world is regular rather than chaotic from moment to moment. It is thought that, for this reason, Humeanism does not provide firm enough foundations for induction. However, in this paper I argue (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  158.  89
    What Reasoning Might Be.Markos Valaris - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6).
    The philosophical literature on reasoning is dominated by the assumption that reasoning is essentially a matter of following rules. This paper challenges this view, by arguing that it misrepresents the nature of reasoning as a personal level activity. Reasoning must reflect the reasoner’s take on her evidence. The rule-following model seems ill-suited to accommodate this fact. Accordingly, this paper suggests replacing the rule-following model with a different, semantic approach to reasoning.
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  159.  12
    Rational Metabolic Revision Based on Core Beliefs.Yongfeng Yuan - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6).
    When an agent can not recognize, immediately, the implausible part of new information received, she will usually first expand her belief state by the new information, and then she may encounter some belief conflicts, and find the implausible information based on her criteria to consolidate her belief state. This process indicates a new kind of non-prioritized multiple revision, called metabolic revision. I give some axiomatic postulates for metabolic revision and propose two functional constructions for it, namely kernel metabolic revision and (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  160.  91
    On the Explanatory Power of Hallucination.Dominic Alford-Duguid & Michael Arsenault - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).
    Pautz has argued that the most prominent naive realist account of hallucination—negative epistemic disjunctivism—cannot explain how hallucinations enable us to form beliefs about perceptually presented properties. He takes this as grounds to reject both negative epistemic disjunctivism and naive realism. Our aims are two: First, to show that this objection is dialectically ineffective against naive realism, and second, to draw morals from the failure of this objection for the dispute over the nature of perceptual experience at large.
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  161. Assertion, Uniqueness and Epistemic Hypocrisy.J. Adam Carter - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).
    Pascal Engel (2008) has insisted that a number of notable strategies for rejecting the knowledge norm of assertion are put forward on the basis of the wrong kinds of reasons. A central aim of this paper will be to establish the contrast point: I argue that one very familiar strategy for defending the knowledge norm of assertion—viz., that it is claimed to do better in various respects than its competitors (e.g. the justification and the truth norms)— relies on a presupposition (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  162.  28
    Knowledge, Perception, and the Art of Camouflage.Jérôme Dokic - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5):1531-1539.
    I present a novel argument against the epistemic conception of perception according to which perception either is a form of knowledge or puts the subject in a position to gain knowledge about what is perceived. ECP closes the gap between a perceptual experience that veridically presents a given state of affairs and an experience capable of yielding the knowledge that the state of affairs obtains. Against ECP, I describe a particular case of perceptual experience in which the following triad of (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  163.  42
    How to Account for the Oddness of Missing-Link Conditionals.Igor Douven - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).
    Conditionals whose antecedent and consequent are not somehow internally connected tend to strike us as odd. The received doctrine is that this felt oddness is to be explained pragmatically. Exactly how the pragmatic explanation is supposed to go has remained elusive, however. This paper discusses recent philosophical and psychological work that attempts to account semantically for the apparent oddness of conditionals lacking an internal connection between their parts.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  164.  21
    MaxCon Extended Simples and the Dispositionalist Ontology of Laws.Travis Dumsday - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).
    Extended simples are physical objects that, while spatially extended, possess no actual proper parts. The theory that physical reality bottoms out at extended simples is one of the principal competing views concerning the fundamental composition of matter, the others being atomism and the theory of gunk. Among advocates of extended simples, Markosian’s ‘MaxCon’ version of the theory has justly achieved particular prominence. On the assumption of causal realism, I argue here that the reality of MaxCon simples would entail the reality (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  165.  8
    Introduction.Julien Dutant, Davide Fassio & Anne Meylan - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5):1427-1431.
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  166.  24
    Knowledge as de Re True Belief?Paul Egré - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5):1517-1529.
    In “Facts: Particulars of Information Units?”, Kratzer proposed a causal analysis of knowledge in which knowledge is defined as a form of de re belief of facts. In support of Kratzer’s view, I show that a certain articulation of the de re/de dicto distinction can be used to integrally account for the original pair of Gettier cases. In contrast to Kratzer, however, I think such an account does not fundamentally require a distinction between facts and true propositions. I then discuss (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  167.  7
    Replies: On Norms of Belief and Knowledge.Pascal Engel - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5):1555-1564.
    These replies to commentators on my work focus on the nature of epistemic norms, on the nature of truth and on the nature and value of knowledge. A normative account of belief and knowledge is committed to substantial and objective epistemic norms. But not everyone agrees on their form. I try here to reply to some doubts raised by my critics.
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  168.  24
    Holistic Modeling: An Objection to Weisberg’s Weighted Feature-Matching Account.Wei Fang - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).
    Michael Weisberg’s account of scientific models concentrates on the ways in which models are similar to their targets. He intends not merely to explain what similarity consists in, but also to capture similarity judgments made by scientists. In order to scrutinize whether his account fulfills this goal, I outline one common way in which scientists judge whether a model is similar enough to its target, namely maximum likelihood estimation method. Then I consider whether Weisberg’s account could capture the judgments involved (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  169.  26
    Why Follow the Royal Rule?Franz Huber - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).
    This note is a sequel to Huber. It is shown that obeying a normative principle relating counterfactual conditionals and conditional beliefs, viz. the royal rule, is a necessary and sufficient means to attaining a cognitive end that relates true beliefs in purely factual, non-modal propositions and true beliefs in purely modal propositions. Along the way I will sketch my idealism about alethic or metaphysical modality.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  170.  30
    Common Sense and Skepticism: A Lecture.Lehrer Keith - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).
    This is an essay on G. E. Moore’s argument in defense of common sense against David Hume’s theory. However, the burden of essay is to show that, though Moore derived has argument from Thomas Reid, it was the latter who noted that the defense of common sense required more than showing that Hume’s theory conflicted with common sense. It required supplying a better theory than that of Hume’s of the operations of the human mind, and especially, a better theory of (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  171.  28
    Commodious Knowledge.Christoph Kelp & Mona Simion - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).
    This paper offers a novel account of the value of knowledge. The account is novel insofar as it advocates a shift in focus from the value of individual items of knowledge to the value of the commodity of knowledge. It is argued that the commodity of knowledge is valuable in at least two ways: in a wide range of areas, knowledge is our way of being in cognitive contact with the world and for us the good life is a life (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  172.  42
    Is Open-Mindedness Conducive to Truth?Jack M. C. Kwong - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).
    Open-mindedness is generally regarded as an intellectual virtue because its exercise reliably leads to truth. However, some theorists have argued that open-mindedness’s truth-conduciveness is highly contingent, pointing out that it is either not truth-conducive at all under certain scenarios or no better than dogmatism or credulity in others. Given such shaky ties to truth, it would appear that the status of open-mindedness as an intellectual virtue is in jeopardy. In this paper, I propose to defend open-mindedness against these challenges. In (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  173.  51
    A Neo-Pyrrhonian Response to the Disagreeing About Disagreement Argument.Diego E. Machuca - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5):1663-1680.
    An objection that has been raised to the conciliatory stance on the epistemic significance of peer disagreement known as the Equal Weight View is that it is self-defeating, self-undermining, or self-refuting. The proponent of that view claims that equal weight should be given to all the parties to a peer dispute. Hence, if one of his epistemic peers defends the opposite view, he is required to give equal weight to the two rival views, thereby undermining his confidence in the correctness (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  174. Engel on Doxastic Correctness.Conor McHugh - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).
