229 found

Year:

  1.  15
    Speak No Ill of the Dead: The Dead as a Social Group.Tom Kaspers, Jacob LiBrizzi, Duccio Calosi & Yoichi Kobe - 2022 - Synthese 210 (200):1-17.
    In her recent article “The Ontology of Social Groups”, Thomasson (Synthese 196:4829–4845, 2019) argues that social groups can be characterized in terms of the norms that surround them. We show that according to Thomasson’s normativity-based criterion, the dead constitute a social group, since there are widespread and well-defined social norms as to how to treat the dead, such as the norm expressed in the title (“Speak no ill of the dead”). We argue that the example of the dead must not (...)
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  2.  9
    Knot Much Like Tonk.Michael De & Hitoshi Omori - 2022 - Synthese 200 (149):1-14.
    Connectives such as Tonk have posed a significant challenge to the inferentialist. It has been recently argued that the classical semanticist faces an analogous problem due to the definability of “nasty connectives” under non-standard interpretations of the classical propositional vocabulary. In this paper, we defend the classical semanticist from this alleged problem.
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  3. A Dual Proposal Of Minimal Conditions For Intentionality.Sérgio Farias de Souza Filho - 2022 - Synthese 200 (115):1-22.
    Naturalist theories of representation have been attacked on the grounds of being too liberal on the minimal conditions for intentionality: they treat several states that are not representational as genuine representations. Behind this attack lies the problem of demarcation: what are the minimal conditions for intentionality that a state should satisfy to be genuinely representational? What are the limits of intentionality? This paper develops a dual proposal to solve this problem. First, I defend the explanatory role criterion in order to (...)
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  4. Lightweight and heavyweight anti-physicalism.Damian Aleksiev - 2022 - Synthese 200 (112):1-23.
    I define two metaphysical positions that anti-physicalists can take in response to Jonathan Schaffer’s ground functionalism. Ground functionalism is a version of physicalism where explanatory gaps are everywhere. If ground functionalism is true, arguments against physicalism based on the explanatory gap between the physical and experiential facts fail. In response, first, I argue that some anti-physicalists are already safe from Schaffer’s challenge. These anti-physicalists reject an underlying assumption of ground functionalism: the assumption that macrophysical entities are something over and above (...)
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  5.  44
    One World is (Probably) Just as Good as Many.Jer Steeger - 2022 - Synthese 200 (97):1-32.
    One of our most sophisticated accounts of objective chance in quantum mechanics involves the Deutsch-Wallace theorem, which uses state-space symmetries to justify agents’ use of the Born rule when the quantum state is known. But Wallace argues that this theorem requires an Everettian approach to measurement. I find that this argument is unsound. I demonstrate a counter-example by applying the Deutsch-Wallace theorem to the de Broglie-Bohm pilot-wave theory.
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  6.  4
    Moral underdetermination and a new skeptical challenge.Marius Baumann - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-22.
    In this paper, I introduce a new challenge to moral realism: the skeptical argument from moral underdetermination. The challenge arises as a consequence of two recent projects in normative ethics. Both Parfit and a group called consequentializers have independently claimed that the main traditions of normative theories can agree on the set of correct particular deontic verdicts. Nonetheless, as Dietrich and List :421–479, 2017) and myself :191–221, 2018; Australas J Philos 97:511–527, 2019; Ethical Theory Moral Pract 24:999–1018, 2021a) have argued, (...)
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  7.  5
    Externalism, transparency, and diagonal propositions.Gregory Bochner - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-23.
    Boghossian argued that externalism is incompatible with a transparency thesis according to which we can know a priori whether any two of our occurrent thoughts have the same or distinct content, and that this transparency thesis is integral to our commonsense conception of rationality, which requires the apriority of our logical abilities. Stalnaker offered a detailed compatibilist response to Boghossian. Boghossian criticized this response, and Stalnaker replied. But the outcome of that important discussion remained unclear, partly because it was unclear (...)
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  8.  1
    Jan Łukasiewicz’s program of the logicization of philosophy: its genesis, content and realizations.Anna Brożek - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-24.
    In the paper, Jan Łukasiewicz’s program of the logicization of philosophy is presented and discussed. Łukasiewicz, known mostly for his invention of trivalent logic as well as his achievements in propositional calculus and metalogic, had always been concerned with the methodological condition of philosophy. He finally found “the measure of exactness” in mathematical logic. According to him, only the use of logical tools may provide philosophical investigations with an appropriate level of exactness. He expressed his views most firmly and directly (...)
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  9.  35
    Anti-exceptionalism and the justification of basic logical principles.Matthew Carlson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-19.
    Anti-exceptionalism about logic is the thesis that logic is not special. In this paper, I consider, and reject, a challenge to this thesis. According to this challenge, there are basic logical principles, and part of what makes such principles basic is that they are epistemically exceptional. Thus, according to this challenge, the existence of basic logical principles provides reason to reject anti-exceptionalism about logic. I argue that this challenge fails, and that the exceptionalist positions motivated by it are thus unfounded. (...)
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  10. Shopping for experts.Gabriele Contessa - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-21.
    This paper explores the socio-epistemic practice of shopping for experts. I argue that expert shopping is particularly likely to occur on what Thi Nguyen calls cognitive islands. To support my argument, I focus on macroeconomics. First, I make a prima-facie case for thinking that macroeconomics is a cognitive island. Then, I argue that ordinary people are particularly likely to engage in expert shopping when it comes to macroeconomic matters. In particular, I distinguish between two kinds of expert shopping, which I (...)
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  11.  2
    Structuralism, indiscernibility, and physical computation.F. T. Doherty & J. Dewhurst - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-26.
    Structuralism about mathematical objects and structuralist accounts of physical computation both face indeterminacy objections. For the former, the problem arises for cases such as the complex roots i and \, for which a automorphism can be defined, thus establishing the structural identity of these importantly distinct mathematical objects. In the case of the latter, the problem arises for logical duals such as AND and OR, which have invertible structural profiles :369–400, 2001). This makes their physical implementations indeterminate, in the sense (...)
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  12.  3
    Loving truly: An epistemic approach to the doxastic norms of love.Katherine Dormandy - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-23.
    If you love someone, is it good to believe better of her than epistemic norms allow? The partiality view says that it is: love, on this view, issues norms of belief that clash with epistemic norms. The partiality view is supposedly supported by an analogy between beliefs and actions, by the phenomenology of love, and by the idea that love commits us to the loved one’s good character. I argue that the partiality view is false, and defend what I call (...)
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  13.  1
    Making it precise—Imprecision and underdetermination in linguistic communication.Anna Drożdżowicz - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-27.
    How good are we at understanding what others communicate? It often seems to us, at least, that we understand quite well what others convey when speaking in a familiar language. However, a growing body of evidence from the psychology of language suggests that in various communicative settings comprehenders routinely form linguistic representations that are underdetermined, “sketchy”, “shallow” or imprecise, often without noticing it. The paper discusses some important consequences of this evidence. Following recent discussions in this strand of research, I (...)
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  14.  69
    Computer Verification for Historians of Philosophy.Landon D. C. Elkind - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-28.
    Interactive theorem provers might seem particularly impractical in the history of philosophy. Journal articles in this discipline are generally not formalized. Interactive theorem provers involve a learning curve for which the payoffs might seem minimal. In this article I argue that interactive theorem provers have already demonstrated their potential as a useful tool for historians of philosophy; I do this by highlighting examples of work where this has already been done. Further, I argue that interactive theorem provers can continue to (...)
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  15.  15
    Correction To: What Ought Probably Means, and Why You Can’T Detach It.Stephen Finlay - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-2.
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  16.  4
    Is the HYPE about strength warranted?Martin Fischer - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-25.
    In comparing classical and non-classical solutions to the semantic paradoxes arguments relying on strength have been influential. In this paper I argue that non-classical solutions should preserve the proof-theoretic strength of classical solutions. Leitgeb’s logic of HYPE is then presented as an interesting possibility to strengthen FDE with a suitable conditional. It is shown that HYPE allows for a non-classical Kripkean theory of truth, called KFL, that is strong enough for the relevant purposes and has additional attractive properties.
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  17.  8
    The introduction of topology into analytic philosophy: two movements and a coda.Samuel C. Fletcher & Nathan Lackey - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-34.
    Both early analytic philosophy and the branch of mathematics now known as topology were gestated and born in the early part of the 20th century. It is not well recognized that there was early interaction between the communities practicing and developing these fields. We trace the history of how topological ideas entered into analytic philosophy through two migrations, an earlier one conceiving of topology geometrically and a later one conceiving of topology algebraically. This allows us to reassess the influence and (...)
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  18.  1
    Geometrization vs. unification: the Reichenbach–Einstein quarrel about the Fernparallelismus field theory.Marco Giovanelli - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-44.
    This study reconstructs the 1928–1929 correspondence between Reichenbach and Einstein about the latter’s latest distant parallelism-unified field theory, which attracted considerable public attention at the end of the 1920s. Reichenbach, who had recently become a Professor in Berlin, had the opportunity to discuss the theory with Einstein and therefore sent him a manuscript with some comments for feedback. The document has been preserved among Einstein’s papers. However, the subsequent correspondence took an unpleasant turn after Reichenbach published a popular article on (...)
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  19. Reversing logical nihilism.Tristan Grøtvedt Haze - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-18.
    Gillian Russell has recently proposed counterexamples to such elementary argument forms as Conjunction Introduction and Identity. These purported counterexamples involve expressions that are sensitive to linguistic context—for example, a sentence which is true when it appears alone but false when embedded in a larger sentence. If they are genuine counterexamples, it looks as though logical nihilism—the view that there are no valid argument forms—might be true. In this paper, I argue that the purported counterexamples are not genuine, on the grounds (...)
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  20.  1
    Quiddities and repeatables: towards a tripartite analysis of simple predicative statements.Boris Hennig - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-12.