    In this paper I discuss Pascal Engel’s recent work on doxastic correctness. I raise worries about two elements of his view—the role played in it by the distinction between i -correctness and e -correctness, and the construal of doxastic correctness as an ideal of reason. I propose an alternative approach.
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  175.  14
    Engel on Doxastic Correctness.Conor McHugh - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5):1451-1462.
    In this paper I discuss Pascal Engel’s recent work on doxastic correctness. I raise worries about two elements of his view—the role played in it by the distinction between i -correctness and e -correctness, and the construal of doxastic correctness as an ideal of reason. I propose an alternative approach.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  176.  33
    Plain Truth and the Incoherence of Alethic Functionalism.Jay Newhard - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).
    According to alethic functionalism, truth is a generic alethic property related to lower level alethic properties through the manifestation relation. The manifestation relation is reflexive; thus, a proposition’s truth-manifesting property may be a lower level property or truth itself, depending on the subject matter properties of the proposition. A true proposition whose truth-manifesting property is truth itself, rather than a lower level alethic property, is plainly true. Alethic functionalism relies on plain truth to account for the truth of propositions with (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  177.  26
    Engel Vs. Rorty on Truth.Erik J. Olsson - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).
    My concern in this paper is a debate between Pascal Engel and Richard Rorty documented in the book What’s the Use of Truth? Both Engel and Rorty problematize the natural suggestion that attaining truth is a goal of our inquiries. Where Rorty thinks this means that truth is not something we should aim for at all over and beyond justification, Engel maintains that truth still plays a distinct role in our intellectual and daily lives. Thus, the debate between Engel and (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  178.  39
    Virtues and Vices in Scientific Practice.Cedric Paternotte & Milena Ivanova - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).
    The role intellectual virtues play in scientific inquiry has raised significant discussions in the recent literature. A number of authors have recently explored the link between virtue epistemology and philosophy of science with the aim to show whether epistemic virtues can contribute to the resolution of the problem of theory choice. This paper analyses how intellectual virtues can be beneficial for successful resolution of theory choice. We explore the role of virtues as well as vices in scientific inquiry and their (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  179.  11
    Virtues and Vices in Scientific Practice.Cedric Paternotte & Milena Ivanova - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5):1787-1807.
    The role intellectual virtues play in scientific inquiry has raised significant discussions in the recent literature. A number of authors have recently explored the link between virtue epistemology and philosophy of science with the aim to show whether epistemic virtues can contribute to the resolution of the problem of theory choice. This paper analyses how intellectual virtues can be beneficial for successful resolution of theory choice. We explore the role of virtues as well as vices in scientific inquiry and their (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  180. A Foundation for Presentism.Robert E. Pezet - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5):1809–1837.
    Presentism states that everything is present. Crucial to our understanding of this thesis is how we interpret the ‘is’. Recently, several philosophers have claimed that on any interpretation presentism comes out as either trivially true or manifestly false. Yet, presentism is meant to be a substantive and interesting thesis. I outline in detail the nature of the problem and the standard interpretative options. After unfavourably assessing several popular responses in the literature, I offer an alternative interpretation that provides the desired (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  181.  44
    Engel on Pragmatic Encroachment and Epistemic Value.Duncan Pritchard - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5):1477-1486.
    I discuss Engel’s critique of pragmatic encroachment in epistemology and his related discussion of epistemic value. While I am sympathetic to Engel’s remarks on the former, I think he makes a crucial misstep when he relates this discussion to the latter topic. The goal of this paper is to offer a better articulation of the relationship between these two epistemological issues, with the ultimate goal of lending further support to Engel’s scepticism about pragmatic encroachment in epistemology. As we will see, (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  182.  18
    The Silent Hexagon: Explaining Comb Structures.Tim Räz - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).
    The paper presents, and discusses, four candidate explanations of the structure, and construction, of the bees’ honeycomb. So far, philosophers have used one of these four explanations, based on the mathematical Honeycomb Conjecture, while the other three candidate explanations have been ignored. I use the four cases to resolve a dispute between Pincock and Baker about the Honeycomb Conjecture explanation. Finally, I find that the two explanations focusing on the construction mechanism are more promising than those focusing exclusively on the (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  183. An Ecumenical Response to Color Contrast Cases.Pendaran Roberts - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).
    Intrapersonal variation due to color contrast effects has been used to argue against the following intuitive propositions about the colors: No object can be more than one determinable or determinate color of the same grade all over at the same time ; external objects are actually colored ; and the colors of objects are mind-independent. In this article, I provide a defense of Incompatibility, Realism, and Objectivism from intrapersonal variation arguments that rely on color contrast effects. I provide a novel, (...)
    Direct download (8 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  184.  26
    Interpretations Without Justification: A General Argument Against Morgan’s Canon.Tobias Starzak - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).
    In this paper I critically discuss and, in the end, reject Morgan’s Canon, a popular principle in comparative psychology. According to this principle we should always prefer explanations of animal behavior in terms of lower psychological processes over explanations in terms of higher psychological processes, when alternative explanations are possible. The validity of the principle depends on two things, a clear understanding of what it means for psychological processes to be higher or lower relative to each other and a justification (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  185. Epistemology Versus Non-Causal Realism.Jared Warren - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5).
    This paper formulates a general epistemological argument against what I call non-causal realism, generalizing domain specific arguments by Benacerraf, Field, and others. First I lay out the background to the argument, making a number of distinctions that are sometimes missed in discussions of epistemological arguments against realism. Then I define the target of the argument—non-causal realism—and argue that any non-causal realist theory, no matter the subject matter, cannot be given a reasonable epistemology and so should be rejected. Finally I discuss (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   3 citations  
  186.  23
    The Received View on Quantum Non-Individuality: Formal and Metaphysical Analysis.Jonas Rafael Becker Arenhart - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4).
    The Received View on quantum non-individuality is, roughly speaking, the view according to which quantum objects are not individuals. It seems clear that the RV finds its standard expression nowadays through the use of the formal apparatuses of non-reflexive logics, mainly quasi-set theory. In such logics, the relation of identity is restricted, so that it does not apply for terms denoting quantum particles; this “lack of identity” formally characterizes their non-individuality. We face then a dilemma: on the one hand, identity (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  187.  7
    A Trilemma for Teleological Individualism.John Basl - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4).
    This paper addresses the foundations of Teleological Individualism, the view that organisms, even non-sentient organisms, are goal-oriented systems while biological collectives, such as ecosystems or conspecific groups, are mere assemblages of organisms. Typical defenses of Teleological Individualism ground the teleological organization of organisms in the workings of natural selection. This paper shows that grounding teleological organization in natural selection is antithetical to Teleological Individualism because such views assume a view about the units of selection on which it is only individual (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  188. Can There Be a Bayesian Explanationism? On the Prospects of a Productive Partnership.Frank Cabrera - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1245–1272.
    In this paper, I consider the relationship between Inference to the Best Explanation and Bayesianism, both of which are well-known accounts of the nature of scientific inference. In Sect. 2, I give a brief overview of Bayesianism and IBE. In Sect. 3, I argue that IBE in its most prominently defended forms is difficult to reconcile with Bayesianism because not all of the items that feature on popular lists of “explanatory virtues”—by means of which IBE ranks competing explanations—have confirmational import. (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  189.  22
    A Persistence Enhancing Propensity Account of Ecological Function to Explain Ecosystem Evolution.Antoine C. Dussault & Frédéric Bouchard - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4).
    We argue that ecology in general and biodiversity and ecosystem function research in particular need an understanding of functions which is both ahistorical and evolutionarily grounded. A natural candidate in this context is Bigelow and Pargetter’s evolutionary forward-looking account which, like the causal role account, assigns functions to parts of integrated systems regardless of their past history, but supplements this with an evolutionary dimension that relates functions to their bearers’ ability to thrive and perpetuate themselves. While Bigelow and Pargetter’s account (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  190.  72
    The No Miracles Argument and the Base Rate Fallacy.Leah Henderson - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1295-1302.
    The no miracles argument is one of the main arguments for scientific realism. Recently it has been alleged that the no miracles argument is fundamentally flawed because it commits the base rate fallacy. The allegation is based on the idea that the appeal of the no miracles argument arises from inappropriate neglect of the base rate of approximate truth among the relevant population of theories. However, the base rate fallacy allegation relies on an assumption of random sampling of individuals from (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  191.  10
    Teleology and Biocentrism.Sune Holm - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4).
    In this paper I examine the connection between accounts of biological teleology and the biocentrist claim that all living beings have a good of their own. I first present the background for biocentrists’ appeal to biological teleology. Then I raise a problem of scope for teleology-based biocentrism and, drawing in part on recent work by Basl and Sandler, I discuss Taylor and Varner’s responses to this problem. I then challenge Basl and Sandler’s own response to the scope problem for its (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  192.  4
    Teleological Organisation.Sune Holm & John Basl - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1027-1029.
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  193.  19
    Ordering Effects, Updating Effects, and the Specter of Global Skepticism.Zachary Horne & Jonathan Livengood - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1189-1218.
    One widely-endorsed argument in the experimental philosophy literature maintains that intuitive judgments are unreliable because they are influenced by the order in which thought experiments prompting those judgments are presented. Here, we explicitly state this argument from ordering effects and show that any plausible understanding of the argument leads to an untenable conclusion. First, we show that the normative principle is ambiguous. On one reading of the principle, the empirical observation is well-supported, but the normative principle is false. On the (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  194.  36
    The Relativity of ‘Placebos’: Defending a Modified Version of Grünbaum’s Definition.Jeremy Howick - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1363-1396.
    Debates about the ethics and effects of placebos and whether ‘placebos’ in clinical trials of complex treatments such as acupuncture are adequate rage. Yet there is currently no widely accepted definition of the ‘placebo’. A definition of the placebo is likely to inform these controversies. Grünbaum’s characterization of placebos and placebo effects has been touted by some authors as the best attempt thus far, but has not won widespread acceptance largely because Grünbaum failed to specify what he means by a (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  195.  30
    Lotteries and Justification.Christoph Kelp - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4).
    The lottery paradox shows that the following three individually highly plausible theses are jointly incompatible: highly probable propositions are justifiably believable, justified believability is closed under conjunction introduction, known contradictions are not justifiably believable. This paper argues that a satisfactory solution to the lottery paradox must reject as versions of the paradox can be generated without appeal to either or and proposes a new solution to the paradox in terms of a novel account of justified believability.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  196.  31
    Probabilistic Coherence Measures: A Psychological Study of Coherence Assessment.Jakob Koscholke & Marc Jekel - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4).
    Over the years several non-equivalent probabilistic measures of coherence have been discussed in the philosophical literature. In this paper we examine these measures with respect to their empirical adequacy. Using test cases from the coherence literature as vignettes for psychological experiments we investigate whether the measures can predict the subjective coherence assessments of the participants. It turns out that the participants’ coherence assessments are best described by Roche’s coherence measure based on Douven and Meijs’ average mutual support approach and the (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  197.  37
    Two Arguments for the Etiological Theory Over the Modal Theory of Biological Function.Brian Leahy & Maximilian Huber - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4).
    This paper contains a positive development and a negative argument. It develops a theory of function loss and shows how this undermines an objection raised against the etiological theory of function in support of the modal theory of function. Then it raises two internal problems for the modal theory of function.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  198.  75
    What Makes Biological Organisation Teleological?Matteo Mossio & Leonardo Bich - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1089-1114.
    This paper argues that biological organisation can be legitimately conceived of as an intrinsically teleological causal regime. The core of the argument consists in establishing a connection between organisation and teleology through the concept of self-determination: biological organisation determines itself in the sense that the effects of its activity contribute to determine its own conditions of existence. We suggest that not any kind of circular regime realises self-determination, which should be specifically understood as self-constraint: in biological systems, in particular, self-constraint (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   4 citations  
  199.  43
    Functional Analysis and the Species Design.Karen Neander - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4).
    This paper argues that a minimal notion of function and a notion of normal-proper function are used in explaining how bodies and brains operate. Neither is Cummins’ notion, as originally defined, and yet his is often taken to be the clearly relevant notion for such an explanatory context. This paper also explains how adverting to normal-proper functions, even if these are selected functions, can play a significant scientific role in the operational explanations of complex systems that physiologists and neurophysiologists provide, (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  200.  69
    Nothing in Ethics Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution? Natural Goodness, Normativity, and Naturalism.Jay Odenbaugh - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1031-1055.
    Foot , Hursthouse , and Thompson , along with other philosophers, have argued for a metaethical position, the natural goodness approach, that claims moral judgments are, or are on a par with, teleological claims made in the biological sciences. Specifically, an organism’s flourishing is characterized by how well they function as specified by the species to which they belong. In this essay, I first sketch the Neo-Aristotelian natural goodness approach. Second, I argue that critics who claim that this sort of (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  201.  15
    Erratum To: A Forgotten Strand of Reception History: Understanding Pure Semantics.Peter Olen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1423-1423.
    Erratum to: Synthese DOI 10.1007/s11229-015-0678-4The last two block quotes of this article should be cited as “Sellars 1947c”, not “Sellars 1947”. “Sellars 1947c” references the bibliography entry for a piece of correspondence housed in the special collections archive at the University of Iowa. It is not, as the bibliography lists, a published work.
    No categories
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  202.  12
    Erratum To: A Measure of Inferential-Role Preservation.A. C. Paseau - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1425-1425.
    Erratum to: Synthese DOI 10.1007/s11229-015-0705-5In line 3 of footnote 8 on page 4, ‘allow’ should be ‘disallow’.In line 8 of page 5, \ should be \ and \ should be \. Similarly for lines 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 13 and 14 of page 6.The entry in row 20 column 6 of the table on page 5 should be 1 rather than 0.The entry \ in row 30 column 5 of the table on page 5 should be \.In line 27 (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  203. Against an Inferentialist Dogma.Thomas Raleigh - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1397-1421.
    I consider the ‘inferentialist’ thesis that whenever a mental state rationally justifies a belief it is in virtue of inferential relations holding between the contents of the two states. I suggest that no good argument has yet been given for the thesis. I focus in particular on Williamson (2000) and Ginsborg (2011) and show that neither provides us with a reason to deny the plausible idea that experience can provide non-inferential justification for belief. I finish by pointing out some theoretical (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  204.  52
    Fictionalism and the Incompleteness Problem.Lukas Skiba - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1349-1362.
    Modal fictionalists face a problem that arises due to their possible-world story being incomplete in the sense that certain relevant claims are neither true nor false according to it. It has recently been suggested that this incompleteness problem generalises to other brands of fictionalism, such as fictionalism about composite or mathematical objects. In this paper, I argue that these fictionalist positions are particularly threatened by a generalised incompleteness problem since they cannot emulate the modal fictionalists’ most attractive response. I then (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  205.  38
    Tharp’s Theorems of Metaphysics and the Notion of Necessary Truth.Jordan Stein - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4).