    I argue that a tripartite analysis of simple statements such as “Bucephalus is a horse”, according to which they divide into two terms and a copula, requires the notion of a repeatable: something such that more than one particular can literally be it. I pose a familiar dilemma with respect to repeatables, and turn to Avicenna for a solution, who discusses a similar dilemma concerning quiddities. I conclude by describing how Avicenna’s quiddities relate to repeatables, and how both quiddities and (...)
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  21.  49
    A forgotten logical expressivist: Strawson’s philosophy of logic and its challenges.Sybren Heyndels - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-23.
    P.F. Strawson contributed to many philosophical domains, including the philosophy of language, the history of philosophy, metaphysics, moral philosophy and philosophical methodology. Most of his contributions in these areas have influenced contemporary debates, either because his views are still defended or because they are still considered worthy of detailed responses. His views on the philosophy of logic have been only rarely discussed, however. My aim in this paper is threefold. First, I provide a systematic account of Strawson’s philosophy of logic. (...)
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  22.  2
    An evaluation of the autopoietic account of interests.Stephanie Hoffmann - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-18.
    Historically, biocentrists have ascribed interests to organisms via an account of function. One promising account of function for this purpose is the organizational or autopoietic account of function, according to which some entity x has a function of self-maintenance when the parts of x contribute to the goal of self-maintenance. In this paper, I will present the autopoietic account of interests and provide some reasons for thinking that this account is promising. I will also present a possible issue for the (...)
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  23.  3
    Epistemic redress.George Hull - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-21.
    Is it possible to redress a wrong specifically in one’s capacity as a knower? Epistemic justice has largely been conceived of as either an ideal goal guiding present and future societal endeavours, or a set of ameliorative character virtues. Yet there is also a backward-looking component of epistemic justice, which has so far been neglected. I argue that exercises of our cognitive and epistemic capacities can constitute moral redress for wrong actions and wrongful harms for which we are responsible. Epistemic (...)
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  24.  8
    The Epistemology of Thought Experiments Without Exceptionalist Ingredients.Paul O. Irikefe - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-29.
    This paper argues for two interrelated claims. The first is that the most innovative contribution of Timothy Williamson, Herman Cappelen, and Max Deutsch in the debate about the epistemology of thought experiments is not the denial of intuition and the claim of the irrelevance of experimental philosophy but the claim of epistemological continuity and the rejection of philosophical exceptionalism. The second is that a better way of implementing the claim of epistemological continuity is not Deutsch and Cappelen’s argument view or (...)
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  25.  2
    Disagreement in metametaphysical dispute.Rasmus Jaksland - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-21.
    Recent years have seen several studies of metaphysical disputes as disagreement phenomena employing the resources from the research on disagreement in social epistemology. This paper undertakes an analogous study of the metametaphysical disagreement over the substantiveness of metaphysical disputes between inflationists and deflationists. The paper first considers and questions the skeptical argument that the mere existence of the disagreement mandates the suspension of judgement about the substantiveness of metaphysical disputes. Rather, the paper argues that steadfastness in the face of this (...)
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  26.  24
    Not so distinctively mathematical explanations: topology and dynamical systems.Aditya Jha, Douglas Campbell, Clemency Montelle & Phillip L. Wilson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-40.
    So-called ‘distinctively mathematical explanations’ (DMEs) are said to explain physical phenomena, not in terms of contingent causal laws, but rather in terms of mathematical necessities that constrain the physical system in question. Lange argues that the existence of four or more equilibrium positions of any double pendulum has a DME. Here we refute both Lange’s claim itself and a strengthened and extended version of the claim that would pertain to any n-tuple pendulum system on the ground that such explanations are (...)
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  27.  2
    False-Belief Task Know-How: Author.Alan Jurgens - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-22.
    This paper assumes that success on false-belief tasks requires a kind of folk psychological know-how, i.e. gradable knowledge how to perform skilful social cognitive acts. Following Ryle, it argues the folk psychological know-how required for success on a false-belief task cannot be reduced to conceptual knowledge as this would lead to an infinite regress. Within the skilled performance literature, Intellectualists have attempted to solve Ryle’s regress by appealing to automatic mechanisms similar in kind to some Theory-of-Mind explanations of folk psychology. (...)
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  28. Mapping representational mechanisms with deep neural networks.Phillip Hintikka Kieval - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-25.
    The predominance of machine learning based techniques in cognitive neuroscience raises a host of philosophical and methodological concerns. Given the messiness of neural activity, modellers must make choices about how to structure their raw data to make inferences about encoded representations. This leads to a set of standard methodological assumptions about when abstraction is appropriate in neuroscientific practice. Yet, when made uncritically these choices threaten to bias conclusions about phenomena drawn from data. Contact between the practices of multivariate pattern analysis (...)
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  29. An account of overt intentional dogwhistling.Nicolás Lo Guercio & Ramiro Caso - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-32.
    Political communication in modern democratic societies often requires the speaker to address multiple audiences with heterogeneous values, interests and agendas. This creates an incentive for communication strategies that allow politicians to send, along with the explicit content of their speech, concealed messages that seek to secure the approval of certain groups without alienating the rest of the electorate. These strategies have been labeled dogwhistling in recent literature. In this article, we provide an analysis of overt intentional dogwhistling. We recognize two (...)
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  30.  9
    Strengthening the Russellian Argument Against Absolutely Unrestricted Quantification.Laureano Luna - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-13.
    The Russellian argument against the possibility of absolutely unrestricted quantification can be answered by the partisan of that quantification in an apparently easy way, namely, arguing that the objects used in the argument do not exist because they are defined in a viciously circular fashion. We show that taking this contention along as a premise and relying on an extremely intuitive Principle of Determinacy, it is possible to devise a reductio of the possibility of absolutely unrestricted quantification. Therefore, there are (...)
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  31.  4
    Cognitive diversity and the contingency of evidence.Jack C. Lyons - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-20.
    Many epistemologists endorse a view I call “evidence essentialism:” if e is evidence of h, for some agent at some time, then necessarily, e is evidence of h, for any agent at any time. I argue that such a view is only plausible if we ignore cognitive diversity among epistemic agents, i.e., the fact that different agents have different—sometimes radically different—cognitive skills, abilities, and proclivities. Instead, cognitive diversity shows that evidential relations are contingent and relative to cognizers. This is especially (...)
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  32.  5
    Statistical significance and its critics: practicing damaging science, or damaging scientific practice?Deborah G. Mayo & David Hand - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-33.
    While the common procedure of statistical significance testing and its accompanying concept of p-values have long been surrounded by controversy, renewed concern has been triggered by the replication crisis in science. Many blame statistical significance tests themselves, and some regard them as sufficiently damaging to scientific practice as to warrant being abandoned. We take a contrary position, arguing that the central criticisms arise from misunderstanding and misusing the statistical tools, and that in fact the purported remedies themselves risk damaging science. (...)
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  33.  8
    Can Thought Experiments Solve Problems of Personal Identity?Lukas J. Meier - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-23.
    Good physical experiments conform to the basic methodological standards of experimental design: they are objective, reliable, and valid. But is this also true of thought experiments? Especially problems of personal identity have engendered hypothetical scenarios that are very distant from the actual world. These imagined situations have been conspicuously ineffective at resolving conflicting intuitions and deciding between the different accounts of personal identity. Using prominent examples from the literature, I argue that this is due to many of these thought experiments (...)
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  34.  2
    Situated self-awareness in expert performance: a situated normativity account of riken no ken.Katsunori Miyahara & Miguel Segundo-Ortin - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-25.
    We explore the nature of expert minds in skilled performance by examining classic Japanese dramatist Zeami’s account of skilled expertise in Noh drama. Zeami characterizes expert minds by the co-existence of mushin and riken no ken. Mushin is an empty state of mind devoid of mental contents. Riken no ken is a distinctive form of self-awareness, where the actor embodies a common perspective with the audience upon one’s own performance. Conventional accounts of riken no ken present it as a form (...)
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  35.  3
    Coversheet for social inheritance and the social mind: Introduction to the synthese topical collection on the cultural evolution of human social cognition.Richard Moore & Rachael L. Brown - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-17.
    In this introduction to the Synthese SI: The Cultural Evolution of Human Social Cognition, we introduce some basic theoretical terms that will help readers to navigate the volume. Subsequently we describe the papers that make up the volume and draw attention to points of agreement and disagreement between the authors. We also identify a number of outstanding issues for the field of cultural evolution research. The papers in the volume can be divided into three sections: The Cultural Evolution of Mindreading, (...)
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  36. Econometric methods and Reichenbach’s principle.Seán Mfundza Muller - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-21.
    Reichenbach’s ‘principle of the common cause’ is a foundational assumption of some important recent contributions to quantitative social science methodology but no similar principle appears in econometrics. Angrist et al. has argued that the principle is necessary for instrumental variables methods in econometrics, and Angrist Krueger builds a framework using it that he proposes as a means of resolving an important methodological dispute among econometricians. Through analysis of instrumental variables methods and the issue of multicollinearity, we aim to show that (...)
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  37. Using a two-dimensional model from social ontology to explain the puzzling metaphysical features of words.Jared S. Oliphint - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-10.
    I argue that a two-dimensional model of social objects is uniquely positioned to deliver explanations for some of the puzzling metaphysical features of words. I consider how a type-token model offers explanations for the metaphysical features of words, but I give reasons to find the model wanting. In its place, I employ an alternative model from social ontology to explain the puzzling data and questions that are generated from the metaphysical features of words. In the end I chart a new (...)
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  38.  2
    Variable relativity of causation is good.Veli-Pekka Parkkinen - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-21.
    Interventionism is a theory of causation with a pragmatic goal: to define causal concepts that are useful for reasoning about how things could, in principle, be purposely manipulated. In its original presentation, Woodward’s interventionist definition of causation is relativized to an analyzed variable set. In Woodward, Woodward changes the definition of the most general interventionist notion of cause, contributing cause, so that it is no longer relativized to a variable set. This derelativization of interventionism has not gathered much attention, presumably (...)