    Leslie Tharp proves three theorems concerning epistemic and metaphysical modality for conventional modal predicate logic: every truth is a priori equivalent to a necessary truth, every truth is necessarily equivalent to an a priori truth, and every truth is a priori equivalent to a contingent truth. Lloyd Humberstone has shown that these theorems also hold in the modal system Actuality Modal Logic, the logic that results from the addition of the actuality operator to conventional modal logic. We show that Tharp’s (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  206.  70
    MUDdy Understanding.Daniel A. Wilkenfeld - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4).
    This paper focuses on two questions: Is understanding intimately bound up with accurately representing the world? Is understanding intimately bound up with downstream abilities? We will argue that the answer to both these questions is “yes”, and for the same reason-both accuracy and ability are important elements of orthogonal evaluative criteria along which understanding can be assessed. More precisely, we will argue that representational-accuracy and intelligibility are good-making features of a state of understanding. Interestingly, both evaluative claims have been defended (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  207.  46
    Mindreading in Adults: Evaluating Two-Systems Views.Peter Carruthers - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):673-688.
    A number of convergent recent findings with adults have been interpreted as evidence of the existence of two distinct systems for mindreading that draw on separate conceptual resources: one that is fast, automatic, and inflexible; and one that is slower, controlled, and flexible. The present article argues that these findings admit of a more parsimonious explanation. This is that there is a single set of concepts made available by a mindreading system that operates automatically where it can, but which frequently (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  208. What Asymmetry? Knowledge of Self, Knowledge of Others, and the Inferentialist Challenge.Quassim Cassam - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3).
    There is widely assumed to be a fundamental epistemological asymmetry between self-knowledge and knowledge of others. They are said to be ’categorically different in kind and manner’ , and the existence of such an asymmetry is taken to be a primitive datum in accounts of the two kinds of knowledge. I argue that standard accounts of the differences between self-knowledge and knowledge of others exaggerate and misstate the asymmetry. The inferentialist challenge to the asymmetry focuses on the extent to which (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  209.  13
    What Asymmetry? Knowledge of Self, Knowledge of Others, and the Inferentialist Challenge.Quassim Cassam - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):723-741.
    There is widely assumed to be a fundamental epistemological asymmetry between self-knowledge and knowledge of others. They are said to be ’categorically different in kind and manner’, and the existence of such an asymmetry is taken to be a primitive datum in accounts of the two kinds of knowledge. I argue that standard accounts of the differences between self-knowledge and knowledge of others exaggerate and misstate the asymmetry. The inferentialist challenge to the asymmetry focuses on the extent to which both (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  210.  13
    Modulation : An Alternative to Instructions and Forces.Flament Fultot Martin - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):887-916.
    It is widely believed that neural elements interact by communicating messages. Neurons, or groups of neurons, are supposed to send packages of data with informational content to other neurons or to the body. Thus, behavior is traditionally taken to consist in the execution of commands or instructions sent by the nervous system. As a consequence, neural elements and their organization are conceived as literally embodying and transmitting representations that other elements must in some way read and conform to. In opposition (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  211.  15
    The Future of Social Cognition: Paradigms, Concepts and Experiments.Nivedita Gangopadhyay - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):655-672.
    Since the publication of Premack and Woodruff’s classic paper introducing the notion of a ‘theory of mind’ :515–526, 1978), interdisciplinary research in social cognition has witnessed the development of theory–theory, simulation theory, hybrid approaches, and most recently interactionist and perceptual accounts of other minds. The challenges that these various approaches present for each other and for research in social cognition range from adequately defining central concepts to designing experimental paradigms for testing empirical hypotheses. But is there any approach that promises (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  212.  44
    A Plea for Radical Contextualism.Minyao Huang - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):963-988.
    Extant contextualist theories have relied on the mechanism of pragmatically driven modulation to explain the way non-indexical expressions take on different interpretations in different contexts. In this paper I argue that a modulation-based contextualist semantics is untenable with respect to non-ambiguous expressions whose invariant meaning fails to determine a unique literal interpretation, such as ‘lawyer’ ‘musician’ ‘book’ and ‘game’. The invariant meaning of such an expression corresponds to a range of closely related and equally basic interpretations, none of which can (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  213.  45
    Basic Social Cognition Without Mindreading: Minding Minds Without Attributing Contents.Daniel D. Hutto - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):827-846.
    This paper argues that mind-reading hypotheses, of any kind, are not needed to best describe or best explain basic acts of social cognition. It considers the two most popular MRHs: one-ToM and two-ToM theories. These MRHs face competition in the form of complementary behaviour reading hypotheses. Following Buckner, it is argued that the best strategy for putting CBRHs out of play is to appeal to theoretical considerations about the psychosemantics of basic acts of social cognition. In particular, need-based accounts that (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  214.  16
    Contextual Semantics in Quantum Mechanics From a Categorical Point of View.Vassilios Karakostas & Elias Zafiris - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3).
    The category-theoretic representation of quantum event structures provides a canonical setting for confronting the fundamental problem of truth valuation in quantum mechanics as exemplified, in particular, by Kochen–Specker’s theorem. In the present study, this is realized on the basis of the existence of a categorical adjunction between the category of sheaves of variable local Boolean frames, constituting a topos, and the category of quantum event algebras. We show explicitly that the latter category is equipped with an object of truth values, (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  215.  44
    Defending the Liberal-Content View of Perceptual Experience: Direct Social Perception of Emotions and Person Impressions.Albert Newen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):761-785.
    The debate about direct perception encompasses different topics, one of which concerns the richness of the contents of perceptual experiences. Can we directly perceive only low-level properties, like edges, colors etc., or can we perceive high-level properties and entities as well? The aim of the paper is to defend the claim that the content of our perceptual experience can include emotions and also person impressions. Using these examples, an argument is developed to defend a liberal-content view for core examples of (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  216.  40
    The Essence of Mentalistic Agents.Shaun Nichols - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):809-825.
    Over the last several decades, there has been a wealth of illuminating work on processes implicated in social cognition. Much less has been done in articulating how we learn the contours of particular concepts deployed in social cognition, like the concept MENTALISTIC AGENT. Recent developments in learning theory afford new tools for approaching these questions. In this article, I describe some rudimentary ways in which learning theoretic considerations can illuminate philosophically important aspects of the MENTALISTIC AGENT concept. I maintain that (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  217.  31
    The Unobservability Thesis.Søren Overgaard - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3).
    The unobservability thesis states that the mental states of other people are unobservable. Both defenders and critics of UT seem to assume that UT has important implications for the mindreading debate. Roughly, the former argue that because UT is true, mindreaders need to infer the mental states of others, while the latter maintain that the falsity of UT makes mindreading inferences redundant. I argue, however, that it is unclear what ‘unobservability’ means in this context. I outline two possible lines of (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  218.  19
    Getting the Big Picture.Eli Pitcovski - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3).
    Suppose we take a picture containing a full image of a duck and slice it right through, leaving some of the duck image on one slice and some of it on the other. How many duck images will we be left with? Received theories of pictorial representation presuppose that a surface cannot come to contain new images just by changing its physical relations with other surfaces, such as physical continuity. But as it turns out, this is in tension with received (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  219.  18
    In Defense of a Developmental Dogma: Children Acquire Propositional Attitude Folk Psychology Around Age 4.Hannes Rakoczy - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):689-707.
    When do children acquire a propositional attitude folk psychology or theory of mind? The orthodox answer to this central question of developmental ToM research had long been that around age 4 children begin to apply “belief” and other propositional attitude concepts. This orthodoxy has recently come under serious attack, though, from two sides: Scoffers complain that it over-estimates children’s early competence and claim that a proper understanding of propositional attitudes emerges only much later. Boosters criticize the orthodoxy for underestimating early (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  220.  95
    The Problem of Logical Omniscience, the Preface Paradox, and Doxastic Commitments.Niels Skovgaard-Olsen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3).
    The main goal of this paper is to investigate what explanatory resources Robert Brandom’s distinction between acknowledged and consequential commitments affords in relation to the problem of logical omniscience. With this distinction the importance of the doxastic perspective under consideration for the relationship between logic and norms of reasoning is emphasized, and it becomes possible to handle a number of problematic cases discussed in the literature without thereby incurring a commitment to revisionism about logic. One such case in particular is (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  221.  84
    What is Empathy For?Joel Smith - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3).
    The concept of empathy has received much attention from philosophers and also from both cognitive and social psychologists. It has, however, been given widely conflicting definitions, with some taking it primarily as an epistemological notion and others as a social one. Recently, empathy has been closely associated with the simulationist approach to social cognition and, as such, it might be thought that the concept’s utility stands or falls with that of simulation itself. I suggest that this is a mistake. Approaching (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  222.  27
    The Case for Mind Perception.Somogy Varga - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3).
    The question of how we actually arrive at our knowledge of others’ mental lives is lively debated, and some philosophers defend the idea that mentality is sometimes accessible to perception. In this paper, a distinction is introduced between “mind awareness” and “mental state awareness,” and it is argued that the former at least sometimes belongs to perceptual, rather than cognitive, processing.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  223.  47
    Do Great Minds Really Think Alike?Christopher Willard-Kyle - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3).
    Recently, a number of epistemologists :294–312, 2009; White in Philos Perspect 19:445–449, 2005, White in Contemporary debates in epistemology. Blackwell, Oxford, 2013) have argued for the rational uniqueness thesis, the principle that any set of evidence permits only one rationally acceptable attitude toward a given proposition. In contrast, this paper argues for extreme rational permissivism, the view that two agents with the same evidence may sometimes arrive at contradictory beliefs rationally. This paper identifies different versions of uniqueness and permissivism that (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  224.  69
    Feel the Flow.Sam Baron - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):609-630.
    The experience of temporal flow is, for many, the central—if not the only—reason for believing an A-theory of time. Recently, however, B-theorists have argued that experience does not, in fact, favor the A-theory. Call such an argument: a debunking argument. The goal of the present paper is to defend the A-theory against two prominent versions of the debunking argument.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  225.  19
    Autopsy of Measurements with the ATLAS Detector at the LHC.Pierre-Hugues Beauchemin - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2).
    A lot of attention has been devoted to the study of discoveries in high energy physics, but less on measurements aiming at improving an existing theory like the standard model of particle physics, getting more precise values for the parameters of the theory or establishing relationships between them. This paper provides a detailed and critical study of how measurements are performed in recent HEP experiments, taking examples from differential cross section measurements with the ATLAS detector at the LHC. This study (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  226.  21
    The Jeffreys–Lindley Paradox and Discovery Criteria in High Energy Physics.Robert D. Cousins - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):395-432.
    The Jeffreys–Lindley paradox displays how the use of a \ value ) in a frequentist hypothesis test can lead to an inference that is radically different from that of a Bayesian hypothesis test in the form advocated by Harold Jeffreys in the 1930s and common today. The setting is the test of a well-specified null hypothesis versus a composite alternative. The \ value, as well as the ratio of the likelihood under the null hypothesis to the maximized likelihood under the (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  227.  54
    Bayesian Perspectives on the Discovery of the Higgs Particle.Richard Dawid - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2).
    It is argued that the high degree of trust in the Higgs particle before its discovery raises the question of a Bayesian perspective on data analysis in high energy physics in an interesting way that differs from other suggestions regarding the deployment of Bayesian strategies in the field.
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  228.  27
    A Philosophical Look at the Discovery the Higgs Boson.Richard Dawid - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):253-257.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  229. Hope, Knowledge, and Blindspots.Jordan Dodd - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):531-543.
    Roy Sorensen introduced the concept of an epistemic blindspot in the 1980s. A proposition is an epistemic blindspot for some individual at some time if and only if that proposition is consistent but unknowable by that individual at that time. In the first half of this paper, I extend Sorensen work on blindspots by arguing that there exist blindspots that essentially involve hopes. In the second half, I show how such blindspots can contribute to and impair different pursuits of self-understanding. (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  230.  61
    The Missing Piece of the Puzzle: The Discovery of the Higgs Boson.Allan Franklin - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):259-274.
    The missing piece of the puzzle: the discovery of the Higgs boson On July 4, 2012 the CMS and ATLAS collaborations at the large hadron collider jointly announced the discovery of a new elementary particle, which resembled the Higgs boson, the last remaining undiscovered piece of the standard model of elementary particles. Both groups claimed to have observed a five-standard-deviation effect above background, the gold standard for discovery in high-energy physics. In this essay I will briefly discuss the how the (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  231.  1
    Towards a Theory of Universes: Structure Theory and the Mathematical Universe Hypothesis.Colin E. Hamlin - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):571–591.
    The maturation of the physical image has made apparent the limits of our scientific understanding of fundamental reality. These limitations serve as motivation for a new form of metaphysical inquiry that restricts itself to broadly scientific methods. Contributing towards this goal we combine the mathematical universe hypothesis as developed by Max Tegmark with the axioms of Stewart Shapiro’s structure theory. The result is a theory we call the Theory of the Structural Multiverse (TSM). The focus is on informal theory development (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  232.  16
    A Case Study in Experimental Exploration: Exploratory Data Selection at the Large Hadron Collider.Koray Karaca - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2).
    In this paper, I propose an account that accommodates the possibility of experimentation being exploratory in cases where the procedures necessary to plan and perform an experiment are dependent on the theoretical accounts of the phenomena under investigation. The present account suggests that experimental exploration requires the implementation of an exploratory procedure that serves to extend the range of possible outcomes of an experiment, thereby enabling it to pursue its objectives. Furthermore, I argue that the present account subsumes the notion (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  233.  21
    A Simple and Interesting Classical Mechanical Supertask.Jon Pérez Laraudogoitia - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2).
    This paper presents three interesting consequences that follow from admitting an ontology of rigid bodies in classical mechanics. First, it shows that some of the most characteristic properties of supertasks based on binary collisions between particles, such as the possibility of indeterminism or the non-conservation of energy, persist in the presence of gravitational interaction. This makes them gravitational supertasks radically different from those that have appeared in the literature to date. Second, Sect. 6 proves that the role of gravitation in (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  234.  54
    Embodied Savoir-Faire: Knowledge-How Requires Motor Representations.Neil Levy - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2).
    I argue that the intellectualist account of knowledge-how, according to which agents have the knowledge-how to \ in virtue of standing in an appropriate relation to a proposition, is only half right. On the composition view defended here, knowledge-how at least typically requires both propositional knowledge and motor representations. Motor representations are not mere dispositions to behavior because they have representational content, and they play a central role in realizing the intelligence in knowledge-how. But since motor representations are not propositional, (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  235.  32
    Implicature and Non-Local Pragmatic Encroachment.Dustin Locke - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2).