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  39.  1
    Betting blind: coping with uncertainty through redundancy.Makmiller Pedroso - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-17.
    Multiple biological groups, such as ant colonies, appear to have a noteworthy inefficiency: they contain vast amounts of redundant members that are not strictly needed to maintain the group. Philosophers and biologists have proposed that such inefficiency is illusory because redundancy enhances the resilience of groups when living under harsh conditions. Still, this proposal is unsatisfactory in different respects. First, it is too vague to account for when redundancy is selectively advantageous. Furthermore, it overlooks cases in which redundancy fails to (...)
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  40.  1
    Acknowledgments-based networks for mapping the social structure of research fields. A case study on recent analytic philosophy.Eugenio Petrovich - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-40.
    In the last decades, research in science mapping has delivered several powerful techniques, based on citation or textual analysis, for charting the intellectual organization of research fields. To map the social network underlying science and scholarship, by contrast, science mapping has mainly relied on one method, co-authorship analysis. This method, however, suffers from well-known limitations related to the practice of authorship. Moreover, it does not perform well on those fields where multi-authored publications are rare. In this study, a new method (...)
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  41. Towards a theory of abduction based on conditionals.Rolf Pfister - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-30.
    Abduction is considered the most powerful, but also the most controversially discussed type of inference. Based on an analysis of Peirce’s retroduction, Lipton’s Inference to the Best Explanation and other theories, a new theory of abduction is proposed. It considers abduction not as intrinsically explanatory but as intrinsically conditional: for a given fact, abduction allows one to infer a fact that implies it. There are three types of abduction: Selective abduction selects an already known conditional whose consequent is the given (...)
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  42.  5
    Hinge commitments and common knowledge.Duncan Pritchard - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-16.
    Contemporary epistemology has explored the notion of a hinge commitment as set out in Wittgenstein’s final notebooks, published as On Certainty. These are usually understood as essentially groundless certainties that provide the necessary framework within which rational evaluations can take place. John Greco has recently offered a striking account of hinge commitments as a distinctive kind of knowledge that he calls ‘common knowledge’. According to Greco, this is knowledge that members of the community get to have without incurring any epistemic (...)
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  43.  5
    Reference by proxy.Michael Rieppel - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-18.
    Formal semantic theories are generally thought to make contact with pre-theoretic semantic notions of aboutness and reference. The nature of that contact is, however, not always straightforward. This paper addresses two debates where that issue assumes a significant role. I begin with Simchen’s recent argument that Lewisian Interpretationism succumbs to referential indeterminacy. I develop a proposal about the relationship between the theoretical notion of a term’s semantic value and the pre-theoretic notion of reference, and argue that the indeterminacy Simchen identifies (...)
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  44.  21
    Simple Remembering.Arieh Schwartz - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-22.
    Dretske has provided very influential arguments that there is a difference between our sensory awareness of objects and our awareness of facts about these objects—that there is a difference, for example, between seeing x and seeing that x is F. This distinction between simple and epistemic seeing is a staple of the philosophy of perception. Memory is often usefully compared to perception, and in this spirit I argue for the conditional claim that if Dretske’s arguments succeed in motivating the posit (...)
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  45.  1
    Correction to: What is logical deflationism? Two non-metalinguistic conceptions of logic.Lionel Shapiro - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-1.
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  46.  25
    Is forensic science in crisis?Michał Sikorski - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-34.
    The results of forensic science are believed to be reliable, and are widely used in support of verdicts around the world. However, due to the lack of suitable empirical studies, we actually know very little about the reliability of such results. In this paper, I argue that phenomena analogous to the main culprits for the replication crisis in psychology are also present in forensic science. Therefore forensic results are significantly less reliable than is commonly believed. I conclude that in order (...)
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  47. Delusions and madmen: against rationality constraints on belief.Declan Smithies, Preston Lennon & Richard Samuels - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-30.
    According to the Rationality Constraint, our concept of belief imposes limits on how much irrationality is compatible with having beliefs at all. We argue that empirical evidence of human irrationality from the psychology of reasoning and the psychopathology of delusion undermines only the most demanding versions of the Rationality Constraint, which require perfect rationality as a condition for having beliefs. The empirical evidence poses no threat to more relaxed versions of the Rationality Constraint, which only require only minimal rationality. Nevertheless, (...)
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  48. Organizational Complexity in Big Science: Strategies and Practices.Helene Sorgner & Martina Merz - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-21.
    Studies on ‘Big Science’ have shifted our perspective from the complexity of scientific objects and their representations to the complexity of sociotechnical arrangements. However, how scientists in large-scale research attend to this complexity to facilitate and afford knowledge production has rarely been considered to date. In this article, we locate organizational complexity on the level of organizing practices that follow multiple and divergent logics. We identify three strategies of managing organizational complexity, drawing on existing literature on large-scale research as well (...)
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  49.  1
    Anti-exceptionalism and methodological pluralism in logic.Diego Tajer - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-21.
    According to methodological anti-exceptionalism, logic follows a scientific methodology. There has been some discussion about which methodology logic has. Authors such as Priest, Hjortland and Williamson have argued that logic can be characterized by an abductive methodology. We choose the logical theory that behaves better under a set of epistemic criteria. In this paper, I analyze some important discussions in the philosophy of logic, and I show that they presuppose different methodologies, involving different notions of evidence and different epistemic values. (...)
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  50.  1
    Dispositional realism without dispositional essences.Matthew Tugby - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-27.
    Dispositional realism, as we shall use the term, is a non-reductive, anti-Humean approach to dispositions which says that natural properties confer certain dispositions as a matter of metaphysical necessity. A strong form of dispositional realism is known as pan-dispositionalism, which is typically interpreted as the view that all natural properties are identical with, or essentially dependent on, dispositions. One of the most serious problems facing pan-dispositionalism is the conceivability objection, and the solution commonly offered by essentialists employs the so-called redescription (...)
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  51.  1
    Everyday anxious doubt.Juliette Vazard - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-19.
    In this article I examine the role of anxiety in our motivation to reassess our epistemic states, by taking as a starting point a proposal put forward by Levy, according to which anxiety is responsible for the ruminations and worries about threatening possibilities that we sometimes get caught up into in our everyday life. Levy’s claim is that these irrational persistent thoughts about possible states of affairs are best explained by anxiety, rather than by beliefs, degrees of belief, or other (...)
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  52.  6
    Can thoughts be read from the brain? Neuroscience Contra Wittgenstein.Christian Helmut Wenzel - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-19.
    Wittgenstein wrote: “No supposition seems to me more natural than that there is no process in the brain correlated with associating or with thinking; so that it would be impossible to read off thought-processes from brain processes.” In general, he rejects what he calls “psycho-physical parallelism.” In Sect. 1, I explain Wittgenstein’s position on this topic and how his followers defend it. In Sect. 2, I argue against Wittgenstein, contending that there is “thought” in a wider sense and that it (...)
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  53. The problem of presentations: how it is that one object is perceptually given in multiple ways.Konrad Werner - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-25.
    This paper answers a philosophical challenge that emerges when we problematize the seemingly trivial "fact" that, on the one hand, through our senses we are presented with a realm that is not of our own making; while, on the other hand, various perceivers are acquainted with diverse presentations of this realm, depending on their perspective and cognitive machinery. The challenge is dubbed here the problem of presentations. The paper draws on the idea of situation-dependent properties proposed by Susanna Schellenberg. However, (...)
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  54.  12
    Does Anti-Exceptionalism About Logic Entail That Logic is a Posteriori?Jessica M. Wilson & Stephen Biggs - 2022 - Synthese 200 (3):1-17.
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  55.  1
    Infinite Frequency Principles of Direct Inference.Lennart B. Ackermans - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    According to an infinite frequency principle, it is rational, under certain conditions, to set your credence in an outcome to the limiting frequency of that outcome if the experiment were repeated indefinitely. I argue that most infinite frequency principles are undesirable in at least one of the following ways: accepting the principle would lead you to accept bets with sure losses, the principle gives no guidance in the case of deterministic experiments like coin tosses and the principle relies on a (...)
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  56.  6
    The Boolean Many-Valued Solution to the Sorites Paradox.Ken Akiba - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-25.
    This paper offers the Boolean many-valued solution to the Sorites Paradox. According to the precisification-based Boolean many-valued theory, from which this solution arises, sentences have not only two truth values, truth and falsity, but many Boolean values between 0 and 1. The Boolean value of a sentence is identified with the set of precisifications in which the sentence is true. Unlike degrees fuzzy logic assigns to sentences, Boolean many values are not linearly but only partially ordered; so there are values (...)
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  57.  10
    The necessity of conceivability.Sophie R. Allen & Javier Cumpa - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-18.
    In his conceivability argument, Chalmers assumes that all properties have their causal powers contingently and causal laws are also contingent. We argue that this claim conflicts with how conceivability itself must work for the conceivability argument to be successful. If conceivability is to be an effective mechanism to determine possibility, it must work as a matter of necessity, since contingent conceivability renders conceivability fallible for an ideal reasoner and the fallible conceivability of zombies would not entail their possibility. But necessary (...)
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  58.  4
    Some Dilemmas for an Account of Neural Representation: A Reply to Poldrack.Michael L. Anderson & Heather Champion - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    “The physics of representation” aims to define the word “representation” as used in the neurosciences, argue that such representations as described in neuroscience are related to and usefully illuminated by the representations generated by modern neural networks, and establish that these entities are “representations in good standing”. We suggest that Poldrack succeeds in, exposes some tensions between the broad use of the term in neuroscience and the narrower class of entities that he identifies in the end, and between the meaning (...)