    This paper offers a novel conversational implicature account of the pragmatic sensitivity of knowledge attributions. Developing an account I first suggested elsewhere and independently proposed by Lutz, this paper explores the idea that the relevant implicatures are generated by a constitutive relationship between believing a proposition and a disposition to treat that proposition as true in practical deliberation. I argue that while this view has a certain advantage over standard implicature accounts of pragmatic sensitivity, it comes with a significant concession (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  236.  43
    Prediction in General Relativity.C. D. McCoy - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):491-509.
    Several authors have claimed that prediction is essentially impossible in the general theory of relativity, the case being particularly strong, it is said, when one fully considers the epistemic predicament of the observer. Each of these claims rests on the support of an underdetermination argument and a particular interpretation of the concept of prediction. I argue that these underdetermination arguments fail and depend on an implausible explication of prediction in the theory. The technical results adduced in these arguments can be (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  237.  27
    Experimenter’s Regress Argument, Empiricism, and the Calibration of the Large Hadron Collider.Slobodan Perovic - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):313-332.
    H. Collins has challenged the empiricist understanding of experimentation by identifying what he thinks constitutes the experimenter’s regress: an instrument is deemed good because it produces good results, and vice versa. The calibration of an instrument cannot alone validate the results: the regressive circling is broken by an agreement essentially external to experimental procedures. In response, A. Franklin has argued that calibration is a key reasonable strategy physicists use to validate production of results independently of their interpretation. The physicists’ arguments (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  238.  22
    Pragmatic Warrant for Frequentist Statistical Practice: The Case of High Energy Physics.Kent Staley - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):355-376.
    Amidst long-standing debates within the field, High Energy Physics has adopted a statistical methodology that employs primarily standard frequentist techniques such as significance testing and confidence interval estimation, but incorporates Bayesian methods for limited purposes. The recent discovery of the Higgs boson has drawn increased attention to the statistical methods employed within HEP, leading to reprisals of numerous well-worn arguments amongst frequentists and Bayesians. Here I argue that the warrant for the practice in HEP of relying primarily on frequentist methods (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  239.  11
    Pragmatic Warrant for Frequentist Statistical Practice: The Case of High Energy Physics.Kent W. Staley - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2).
    Amidst long-running debates within the field, high energy physics has adopted a statistical methodology that primarily employs standard frequentist techniques such as significance testing and confidence interval estimation, but incorporates Bayesian methods for limited purposes. The discovery of the Higgs boson has drawn increased attention to the statistical methods employed within HEP. Here I argue that the warrant for the practice in HEP of relying primarily on frequentist methods can best be understood as pragmatic, in the sense that statistical methods (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  240.  16
    The Variety of Explanations in the Higgs Sector.Michael Stöltzner - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2).
    This paper argues that there is no single universal conception of scientific explanation that is consistently employed throughout the whole domain of Higgs physics—ranging from the successful experimental search for a standard model Higgs particle and the hitherto unsuccessful searches for any particles beyond the standard model, to phenomenological model builders in the Higgs sector and theoretical physicists interested in how the core principles of quantum field theory apply to spontaneous symmetry breaking and the Higgs mechanism. Yet the coexistence of (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  241.  43
    Higgs Naturalness and the Scalar Boson Proliferation Instability Problem.James D. Wells - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):477-490.
    Sensitivity to the square of the cutoff scale of quantum corrections of the Higgs boson mass self-energy has led many authors to conclude that the Higgs theory suffers from a naturalness or fine-tuning problem. However, speculative new physics ideas to solve this problem have not manifested themselves yet at high-energy colliders, such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. For this reason, the role of naturalness as a guide to theory model-building is being severely questioned. Most attacks suggest that one (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  242.  66
    The Higgs Discovery as a Diagnostic Causal Inference.Adrian Wüthrich - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2).
    I reconstruct the discovery of the Higgs boson by the ATLAS collaboration at CERN as the application of a series of inferences from effects to causes. I show to what extent such diagnostic causal inferences can be based on well established knowledge gained in previous experiments. To this extent, causal reasoning can be used to infer the existence of entities, rather than just causal relationships between them. The resulting account relies on the principle of causality, attributes only a heuristic role (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  243.  33
    Knowledge How, Ability, and the Type-Token Distinction.Garry Young - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):593-607.
    This paper examines the relationship between knowing how to G and the ability to G, which is typically presented in one of the following ways: knowing how to G entails the ability to G; knowing how to G does not entail the ability to G. In an attempt to reconcile these two putatively opposing positions, I distinguish between type and token actions. It is my contention that S can know how to G in the absence of an ability to \, (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  244.  43
    Carnap and the Invariance of Logical Truth.Steve Awodey - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):67-78.
    The failed criterion of logical truth proposed by Carnap in the Logical Syntax of Language was based on the determinateness of all logical and mathematical statements. It is related to a conception which is independent of the specifics of the system of the Syntax, hints of which occur elsewhere in Carnap’s writings, and those of others. What is essential is the idea that the logical terms are invariant under reinterpretation of the empirical terms, and are therefore semantically determinate. A certain (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  245.  40
    Value Concepts.Rudolf Carnap - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):185-194.
    Carnap wrote a continuation of his reply to Kaplan, which would, however, have made that reply, already by far the longest in the book, too long. So he set aside his projected notes for a continuation to serve as the basis for a separate paper, which he never got around to writing. It is transcribed here from his shorthand and translated into English, with some introductory notes to provide a little context.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  246.  26
    Carnapian Rationality.A. W. Carus - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):163-184.
    It is generally thought that Carnap’s principle of tolerance cannot be integrated into a coherent overall conception of rationality. The doubts come from many sides, of which two are singled out. This paper argues that both are wrong, and that Carnapian rationality is a viable and perhaps quite interesting program for further development.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  247.  41
    The Logical and the Analytic.Richard Creath - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):79-96.
    This paper considers various objections to Carnap’s logical syntax definition of ’logical expression’, including those by Saunders Mac Lane and W. V. O. Quine. While the specific objections of these two authors can be answered, if necessary by a slight modification of Carnap’s definition, there are other objections that I do not see how to meet. I also consider the proposal by Denis Bonnay for avoiding the objections to Carnap’s definition. In light of the unresolved problems with Carnap’s definition, I (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  248.  37
    The Role of Universal Language in the Early Work of Carnap and Tarski.Iris Loeb - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):15-31.
    It is often argued that by assuming the existence of a universal language, one prohibits oneself from conducting semantical investigations. It could thus be thought that Tarski’s stance towards a universal language in his fruitful Wahrheitsbegriff differs essentially from Carnap’s in the latter’s less successful Untersuchungen zur allgemeinen Axiomatik. Yet this is not the case. Rather, these two works differ in whether or not the studied fragments of the universal language are languages themselves, i.e., whether or not they are closed (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  249.  81
    Carnap on Empirical Significance.Sebastian Lutz - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):217-252.
    Carnap’s search for a criterion of empirical significance is usually considered a failure. I argue that the results from two out of his three different approaches are at the very least problematic, but that one approach led to success. Carnap’s criterion of translatability into logical syntax is too vague to allow for definite results. His criteria for terms—introducibility by chains of reduction sentences and his criterion from “The Methodological Character of Theoretical Concepts”—are almost trivial and have no clear relation to (...)
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  250.  82
    Carnapian Explication, Formalisms as Cognitive Tools, and the Paradox of Adequate Formalization.Novaes Catarina Dutilh & Reck Erich - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):195-215.