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  59. How Do Philosophers and Nonphilosophers Think About Philosophy? And Does Personality Make a Difference?James Andow - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    Recent metaphilosophical debates have focused on the methods/epistemology of philosophy, and the structure of the discipline. The paper reports the results of an exploratory study examining the relationship between personality and both kinds of metaphilosophical view. The findings reported are No important link between personality and attitudes to intuitions, Apparent differences between experts and non-experts as to which subfields are considered central, Only limited evidence that perceptions of centrality are related to personality in minor ways. Although no dramatic relationships between (...)
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  60.  7
    Minimal theory of mind – a Millikanian Approach.Nimra Asif - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-26.
    Minimal theory of mind is presented in the theory of mind literature as a middle ground between full-blown ToM and mere behavior-reading. Minimal ToM seems to be a useful construct for studying and understanding the minds of nonhuman animals and infants. However, providing an account of minimal ToM on which minimal mindreading is significantly less demanding than full-blown mindreading yet more than just a behavior-reading process is a challenge. In this paper, I argue that to address this challenge, we need (...)
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  61. Same-tracking real kinds in the social sciences.Theodore Bach - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-26.
    The kinds of real or natural kinds that support explanation and prediction in the social sciences are difficult to identify and track because they change through time, intersect with one another, and they do not always exhibit their properties when one encounters them. As a result, conceptual practices directed at these kinds will often refer in ways that are partial, equivocal, or redundant. To improve this epistemic situation, it is important to employ open-ended classificatory concepts, to understand when different research (...)
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  62.  17
    Spacetime: Function and Approximation.Sam Baron - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    Several approaches to quantum gravity signal the loss of spacetime at some level. According to spacetime functionalism, spacetime is functionally realised by a more fundamental structure. According to one version of spacetime functionalism, the spacetime role is specified by Ramsifying general relativity. In some approaches to QG, however, there does not appear to be anything that exactly realises the functional role defined by a Ramsey sentence for GR. The spacetime role is approximately realised. It is open to the spacetime functionalist (...)
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  63.  1
    Language games and the emergence of discourse.Jeffrey A. Barrett & Jacob VanDrunen - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-15.
    Wittgenstein used the notion of a language game to illustrate how language is interwoven with action. Here we consider how successful linguistic discourse of the sort he described might emerge in the context of a self-assembling evolutionary game. More specifically, we consider how discourse and coordinated action might self-assemble in the context of two generalized signaling games. The first game shows how prospective language users might learn to initiate meaningful discourse. The second shows how more subtle varieties of discourse might (...)
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  64.  13
    Intelligence and scientific expertise.Pierluigi Barrotta & Roberto Gronda - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-19.
    In this article we develop a pragmatist-inspired notion of intelligence that should lead to a better understanding of the notion of scientific expertise. The notion of intelligence is drawn from Dewey and is therefore used here in its technical sense. Our thesis is that scientific knowledge is a necessary but not sufficient condition for scientific expertise; intelligence should also be added. Conceived of as the capacity to apply general knowledge to particulars, we reach the conclusion that intelligence is a necessary (...)
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  65.  11
    Lying, Hedging, and the Norms of Assertion.Noah Betz-Richman - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    The concept of lying is generally assumed to be closely related to the concept of assertion. However, the literature on lying has focused almost exclusively on lies expressed by unqualified assertions. Sometimes a speaker chooses to qualify her assertion by hedging, making her utterance a hedged declarative. This paper defends the thesis that lies can be expressed by untruthful hedged declaratives, and explores the implications of this thesis for the definition of lying. Many standard approaches to the definition of lying (...)
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  66.  5
    Science Advice: Making Credences Accurate.Simon Blessenohl & Deniz Sarikaya - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    Policy-makers often rely on scientists to inform their decisions. When advising policy-makers, what should scientists say? One view says that scientists ought to say what they have a high credence in. Another view says that scientists ought to say what they expect to lead to good policy outcomes. We explore a third view: scientists ought to say what they expect to make the policy-makers’ credences accurate.
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  67.  2
    Similarity in the Making: How Folk Psychological Concepts Facilitate Development of Psychological Concepts.Corinne L. Bloch-Mullins - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-14.
    This paper draws on the notion of “objects of research” in psychology as clusters of phenomena to analyze the productive role of folk psychological concepts—and the operational definitions that arise from them—in the development of concepts in scientific psychology. Using the case study of similarity, I discuss the role of the folk psychological concept in the regimentation of different measures of similarity judgments. I propose that by giving rise to operational definitions that lead to experimental dissociation on the one hand, (...)
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  68.  5
    Imagination as a skill: A Bayesian proposal.Andrea Blomkvist - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-23.
    In recent works, Kind has argued that imagination is a skill, since it possesses the two hallmarks of skill: improvability by practice, and control. I agree with Kind that and are indeed hallmarks of skill, and I also endorse her claim that imagination is a skill in virtue of possessing these two features. However, in this paper, I argue that Kind’s case for imagination’s being a skill is unsatisfactory, since it lacks robust empirical evidence. Here, I will provide evidence for (...)
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  69.  4
    When Philosophy (of Science) Meets Formal Methods: A Citation Analysis of Early Approaches Between Research Fields.Guido Bonino, Paolo Maffezioli, Eugenio Petrovich & Paolo Tripodi - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    The article investigates what happens when philosophy meets and begins to establish connections with two formal research methods such as game theory and network science. We use citation analysis to identify, among the articles published in Synthese and Philosophy of Science between 1985 and 2021, those that cite the specialistic literature in game theory and network science. Then, we investigate the structure of the two corpora thus identified by bibliographic coupling and divide them into clusters of related papers by automatic (...)
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  70.  3
    The Paradox Paradox.Stuart Brock & Joshua Glasgow - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-7.
    In this paper we argue that our conception of and intuitions about paradoxes are themselves paradoxical. Specifically, we argue that our commitment to the existence and nature of paradoxes is inconsistent with a norm of rationality—which is a paradox.
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  71.  2
    Broad Medical Uncertainty and the ethical obligation for openness.Rebecca C. H. Brown, Mícheál de Barra & Brian D. Earp - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-29.
    This paper argues that there exists a collective epistemic state of ‘Broad Medical Uncertainty’ regarding the effectiveness of many medical interventions. We outline the features of BMU, and describe some of the main contributing factors. These include flaws in medical research methodologies, bias in publication practices, financial and other conflicts of interest, and features of how evidence is translated into practice. These result in a significant degree of uncertainty regarding the effectiveness of many medical treatments and unduly optimistic beliefs about (...)
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  72.  3
    Re-engineering contested concepts. A reflective-equilibrium approach.Georg Brun - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-29.
    Social scientists, political scientists and philosophers debate key concepts such as democracy, power and autonomy. Contested concepts like these pose questions: Are terms such as “democracy” hopelessly ambiguous? How can two theorists defend alternative accounts of democracy without talking past each other? How can we understand debates in which theorists disagree about what democracy is? This paper first discusses the popular strategy to answer these questions by appealing to Rawls’s distinction between concepts and conceptions. According to this approach, defenders of (...)
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  73.  64
    Practical reasons, theoretical reasons, and permissive and prohibitive balancing.John Brunero - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-23.
    Philosophers have often noted a contrast between practical and theoretical reasons when it comes to cases involving equally balanced reasons. When there are strong practical reasons for A-ing, and equally strong practical reasons for some incompatible option, B-ing, the agent is permitted to make an arbitrary choice between them, having sufficient reason to A and sufficient reason to B. But when there is strong evidence for P and equally strong evidence for ~ P, one isn’t permitted to simply believe one (...)
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  74.  2
    Group intellectual transparency: a novel case for non-summativism.T. Ryan Byerly - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-22.
    Philosophical reflection on transparency, including group transparency, is beginning to gain steam. This paper contributes to this work by developing a conceptualization of transparency as an intellectual character trait that groups can possess, and by presenting a novel argument for thinking that such transparency should be understood along non-summativist lines. According to the account offered, a group’s being intellectually transparent consists in the group’s tending to attend well to its perspective and to share its perspective faithfully with others in order (...)
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  75.  4
    Abductive reasoning in cognitive neuroscience: weak and strong reverse inference.Fabrizio Calzavarini & Gustavo Cevolani - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-26.
    Reverse inference is a crucial inferential strategy used in cognitive neuroscience to derive conclusions about the engagement of cognitive processes from patterns of brain activation. While widely employed in experimental studies, it is now viewed with increasing scepticism within the neuroscience community. One problem with reverse inference is that it is logically invalid, being an instance of abduction in Peirce’s sense. In this paper, we offer the first systematic analysis of reverse inference as a form of abductive reasoning and highlight (...)
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  76.  9
    Putting Representations to Use.Rosa Cao - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    Are there representations in the brain? It depends on what you mean by representations, and it depends on what you want them to do for you—both in terms of the causal role they play in the system, and in terms of their explanatory value. But ideally, we would like an account of representation that allows us to assign a representational role and content to the appropriate mechanistic precursors of behavior that in fact play that role and conversely, search for the (...)
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  77.  7
    There is overlap in letters: a mereological definition of word types.Massimiliano Carrara & Jeroen Smid - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-17.
    Classical mereology seems unable to characterise the identity conditions of word types. For example, the same letter types ordered differently result in different word types; but mereological fusions of the same letters are identical, regardless of the order of the letters. We show, however, that by combining classical mereology with plural logic one can give a definition of word types that satisfies the identity criteria of word types. This means that it is not necessary to abandon classical mereology in order (...)
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  78.  8
    Argumentation and the Problem of Agreement.John Casey & Scott F. Aikin - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-23.
    A broad assumption in argumentation theory is that argumentation primarily regards resolving, confronting, or managing disagreement. This assumption is so fundamental that even when there does not appear to be any real disagreement, the disagreement is suggested to be present at some other level. Some have questioned this assumption, but most are reluctant to give up on the key idea that persuasion, the core of argumentation theory, can only regard disagreements. We argue here that this assumption is false. Argument may (...)
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  79.  4
    Locke’s state of nature and its epistemic deficit: a game-theoretic analysis.Hun Chung - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-35.
    Locke rejected anarchism. Locke defended the universal necessity of political governments on the grounds that the state of nature will occasionally generate the inconveniences of war. The standard interpretation of Locke identifies three main causes of war in the state of nature: the lack of a common judge, moral disagreement over the law of nature, and self-love. In this paper, I argue that the combination of these three factors does not guarantee that war will occur in every plausible scenarios of (...)
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  80.  47
    Unmanifested Powers and Universals.Ashley Coates - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-22.
    According to a well-known argument against dispositional essentialism, the nature of unmanifested token powers leaves dispositional essentialists with an objectionable commitment to the reality of non-existent entities. The idea is that, because unmanifested token powers are directed at their non-existent token manifestations, they require the reality of those manifestations. Arguably the most promising response to this argument works by claiming that, if properties are universals, dispositional directedness need only entail the reality of actually existing manifestation types. I argue that this (...)
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  81.  4
    Demystifying the Myth of Sensation: Wilfrid Sellars’ Adverbialism Reconsidered.Luca Corti - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-21.
    This paper reconstructs and defends a Sellarsian approach to “sensation” that allows us to avoid mythological conceptions of it. Part I reconstructs and isolates Sellars’s argument for “sensation,” situating his adverbial interpretation of the notion within his broader theory of perception. Part II positions Sellars’s views vis-à-vis current conversations on adverbalism. In particular, it focuses on the Many Property Problem, which is traditionally considered the main obstacle to adverbialism. After reconstructing Sellars’s response to this problem, I demonstrate that his position (...)
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  82.  52
    On testimonial knowledge and its functions.Michel Croce - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-21.
    The problem of explaining how we acquire knowledge via testimony gives rise to a dilemma, according to which any theory must make testimonial knowledge either too hard or too easy, and therefore no adequate account of testimonial knowledge is possible. In recent work, John Greco offers a solution to the dilemma on behalf of anti-reductionism that appeals to Edward Craig’s functionalist epistemology. It is argued that Greco’s solution is flawed, in that his functionalist account provides wrong verdicts of ordinary cases (...)
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  83.  2
    Group belief reconceived.Jeroen de Ridder - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-21.
    An influential account or group belief analyzes it as a form of joint commitment by group members. In spite of its popularity, the account faces daunting objections. I consider and reply to two of them. The first, due to Jennifer Lackey, is that the joint commitment account fails as an account of group belief since it cannot distinguish group beliefs from group lies and bullshit. The second is that the joint commitment account fails because it makes group belief voluntary, whereas (...)
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  84. What Are Mathematical Diagrams?Silvia De Toffoli - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-29.
    Although traditionally neglected, mathematical diagrams have recently begun to attract attention from philosophers of mathematics. By now, the literature includes several case studies investigating the role of diagrams both in discovery and justification. Certain preliminary questions have, however, been mostly bypassed. What are diagrams exactly? Are there different types of diagrams? In the scholarly literature, the term “mathematical diagram” is used in diverse ways. I propose a working definition that carves out the phenomena that are of most importance for a (...)
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  85.  2
    Skilled performance in Contact Improvisation: the importance of interkinaesthetic sense of agency.Catherine Deans & Sarah Pini - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-17.
    In exploring skilled performance in Contact Improvisation, we utilize an enactive ethnographic methodology combined with an interdisciplinary approach to examine the question of how skill develops in CI. We suggest this involves the development of subtleties of awareness of intra- and interkinaesthetic attunement, and a capacity for interkinaesthetic negative capability—an embodied interpersonal ‘not knowing yet’—including an ease with being off balance and waiting for the next shift or movement to arise, literally a ‘playing with’ balance, falling, nearly falling, momentum and (...)
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  86.  1
    A contemporary example of Reichenbachian coordination.Frederick Eberhardt - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-14.
    This article is an attempt to provide an example that illustrates Hans Reichenbach’s concept of coordination. Throughout Reichenbach’s career the concept of coordination played an important role in his understanding of the connection between reality and how it is scientifically described. Reichenbach never fully specified what coordination is and how exactly it works. Instead, we are left with a variety of hints and gestures, many not entirely consistent with each other and several that are subject to change over the course (...)
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  87.  3
    The a-Theory of Time, Temporal Passage, and Comprehensiveness.Bahadir Eker - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-20.
    It has been argued recently that one major difficulty facing the A-theory of time consists in the view’s failure to provide a satisfactory account of the passage of time. Critics have objected that this particular charge is premised on an unduly strong conception of temporal passage, and that the argument does not go through on alternative, less demanding conceptions of passage. The resulting dialectical stalemate threatens to prove intractable, given the notorious elusiveness of the notion of temporal passage. Here I (...)
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  88.  5
    Taming vagueness: the philosophy of network science.Gábor Elek & Eszter Babarczy - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-31.
    In the last 20 years network science has become an independent scientific field. We argue that by building network models network scientists are able to tame the vagueness of propositions about complex systems and networks, that is, to make these propositions precise. This makes it possible to study important vague properties such as modularity, near-decomposability, scale-freeness or being a small world. Using an epistemic model of network science, we systematically analyse the specific nature of network models and the logic behind (...)
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  89. Sharing with the Vulnerable? The Vulnerability Objection and Vanderschraaf’s Theory of Justice as Mutual Advantage.Lina Eriksson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-17.
    The most recent major contribution to the literature on justice as mutual advantage is Peter Vanderschraaf’s book Strategic Justice. In this book, he develops a theory of justice as convention, where justice is those principles that rational, self-interested agents would choose to solve problems of partially conflicting interest. His theory is thus a kind of theory of justice as mutual advantage. A common criticism of theories of justice as mutual advantage is the Vulnerability Objection: if the principles of justice require (...)
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  90.  6
    Expressing logical disagreement from within.Andreas Fjellstad - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-33.
    Against the backdrop of the frequent comparison of theories of truth in the literature on semantic paradoxes with regard to which inferences and metainferences are deemed valid, this paper develops a novel approach to defining a binary predicate for representing the valid inferences and metainferences of a theory within the theory itself under the assumption that the theory is defined with a classical meta-theory. The aim with the approach is to obtain a tool which facilitates the comparison between a theory (...)
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  91.  9
    The Transparency of Expressivism.Wolfgang Freitag & Felix Bräuer - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-15.
    The paper argues that Gareth Evans’ argument for transparent self-knowledge is based on a conflation of doxastic transparency with ascriptive transparency. Doxastic transparency means that belief about one’s own doxastic state, e.g., the belief that one thinks that it will rain, can be warranted by ordinary empirical observation, e.g., of the weather. In contrast, ascriptive transparency says that self-ascriptions of belief, e.g., “I believe it will rain”, can be warranted by such observation. We first show that the thesis of doxastic (...)
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  92.  9
    The transparency of expressivism.Wolfgang Freitag & Felix Bräuer - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-15.
    The paper argues that Gareth Evans’ argument for transparent self-knowledge is based on a conflation of doxastic transparency with ascriptive transparency. Doxastic transparency means that belief about one’s own doxastic state, e.g., the belief that one thinks that it will rain, can be warranted by ordinary empirical observation, e.g., of the weather. In contrast, ascriptive transparency says that self-ascriptions of belief, e.g., “I believe it will rain”, can be warranted by such observation. We first show that the thesis of doxastic (...)
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  93.  22
    The transparency of expressivism.Wolfgang Freitag & Felix Bräuer - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-15.
    The paper argues that Gareth Evans’ argument for transparent self-knowledge is based on a conflation of doxastic transparency with ascriptive transparency. Doxastic transparency means that belief about one’s own doxastic state, e.g., the belief that one thinks that it will rain, can be warranted by ordinary empirical observation, e.g., of the weather. In contrast, ascriptive transparency says that self-ascriptions of belief, e.g., “I believe it will rain”, can be warranted by such observation. We first show that the thesis of doxastic (...)
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  94. Artifactual Normativity.Christopher Frugé - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-19.
    A central tension shaping metaethical inquiry is that normativity appears to be subjective yet real, where it’s difficult to reconcile these aspects. On the one hand, normativity pertains to our actions and attitudes. On the other, normativity appears to be real in a way that precludes it from being a mere figment of those actions and attitudes. In this paper, I argue that normativity is indeed both subjective and real. I do so by way of treating it as a special (...)
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  95.  1
    Preventive and Curative Medical Interventions.Jonathan Fuller - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-24.
    Medical interventions that cure or prevent medical conditions are central to medicine; and thus, understanding them is central to our understanding of medicine. My purpose in this paper is to explore the conceptual foundations of medicine by providing a singular analysis of the concept of a ‘preventive or curative medical intervention’. Borrowing a general account of prevention from Phil Dowe, I provide an analysis of prevention, cure, risk reduction, and a preventive or curative intervention, before turning to preventive and curative (...)
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  96.  1
    What do propositions explain? Inflationary vs. deflationary perspectives and the case of singular propositions.Manuel García-Carpintero & Michele Palmira - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-21.
    In this paper we take up the question of the explanatory significance of the notion of propositional content. Our first goal is to disentangle two types of approach: According to what we call inflationism, propositions should be taken seriously enough to expect explanatory payoffs from them. The alternative deflationary approach rejects this claim. Our second goal is to explore the inflationism vs. deflationism contrast in depth by focusing on the distinction between singular and general propositions. We argue that inflationism fails (...)
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  97.  6
    In defense of Aristotelian universals.Alessandro Giordani & Eric Tremolanti - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-18.
    To be an Aristotelian about universals is to hold that universals depend for their existence on their exemplifiers. An argument against Aristotelianism about universals has recently been put forward by Costa to the effect that a contradiction follows from assuming a certain formulation of Aristotelianism together with some highly plausible principles governing the notions employed in that formulation. In this paper, we provide different ways of articulating the Aristotelian position which, while being related with some of the main contributions in (...)