    Explication is the conceptual cornerstone of Carnap’s approach to the methodology of scientific analysis. From a philosophical point of view, it gives rise to a number of questions that need to be addressed, but which do not seem to have been fully addressed by Carnap himself. This paper reconsiders Carnapian explication by comparing it to a different approach: the ‘formalisms as cognitive tools’ conception. The comparison allows us to discuss a number of aspects of the Carnapian methodology, as well as (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  251.  34
    A Forgotten Strand of Reception History: Understanding Pure Semantics.Peter Olen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):121-141.
    I explore a strand of reception history that follows Rudolf Carnap’s shift from a purely syntactical analysis of constructed languages to his conception of pure semantics. My exploration focuses on Gustav Bergmann’s and Everett Hall’s interpretation of pure semantics, their understanding of what constitutes a ’formal’ investigation of language, and their arguments concerning the relationship between expressions and their extra-linguistic referents. I argue that Bergmann and Hall strongly misread Carnap’s semantic project and, subsequently, their misunderstanding is passed down through colleagues (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  252.  14
    Carnap on Logic and Rationality.Georg Schiemer - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):1-14.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  253.  31
    Carnap’s Early Metatheory: Scope and Limits.Georg Schiemer, Richard Zach & Erich Reck - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):33-65.
    In Untersuchungen zur allgemeinen Axiomatik and Abriss der Logistik, Carnap attempted to formulate the metatheory of axiomatic theories within a single, fully interpreted type-theoretic framework and to investigate a number of meta-logical notions in it, such as those of model, consequence, consistency, completeness, and decidability. These attempts were largely unsuccessful, also in his own considered judgment. A detailed assessment of Carnap’s attempt shows, nevertheless, that his approach is much less confused and hopeless than it has often been made out to (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  254.  76
    Frege and Carnap on the Normativity of Logic.Florian Steinberger - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):143-162.
    In this paper I examine the question of logic’s normative status in the light of Carnap’s Principle of Tolerance. I begin by contrasting Carnap’s conception of the normativity of logic with that of his teacher, Frege. I identify two core features of Frege’s position: first, the normative force of the logical laws is grounded in their descriptive adequacy; second, norms implied by logic are constitutive for thinking as such. While Carnap breaks with Frege’s absolutism about logic and hence with the (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  255.  45
    Carnapian and Tarskian Semantics.Pierre Wagner - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):97-119.
    Many papers have been devoted to the semantic turn Carnap took in the late 1930s after Tarski had explained to him his method for defining truth and his work on the establishment of scientific semantics. Commentators have often argued that the major turn in Carnap’s approach to languages had already been taken in the Logical Syntax of Language, but they have usually assumed that Carnap was happy to subsequently follow Tarski and adopt Tarskian semantics. In this paper, it is argued (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  256.  19
    Quantum Mechanics Over Sets: A Pedagogical Model with Non-Commutative Finite Probability Theory as its Quantum Probability Calculus.David Ellerman - 2017 - Synthese (12):4863-4896.
    This paper shows how the classical finite probability theory (with equiprobable outcomes) can be reinterpreted and recast as the quantum probability calculus of a pedagogical or toy model of quantum mechanics over sets (QM/sets). There have been several previous attempts to develop a quantum-like model with the base field of ℂ replaced by ℤ₂. Since there are no inner products on vector spaces over finite fields, the problem is to define the Dirac brackets and the probability calculus. The previous attempts (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  257.  5
    What is Cognition? Angsty Monism, Permissive Pluralism, and the Future of Cognitive Science.Cameron Buckner & Ellen Fridland - 2017 - Synthese (11):4191-4195.
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  258.  17
    Symmetry Breaking and the Emergence of Path-Dependence.Hugh Desmond - 2017 - Synthese (10):4101-4131.
    Path-dependence offers a promising way of understanding the role historicity plays in explanation, namely, how the past states of a process can matter in the explanation of a given outcome. The two main existing accounts of path-dependence have sought to present it either in terms of dynamic landscapes or branching trees. However, the notions of landscape and tree both have serious limitations and have been criticized. The framework of causal networks is both more fundamental and more general that that of (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  259.  26
    Intellectual Autonomy, Epistemic Dependence and Cognitive Enhancement.J. Adam Carter - 2017 - Synthese:1-25.
    Intellectual autonomy has long been identified as an epistemic virtue, one that has been championed influentially by Kant, Hume and Emerson. Manifesting intellectual autonomy, at least, in a virtuous way, does not require that we form our beliefs in cognitive isolation. Rather, as Roberts and Wood note, intellectually virtuous autonomy involves reliance and outsourcing to an appropriate extent, while at the same time maintaining intellectual self-direction. In this essay, I want to investigate the ramifications for intellectual autonomy of a particular (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  260. Is the Experience of Pain Transparent? Introspecting Phenomenal Qualities.Murat Aydede - 2017 - Synthese:1-32.
    I distinguish between two claims of transparency of experiences. One claim is weaker and supported by phenomenological evidence. This I call the Transparency Datum. Introspection of standard perceptual experiences as well as bodily sensations is consistent with, indeed supported by, the Transparency Datum. I formulate a stronger transparency thesis that is entailed by (strong) representationalism about experiential phenomenology. I point out some empirical consequences of strong transparency in the context of representationalism. I argue that pain experiences, as well as some (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  261.  95
    A Principled Approach to Defining Actual Causation.Sander Beckers & Joost Vennekens - 2017 - Synthese:1-28.
    In this paper we present a new proposal for defining actual causation, i.e., the problem of deciding if one event caused another. We do so within the popular counterfactual tradition initiated by Lewis, which is characterised by attributing a fundamental role to counterfactual dependence. Unlike the currently prominent definitions, our approach proceeds from the ground up: we start from basic principles, and construct a definition of causation that satisfies them. We define the concepts of counterfactual dependence and production, and put (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  262.  40
    Is Defining Life Pointless? Operational Definitions at the Frontiers of Biology.Leonardo Bich & Sara Green - 2017 - Synthese:1-28.
    Despite numerous and increasing attempts to define what life is, there is no consensus on necessary and sufficient conditions for life. Accordingly, some scholars have questioned the value of definitions of life and encouraged scientists and philosophers alike to discard the project. As an alternative to this pessimistic conclusion, we argue that critically rethinking the nature and uses of definitions can provide new insights into the epistemic roles of definitions of life for different research practices. This paper examines the possible (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  263. Keep the Chickens Cooped: The Epistemic Inadequacy of Free Range Metaphysics.Amanda Bryant - 2017 - Synthese:1-21.
    This paper aims to better motivate the naturalization of metaphysics by identifying and criticizing a class of theories I call 'free range metaphysics'. I argue that free range metaphysics is epistemically inadequate because the constraints on its content — consistency, simplicity, intuitive plausibility, and explanatory power — are insufficiently robust and justificatory. However, since free range metaphysics yields clarity-conducive techniques, incubates science, and produces conceptual and formal tools useful for scientifically engaged philosophy, I do not recommend its discontinuation. I do (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  264.  49
    Assertion, Belief, and Context.Roger Clarke - 2017 - Synthese:1-27.
    This paper argues for a treatment of belief as essentially sensitive to certain features of context. The first part gives an argument that we must take belief to be context-sensitive in the same way that assertion is, if we are to preserve appealing principles tying belief to sincere assertion. In particular, whether an agent counts as believing that p in a context depends on the space of alternative possibilities the agent is considering in that context. One and the same doxastic (...)