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  98. Introspective Knowledge by Acquaintance.Anna Giustina - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-23.
    Introspective knowledge by acquaintance is knowledge we have by being directly aware of our phenomenally conscious states. In this paper, I argue that introspective knowledge by acquaintance is a sui generis kind of knowledge: it is irreducible to any sort of propositional knowledge and is wholly constituted by a relationship of introspective acquaintance. My main argument is that this is the best explanation of some epistemic facts about phenomenal consciousness and introspection. In particular, it best explains the epistemic asymmetry between (...)
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  99.  1
    Descriptive Multiscale Modeling in Data-Driven Neuroscience.Philipp Haueis - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-26.
    Multiscale modeling techniques have attracted increasing attention by philosophers of science, but the resulting discussions have almost exclusively focused on issues surrounding explanation. In this paper, I argue that besides explanation, multiscale techniques can serve important exploratory functions when scientists model systems whose organization at different scales is ill-understood. My account distinguishes explanatory and descriptive multiscale modeling based on which epistemic goal scientists aim to achieve when using multiscale techniques. In explanatory multiscale modeling, scientists use multiscale techniques to select information (...)
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  100.  1
    Cognitive extra-mathematical explanations.Travis Holmes - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-23.
    This paper advances the view that some explanations in cognitive science are extra-mathematical explanations. Demonstrating the plausibility of this interpretation centers around certain efficient coding cases which ineliminably enlist information theoretic laws, facts and theorems to identify in-principle, mathematical constraints on neuronal information processing capacities. The explanatory structure in these cases is shown to parallel other putative instances of mathematical explanation. The upshot for cognitive mathematical explanations is thus two-fold: first, the view capably rebuts standard mechanistic objections to non-mechanistic explanation; (...)
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  101.  36
    Invariance, Intrinsicality and Perspicuity.Caspar Jacobs - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-17.
    It is now standard to interpret symmetry-related models of physical theories as representing the same state of affairs. Recently, a debate has sprung up around the question when this interpretational move is warranted. In particular, Møller-Nielsen :1253–1264, 2017) has argued that one is only allowed to interpret symmetry-related models as physically equivalent when one has a characterisation of their common content. I disambiguate two versions of this claim. On the first, a perspicuous interpretation is required: an account of the models’ (...)
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  102.  27
    The Pragmatist Domestication of Heidegger: Dreyfus on ‘Skillful’ Understanding.Alexander Albert Jeuk - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-19.
    In the following I show that Hubert Dreyfus’ account of skill rests on a misguided interpretation of Martin Heidegger’s work on understanding in Being and Time. Dreyfus separates understanding according to the analytic philosophical concept pair, so called ‘know-how’ and ‘knowledge-that’, that corresponds for him to the pragmatist differentiation between skillful acting and theoretical conceptual thinking. Contrary to that, Heidegger argues that only one form of understanding exists that is neither captured by ‘know-how’, ‘knowledge-that’ or a combination of both. Instead (...)
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  103.  2
    On the Indispensability of Theoretical Terms and Entities.Eric Johannesson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-25.
    Some realists claim that theoretical entities like numbers and electrons are indispensable for describing the empirical world. Motivated by the meta-ontology of Quine, I take this claim to imply that, for some first-order theory T and formula δ(x) such that T ⊢ ∃xδ ∧ ∃x¬δ, where δ(x) is intended to apply to all and only empirical entities, there is no first-order theory T′ such that (a) T and T′ describe the δ:s in the same way, (b) T′ ⊢ ∀xδ, and (...)
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  104.  17
    The good, the bad and the insignificant—assessing concept functions for conceptual engineering.Sigurd Jorem - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-20.
    Many theorists of conceptual engineering appeal to the functions, roles, purposes or aims of concepts to articulate how conceptual engineering ought to be done. The functional approach to conceptual engineering is well-motivated: It promises a good account of the limits of revision, and of what makes some concept good. In this paper, I raise a problem for the functional approach which concerns the existence of harmful and methodologically insignificant concept functions. I examine whether we can deal with these problematic functions (...)
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  105. Confirming (Climate) Change: A Dynamical Account of Model Evaluation.Suzanne Kawamleh - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-26.
    Philosophers of science have offered various accounts of climate model evaluation which have largely centered on model-fit assessment. However, despite the wide-spread prevalence of process-based evaluation in climate science practice, this sort of model evaluation has been undertheorized by philosophers of science. In this paper, I aim to expand this narrow philosophical view of climate model evaluation by providing a philosophical account of process evaluation that is rooted in a close examination of scientific practice. I propose dynamical adequacy as a (...)
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  106.  2
    Correction to: Grounding, conceivability, and the mind-body problem.Hasen Khudairi - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-2.
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  107.  16
    Introduction: exploring the limits of imagination.Amy Kind - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-14.
  108.  23
    Conciliatory Views, Higher-Order Disagreements, and Defeasible Logic.Aleks Knoks - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    Conciliatory views of disagreement say, roughly, that it’s rational for you to become less confident in your take on an issue in case you find out that an epistemic peer’s take on it is the opposite. Their intuitive appeal notwithstanding, there are well-known worries about the behavior of conciliatory views in scenarios involving higher-order disagreements, which include disagreements over these views themselves and disagreements over the peer status of alleged epistemic peers. This paper does two things. First, it explains how (...)
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  109.  10
    Meaning change and changing meaning.Allison Koslow - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-26.
    Is conceptual engineering feasible? Answering that question requires a theory of semantic change, which is sometimes thought elusive. Fortunately, much is known about semantic change as it occurs in the wild. While usage is chaotic and complex, changes in a word’s use can produce changes in its meaning. There are several under-appreciated empirical constraints on how meanings change that stem from the following observation: word use finely reflects equilibrium between various communicative pressures. Much of the relevant work in linguistics has (...)
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  110.  46
    Johnston Versus Johnston.Kacper Kowalczyk - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-19.
    Personites are like continuant people but shorter-lived. Johnston argues that personites do not exist since otherwise personites would have the same moral status as persons, which is untenable. I argue that Johnston’s arguments fail. To do that I propose an alternative way to understand intrinsicness and I clarify the meaning of reductionism about persons. I also argue that a plausible ethical theory is possible even if personites have the same moral status as persons. My arguments draw on Johnston’s earlier debate (...)
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  111.  1
    Correction to: Oswald revisited: the effect of focus and context.Eugenia Kulakova & Stefan Rinner - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-1.
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  112.  1
    Moral Intuitions: Seeming or Believing?Christopher B. Kulp - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-18.
    There is not agreement among moral intuitionists on the nature of moral intuitions: some favor a doxastic interpretation, others a non-doxastic interpretation. This paper argues that although both interpretations have legitimacy, the doxastic interpretation is preferable. The paper discusses three salient roles for moral intuitions:Role 1: To serve as a test for moral theories.Role 2: To provide a particularist grounding for moral judgment.Role 3: To stop a vicious infinite regress of justified moral belief.The doxastic interpretation better serves Role 1, given (...)
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  113. Inappropriate emotions, marginalization, and feeling better.Charlie Kurth - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-22.
    A growing body of work argues that we should reform problematic emotions like anxiety, anger, and shame: doing this will allow us to better harness the contributions that these emotions can make to our agency and wellbeing. But feminist philosophers worry that prescriptions to correct these inappropriate emotions will only further marginalize women, minorities, and other members of subordinated groups. While much in these debates turns on empirical questions about how we can change problematic emotion norms for the better, to (...)
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  114.  15
    Inference to the best explanation as supporting the expansion of mathematicians’ ontological commitments.Marc Lange - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-26.
    This paper argues that in mathematical practice, conjectures are sometimes confirmed by “Inference to the Best Explanation” as applied to some mathematical evidence. IBE operates in mathematics in the same way as IBE in science. When applied to empirical evidence, IBE sometimes helps to justify the expansion of scientists’ ontological commitments. Analogously, when applied to mathematical evidence, IBE sometimes helps to justify mathematicians' in expanding the range of their ontological commitments. IBE supplements other forms of non-deductive reasoning in mathematics, avoiding (...)
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  115.  73
    Propping up the causal theory.Peter Langland-Hassan - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-27.
    Martin and Deutscher’s causal theory of remembering holds that a memory trace serves as a necessary causal link between any genuine episode of remembering and the event it enables one to recall. In recent years, the causal theory has come under fire from researchers across philosophy and cognitive science, who argue that results from the scientific study of memory are incompatible with the kinds of memory traces that Martin and Deutscher hold essential to remembering. Of special note, these critics observe, (...)
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  116.  32
    The Structuralist Approach to Underdetermination.Chanwoo Lee - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-25.
    This paper provides an exposition of the structuralist approach to underdetermination, which aims to resolve the underdetermination of theories by identifying their common theoretical structure. Applications of the structuralist approach can be found in many areas of philosophy. I present a schema of the structuralist approach, which conceptually unifies such applications in different subject matters. It is argued that two classic arguments in the literature, Paul Benacerraf’s argument on natural numbers and W. V. O. Quine’s argument for the indeterminacy of (...)
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  117.  1
    The epistemic benefits of generalisation in modelling II: expressive power and abstraction.Aki Lehtinen - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-24.
    This paper contributes to the philosophical accounts of generalisation in formal modelling by introducing a conceptual framework that allows for recognising generalisations that are epistemically beneficial in the sense of contributing to the truth of a model result or component. The framework is useful for modellers themselves because it is shown how to recognise different kinds of generalisation on the basis of changes in model descriptions. Since epistemically beneficial generalisations usually de-idealise the model, the paper proposes a reformulation of the (...)
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  118. Cut-off points for the rational believer.Lina Maria Lissia - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-19.
    I show that the Lottery Paradox is just a version of the Sorites, and argue that this should modify our way of looking at the Paradox itself. In particular, I focus on what I call “the Cut-off Point Problem” and contend that this problem, well known by Sorites scholars, ought to play a key role in the debate on Kyburg’s puzzle. Very briefly, I show that, in the Lottery Paradox, the premises “ticket n°1 will lose”, “ticket n°2 will lose”… “ticket (...)
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  119. Against the Standard Solution to the Grandfather Paradox.Yael Loewenstein - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    1000 time-travelers travel back in time, each with the intention of killing their own infant-self. If there is no branching time, then on pain of bringing about a logical contradiction, all must fail. But this seems inexplicable: what is to ensure that the time-travelers are stopped? For a time, this inexplicability objection was thought to provide evidence that there is something incoherent about the possibility of backwards time travel in a universe without branching time. There is now near-consensus, however, that (...)
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  120.  11
    Arguments from scientific practice in the debate about the physical equivalence of symmetry-related models.Joanna Luc - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-29.
    In the recent philosophical literature, several counterexamples to the interpretative principle that symmetry-related models are physically equivalent have been suggested The Oxford handbook of philosophy of physics, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2013, Noûs 52:946–981, 2018; Fletcher in Found Phys 50:228–249, 2020). Arguments based on these counterexamples can be understood as arguments from scientific practice of roughly the following form: because in scientific practice such-and-such symmetry-related models are treated as representing distinct physical situations, these models indeed represent distinct physical situations. In (...)
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  121.  9
    Don’t worry, be happy?Heidi Lene Maibom - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-22.
    Recent years have seen an explosion of interest in the benefits of anxiety. Among these is the proposal that anxiety is a moral emotion. If it is, we ought to cultivate it. But people who are anxious are also less happy. So it seems that asking people to be morally better persons involves asking them to be less happy than they might otherwise be. In this paper, I consider ways to avoid this consequence, all of which rely on emotion regulation. (...)
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  122.  15
    Anti-exceptionalism about logic as tradition rejection.Ben Martin & Ole Thomassen Hjortland - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-33.
    While anti-exceptionalism about logic is now a popular topic within the philosophy of logic, there’s still a lack of clarity over what the proposal amounts to. currently, it is most common to conceive of AEL as the proposal that logic is continuous with the sciences. Yet, as we show here, this conception of AEL is unhelpful due to both its lack of precision, and its distortion of the current debates. Rather, AEL is better understood as the rejection of certain traditional (...)
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  123.  73
    A limitation on agency in judgment.Matthew McGrath - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-21.
    To many, judgment has seemed a locus of cognitive agency, a kind of cognitive mental act. In one minimal sense, judgment is something one does. I consider whether judgment is more robustly agential: is it a kind of action done with an aim? The most attractive version of this sort of position takes judging that p to affirming that p with an alethic aim, an aim such as affirming truly. I argue that such views have unacceptable consequences. Acts done with (...)
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  124. Philosophy’s gender gap and argumentative arena: an empirical study.Moti Mizrahi & Michael Adam Dickinson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-34.
    While the empirical evidence pointing to a gender gap in professional, academic philosophy in the English-speaking world is widely accepted, explanations of this gap are less so. In this paper, we aim to make a modest contribution to the literature on the gender gap in academic philosophy by taking a quantitative, corpus-based empirical approach. Since some philosophers have suggested that it may be the argumentative, “logic-chopping,” and “paradox-mongering” nature of academic philosophy that explains the underrepresentation of women in the discipline, (...)
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  125.  73
    Philosophical Reasoning About Science: A Quantitative, Digital Study.Moti Mizrahi & Michael Adam Dickinson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    In this paper, we set out to investigate the following question: if science relies heavily on induction, does philosophy of science rely heavily on induction as well? Using data mining and text analysis methods, we study a large corpus of philosophical texts mined from the JSTOR database (n = 14,199) in order to answer this question empirically. If philosophy of science relies heavily on induction, just as science supposedly does, then we would expect to find significantly more inductive arguments than (...)
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  126.  8
    A New Solution to the Safety Dilemma.Dario Mortini - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-17.
    Despite the substantial appeal of the safety condition, Kelp has raised a difficult challenge for safety-theoretic accounts of knowledge. By combining Gettier-style fake barn cases with epistemic Frankfurt cases, he concludes that no formulation of safety can be strong enough to predict ignorance in the former and weak enough to accommodate knowledge in the latter. In this note, my contribution is two-fold. Firstly, I take up Kelp’s challenge and I show that, once properly understood, safety successfully rises to it. Secondly, (...)
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  127.  4
    “Let’s build an Anscombe box”: assessing Anscombe’s rebuttal of the statistics objection against indeterminism-based free agency.Thomas Müller - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-22.
    Towards the end of her famous 1971 paper “Causality and Determination”, Elizabeth Anscombe discusses the controversial idea that “ ‘physical haphazard’ could be the only physical correlate of human freedom of action”. In order to illustrate how the high-level freedom of human action can go together with micro-indeterminism without creating a problem for micro-statistics, she provides the analogy of a glass box filled with minute coloured particles whose micro-dynamics is subject to statistical laws, while its outside reliably displays a recognisable (...)
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  128.  1
    Approaching probabilistic truths: introduction to the Topical Collection.Ilkka Niiniluoto, Gustavo Cevolani & Theo Kuipers - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-8.
    After Karl Popper’s original work, several approaches were developed to provide a sound explication of the notion of verisimilitude. With few exceptions, these contributions have assumed that the truth to be approximated is deterministic. This collection of ten papers addresses the more general problem of approaching probabilistic truths. They include attempts to find appropriate measures for the closeness to probabilistic truth and to evaluate claims about such distances on the basis of empirical evidence. The papers employ multiple analytical approaches, and (...)
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  129.  45
    Worldview disagreement and subjective epistemic obligations.Daryl Ooi - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-23.
    In this paper, I provide an account of subjective epistemic obligations. In instances of peer disagreement, one possesses at least two types of obligations: objective epistemic obligations and subjective epistemic obligations. While objective epistemic obligations, such as conciliationism and remaining steadfast, have been much discussed in the literature, subjective epistemic obligations have received little attention. I develop an account of subjective epistemic obligations in the context of worldview disagreements. In recent literature, the notion of worldview disagreement has been receiving increasing (...)
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  130.  2
    The Semantic View of Computation and the Argument From the Cognitive Science Practice.Alfredo Paternoster & Fabrizio Calzavarini - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-24.
    According to the semantic view of computation, computations cannot be individuated without invoking semantic properties. A traditional argument for the semantic view is what we shall refer to as the argument from the cognitive science practice. In its general form, this argument rests on the idea that, since cognitive scientists describe computations in semantic terms, computations are individuated semantically. Although commonly invoked in the computational literature, the argument from the cognitive science practice has never been discussed in detail. In this (...)
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  131.  9
    Episodic memory and the feeling of pastness: from intentionalism to metacognition.Denis Perrin & André Sant’Anna - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-26.
    In recent years, there has been an increasing interest among philosophers of memory in the questions of how to characterize and to account for the temporal phenomenology of episodic memory. One prominent suggestion has been that episodic memory involves a feeling of pastness, the elaboration of which has given rise to two main approaches. On the intentionalist approach, the feeling of pastness is explained in terms of what episodic memory represents. In particular, Fernández has argued that it can be explained (...)
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  132.  23
    Unsettledness in Times of Change.Martin Pickup - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-20.
    If something changes from being in one state to being in another state, when exactly does it change? And what’s going on at that time? These questions are often discussed under the heading of the ‘moment’ or ‘instant’ of change. In this paper, I will investigate a view on which there is an intrinsically distinguished, atomic time at which something changes, and at that time it is metaphysically indeterminate what is the case. The background metaphysical picture is situationalism, a theory (...)
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  133. Can Conceptual Engineering Actually Promote Social Justice?Paul-Mikhail Catapang Podosky - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    This paper explores the question: What would conceptual engineering have to be in order to promote social justice? Specifically, it argues that to promote social justice, conceptual engineering must deliver the following: it needs to be possible to deliberately implement a conceptual engineering proposal in large communities; it needs to be possible for a conceptual engineering proposal to bring about change to extant social categories; it needs to be possible to bring a population to adopt a conceptual engineering proposal for (...)
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  134.  43
    Aesthetic Perception and the Puzzle of Training.Madeleine Ransom - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-25.
    While the view that we perceive aesthetic properties may seem intuitive, it has received little in the way of explicit defence. It also gives rise to a puzzle. The first strand of this puzzle is that we often cannot perceive aesthetic properties of artworks without training, yet much aesthetic training involves the acquisition of knowledge, such as when an artwork was made, and by whom. How, if at all, can this knowledge affect our perception of an artwork’s aesthetic properties? The (...)
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  135.  2
    A critique of strong Anti-Archimedeanism: metaethics, conceptual jurisprudence, and legal disagreements.Pablo A. Rapetti - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-27.
    This paper is divided into two parts. In the first one I distinguish between weak and strong Anti-Archimedeanisms, the latter being the view that metaethics, just as any other discipline attempting to work out a second-order conceptual, metaphysical non-committed discourse about the first-order discourse composing normative practices, is conceptually impossible or otherwise incoherent. I deal in particular with Ronald Dworkin’s famous exposition of the view. I argue that strong Anti-Archimedeanism constitutes an untenable philosophical stance, therefore making logical space for the (...)
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  136.  16
    How Can a Line Segment with Extension Be Composed of Extensionless Points?Brian Reese, Michael Vazquez & Scott Weinstein - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-28.
    We provide a new interpretation of Zeno’s Paradox of Measure that begins by giving a substantive account, drawn from Aristotle’s text, of the fact that points lack magnitude. The main elements of this account are the Axiom of Archimedes which states that there are no infinitesimal magnitudes, and the principle that all assignments of magnitude, or lack thereof, must be grounded in the magnitude of line segments, the primary objects to which the notion of linear magnitude applies. Armed with this (...)