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  265.  55
    Conspiracy Theories on the Basis of the Evidence.Matthew Dentith - 2017 - Synthese:1-19.
    Conspiracy theories are often portrayed as unwarranted beliefs, typically supported by suspicious kinds of evidence. Yet contemporary work in Philosophy argues provisional belief in conspiracy theories is at the very least understandable---because conspiracies occur---and that if we take an evidential approach, judging individual conspiracy theories on their particular merits, belief in such theories turns out to be warranted in a range of cases. -/- Drawing on this work, I examine the kinds of evidence typically associated with conspiracy theories, and show (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  266.  13
    Network Analyses in Systems Biology: New Strategies for Dealing with Biological Complexity.Sara Green, Maria Şerban, Raphael Scholl, Nicholaos Jones, Ingo Brigandt & William Bechtel - 2017 - Synthese.
    The increasing application of network models to interpret biological systems raises a number of important methodological and epistemological questions. What novel insights can network analysis provide in biology? Are network approaches an extension of or in conflict with mechanistic research strategies? When and how can network and mechanistic approaches interact in productive ways? In this paper we address these questions by focusing on how biological networks are represented and analyzed in a diverse class of case studies. Our examples span from (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  267.  72
    Systematizing the Theoretical Virtues.Michael N. Keas - 2017 - Synthese:1-33.
    There are at least twelve major virtues of good theories: evidential accuracy, causal adequacy, explanatory depth, internal consistency, internal coherence, universal coherence, beauty, simplicity, unification, durability, fruitfulness, and applicability. These virtues are best classified into four classes: evidential, coherential, aesthetic, and diachronic. Each virtue class contains at least three virtues that sequentially follow a repeating pattern of progressive disclosure and expansion. Systematizing the theoretical virtues in this manner clarifies each virtue and suggests how they might have a coordinated and cumulative (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  268.  26
    Bayes and the First Person: Consciousness of Thoughts, Inner Speech and Probabilistic Inference.Franz Knappik - 2017 - Synthese:1-28.
    On a widely held view, episodes of inner speech provide at least one way in which we become conscious of our thoughts. However, it can be argued, on the one hand, that consciousness of thoughts in virtue of inner speech presupposes interpretation of the simulated speech. On the other hand, the need for such self-interpretation seems to clash with distinctive first-personal characteristics that we would normally ascribe to consciousness of one’s own thoughts: a special reliability; a lack of conscious ambiguity (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  269.  12
    Seemings as Sui Generis.Blake McAllister - 2017 - Synthese:1-18.
    The epistemic value of seemings is increasingly debated. Such debates are hindered, however, by a lack of consensus about the nature of seemings. There are four prominent conceptions in the literature, and the plausibility of principles such as phenomenal conservatism, which assign a prominent epistemic role to seemings, varies greatly from one conception to another. It is therefore crucial that we identify the correct conception of seemings. I argue that seemings are best understood as sui generis mental states with propositional (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  270.  6
    There is Nothing It is Like to See Red: Holism and Subjective Experience.Anthony F. Peressini - 2017 - Synthese:1-30.
    The Nagel inspired “something-it-is-like” conception of conscious experience remains a dominant approach in philosophy. In this paper I criticize a prevalent philosophical construal of SIL consciousness, one that understands SIL as a property of mental states rather than entities as a whole. I argue against thinking of SIL as a property of states, showing how such a view is in fact prevalent, under-warranted, and philosophically pernicious in that it often leads to an implausible reduction of conscious experience to qualia. I (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  271.  15
    Lay Intuitions About Epistemic Normativity.Pendaran Roberts, James Andow & Kelly Schmidtke - 2017 - Synthese:1-21.
    Recent empirical work on non-philosophers’ intuitions about epistemic normativity reveals patterns that cannot be fully accounted for by direct epistemic consequentialism. On the basis of these results, one might picture participants as “epistemic deontologists.” We present the results of two new experiments that support a more nuanced picture. We examine intuitions about guesses and hypotheses, and about beliefs. Our results suggest a two-factor model of intuitions, wherein both consequentialist and non-consequentialist considerations affect participants’ judgments about epistemic permissibility.
    No categories
    Direct download (9 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  272.  40
    Agent-Causal Libertarianism, Statistical Neural Laws and Wild Coincidences.Jason D. Runyan - 2017 - Synthese:1-18.
    Agent-causal libertarians maintain we are irreducible agents who, by acting, settle matters that aren’t already settled. This implies that the neural matters underlying the exercise of our agency don’t conform to deterministic laws, but it does not appear to exclude the possibility that they conform to statistical laws. However, Pereboom (Noûs 29:21–45, 1995; Living without free will, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2001; in: Nadelhoffer (ed) The future of punishment, Oxford University Press, New York, 2013) has argued that, if these neural (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  273.  10
    Explaining Doxastic Transparency: Aim, Norm, or Function?Ema Sullivan-Bissett - 2017 - Synthese:1-24.
    I argue that explanations of doxastic transparency which go via an appeal to an aim or norm of belief are problematic. I offer a new explanation by appeal to a biological function of our mechanisms for belief production. I begin by characterizing the phenomenon, and then move to the teleological and normative accounts of belief, advertised by their proponents as able to give an explanation of it. I argue that, at the very least, both accounts face serious difficulties in this (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  274.  8
    Quantum Metaphysical Indeterminacy and Worldly Incompleteness.Alessandro Torza - 2017 - Synthese:1-14.
    An influential theory has it that metaphysical indeterminacy occurs just when reality can be made completely precise in multiple ways. That characterization is formulated by employing the modal apparatus of ersatz possible worlds. As quantum physics taught us, reality cannot be made completely precise. I meet the challenge by providing an alternative theory which preserves the use of ersatz worlds but rejects the precisificational view of metaphysical indeterminacy. The upshot of the proposed theory is that it is metaphysically indeterminate whether (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  275. Inverse Functionalism and the Individuation of Powers.David Yates - 2017 - Synthese:1-26.
    In the pure powers ontology (PPO), basic physical properties have wholly dispositional essences. PPO has clear advantages over categoricalist ontologies, which suffer from familiar epistemological and metaphysical problems. However, opponents argue that because it contains no qualitative properties, PPO lacks the resources to individuate powers, and generates a regress. The challenge for those who take such arguments seriously is to introduce qualitative properties without reintroducing the problems that PPO was meant to solve. In this paper, I distinguish the core claim (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  276.  39
    An Elegant Universe.Claudio Calosi - 2017 - Synthese:1-16.
    David Lewis famously endorsed Unrestricted Composition. His defense of such a controversial principle builds on the alleged innocence of mereology. This innocence defense has come under different attacks in the last decades. In this paper I pursue another line of defense, that stems from some early remarks by van Inwagen. I argue that Unrestricted Composition leads to a better metaphysics. In particular I provide new arguments for the following claims: Unrestricted Composition entails extensionality of composition, functionality of location and four-dimensionalism (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  277.  2
    The Semantic View of Theories and Higher-Order Languages.Hudetz Laurenz - 2017 - Synthese:1-19.
    Several philosophers of science construe models of scientific theories as set-theoretic structures. Some of them moreover claim that models should not be construed as structures in the sense of model theory because the latter are language-dependent. I argue that if we are ready to construe models as set-theoretic structures, we could equally well construe them as model-theoretic structures of higher-order logic. I show that every family of set-theoretic structures has an associated language of higher-order logic and an up to signature (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
 Previous issues
  
Next issues