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  137.  31
    Paradoxicality in Kripke’s theory of truth.Lucas Rosenblatt & Camila Gallovich - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-23.
    A lot has been written on solutions to the semantic paradoxes, but very little on the topic of general theories of paradoxicality. The reason for this, we believe, is that it is not easy to disentangle a solution to the paradoxes from a specific conception of what those paradoxes consist in. This paper goes some way towards remedying this situation. We first address the question of what one should expect from an account of paradoxicality. We then present one conception of (...)
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  138.  4
    Limits to evidential pluralism: multi-method large-N qualitative analysis and the primacy of mechanistic studies.Rosa W. Runhardt - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-23.
    Evidential pluralists, like Federica Russo and Jon Williamson, argue that causal claims should be corroborated by establishing both the existence of a suitable correlation and a suitable mechanism complex. At first glance, this fits well with mixed method research in the social sciences, which often involves a pluralist combination of statistical and mechanistic evidence. However, statistical evidence concerns a population of cases, while mechanistic evidence is found in individual case studies. How should researchers combine such general statistical evidence and specific (...)
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  139.  2
    Łukasiewicz’s concept of logic and anti-psychologism.Zuzana Rybaříková - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-14.
    In the nineteenth century, philosophy was at a crossroads. While the natural and technical sciences were developing in an unprecedented fashion, philosophy seemed to be stalled. Inspired by the progress of the natural sciences, many philosophers attempted to make such progress in philosophy and make philosophy a truly scientific discipline. This effort was also reflected in the philosophy of the Lvov-Warsaw school. While its founder, Kazimierz Twardowski, following his teacher Franz Brentano, promoted psychology as a method of scientific philosophy, one (...)
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  140.  14
    Science, responsibility, and the philosophical imagination.Matthew Sample - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-19.
    If we cannot define science using only analysis or description, then we must rely on imagination to provide us with suitable objects of philosophical inquiry. This process ties our intellectual findings to the particular ways in which we philosophers think about scientific practice and carve out a cognitive space between real world practice and conceptual abstraction. As an example, I consider Heather Douglas’s work on the responsibilities of scientists and document her implicit ideal of science, defined primarily as an epistemic (...)
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  141.  6
    Computational modeling in philosophy: introduction to a topical collection.Simon Scheller, Christoph Merdes & Stephan Hartmann - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-10.
    Computational modeling should play a central role in philosophy. In this introduction to our topical collection, we propose a small topology of computational modeling in philosophy in general, and show how the various contributions to our topical collection fit into this overall picture. On this basis, we describe some of the ways in which computational models from other disciplines have found their way into philosophy, and how the principles one found here still underlie current trends in the field. Moreover, we (...)
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  142.  7
    Knowledge and Decision: Introduction to the Synthese Topical Collection.Moritz Schulz, Patricia Rich, Jakob Koscholke & Roman Heil - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-13.
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  143.  3
    Motor representation in acting together.Corrado Sinigaglia & Stephen A. Butterfill - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-16.
    People walk, build, paint and otherwise act together with a purpose in myriad ways. What is the relation between the actions people perform in acting together with a purpose and the outcome, or outcomes, to which their actions are directed? We argue that fully characterising this relation will require appeal not only to intention, knowledge and other familiar philosophical paraphernalia but also to another kind of representation involved in preparing and executing actions, namely motor representation. If we are right, motor (...)
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  144.  3
    Credal Accuracy and Knowledge.Robert Weston Siscoe - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    Traditional epistemologists assumed that the most important doxastic norms were rational requirements on belief. This orthodoxy has recently been challenged by the work of revolutionary epistemologists on the rational requirements on credences. Revolutionary epistemology takes it that such contemporary work is important precisely because traditional epistemologists are mistaken—credal norms are more fundamental than, and determinative of, belief norms. To make sense of their innovative project, many revolutionary epistemologists have also adopted another commitment, that norms on credences are governed by a (...)
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  145.  5
    Ramsey’s Conditionals.Caterina Sisti & Mario Günther - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    In this paper, we propose a unified account of conditionals inspired by Frank Ramsey. Most contemporary philosophers agree that Ramsey’s account applies to indicative conditionals only. We observe against this orthodoxy that his account covers subjunctive conditionals as well—including counterfactuals. In light of this observation, we argue that Ramsey’s account of conditionals resembles Robert Stalnaker’s possible worlds semantics supplemented by a model of belief. The resemblance suggests to reinterpret the notion of conditional degree of belief in order to overcome a (...)
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  146.  3
    Active inference models do not contradict folk psychology.Ryan Smith, Maxwell J. D. Ramstead & Alex Kiefer - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-37.
    Active inference offers a unified theory of perception, learning, and decision-making at computational and neural levels of description. In this article, we address the worry that active inference may be in tension with the belief–desire–intention model within folk psychology because it does not include terms for desires at the mathematical level of description. To resolve this concern, we first provide a brief review of the historical progression from predictive coding to active inference, enabling us to distinguish between active inference formulations (...)
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  147.  37
    Does Loudness Represent Sound Intensity? (Preprint).Kim Soland - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-27.
    In this paper I challenge the widely held assumption that loudness is the perceptual correlate of sound intensity. Drawing on psychological and neuroscientific evidence, I argue that loudness is best understood not as a representation of any feature of a sound wave, but rather as a reflection of the salience of a sound wave representation; loudness is determined by how much attention a sound receives. Loudness is what I call a quantitative character, a species of phenomenal character that is determined (...)
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  148.  11
    Lie for Me: The Intent to Deceive Fails to Scale Up.Roy Sorensen - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-15.
    To understand lying, we naturally focus on small scale lies involving one speaker, one listener, one assertion. This methodology confers artificial plausibility upon the requirement that liars intend to deceive. For it excludes principal-agent conflicts that emerge from linguistic division of labor. When an employee lies for her boss, she need not inherit his motive to deceive. She displays loyalty even if her lie does not deceive. Focus on a single lie in isolation also blinds us to tactical deceptions such (...)
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  149.  4
    What does causality have to do with necessity?Helen Steward - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-25.
    In her ‘Causality and Determination’, Anscombe argues for the strong thesis that despite centuries of philosophical assumption to the contrary, the supposition that causality and necessity have something essential to do with one another is baseless. In this paper, I assess Anscombe’s arguments and endorse her conclusion. I then attempt to argue that her arguments remain highly relevant today, despite the fact that most popular general views of causation today are firmly probabilistic in orientation and thus show no trace of (...)
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  150.  5
    Dormant and Active Emotional States.Rowland Stout - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    The paper is concerned with the metaphysics of emotion. It defends the claim that all emotional states, whether dormant or active, are dispositional, arguing against the prevailing view that dispositional emotional states are dispositions to go into actual emotional states. A clear distinction may be made between first-order and second-order emotional dispositions, where second-order emotional dispositions are dispositions of emotional sensitivity and first-order emotional dispositions are the emotional states themselves. Active emotional states are treated as dispositional emotional states in the (...)
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  151.  3
    Criteria for Naturalness in Conceptual Spaces.Corina Strößner - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-36.
    Conceptual spaces are a frequently applied framework for representing concepts. One of its central aims is to find criteria for what makes a concept natural. A prominent demand is that natural concepts cover convex regions in conceptual spaces. The first aim of this paper is to analyse the convexity thesis and the arguments that have been advanced in its favour or against it. Based on this, I argue that most supporting arguments focus on single-domain concepts. Unfortunately, these concepts are not (...)
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  152.  4
    Epistemic injustice and data science technologies.John Symons & Ramón Alvarado - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-26.
    Technologies that deploy data science methods are liable to result in epistemic harms involving the diminution of individuals with respect to their standing as knowers or their credibility as sources of testimony. Not all harms of this kind are unjust but when they are we ought to try to prevent or correct them. Epistemically unjust harms will typically intersect with other more familiar and well-studied kinds of harm that result from the design, development, and use of data science technologies. However, (...)
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  153.  45
    Natural Kinds, Mind-Independence, and Unification Principles.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-23.
    There have been many attempts to determine what makes a natural kind real, chief among them is the criterion according to which natural kinds must be mind-independent. But it is difficult to specify this criterion: many supposed natural kinds have an element of mind-dependence. I will argue that the mind-independence criterion is nevertheless a good one, if correctly understood: the mind-independence criterion concerns the unification principles for natural kinds. Unification principles determine how natural kinds unify their properties, and only those (...)
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  154.  8
    What is it like to be a chimpanzee?Michael Tomasello - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-24.
    Chimpanzees and humans are close evolutionary relatives who behave in many of the same ways based on a similar type of agentive organization. To what degree do they experience the world in similar ways as well? Using contemporary research in evolutionarily biology and animal cognition, I explicitly compare the kinds of experience the two species of capable of having. I conclude that chimpanzees’ experience of the world, their experiential niche as I call it, is: intentional in basically the same way (...)
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  155.  24
    Relativizing Proportionality to a Domain of Events.Caroline Torpe Touborg - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-20.
    A cause is proportional to its effect when, roughly speaking, it is at the right level of detail. There is a lively debate about whether proportionality is a necessary condition for causation. One of the main arguments against a proportionality constraint on causation is that many ordinary and seemingly perfectly acceptable causal claims cite causes that are not proportional to their effects. In this paper, I suggest that proponents of a proportionality constraint can respond to this objection by developing an (...)
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  156.  6
    No Practical Reasons for Belief: The Epistemic Significance of Practical Considerations.Hamid Vahid - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-18.
    On some versions of evidentialism, only evidential reasons can be normatively relevant to belief. An opposed philosophical view denies this. Unfortunately, the debate between these contrasting views quickly ends in a stalemate because while evidentialists typically point to the difficulty of believing for practical reasons, pragmatists respond by citing cases where people seem to hold beliefs in the absence of evidence. Recently, however, some pragmatists have adopted a new strategy that seeks to combine the evidentialist insight that only evidence can (...)
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  157.  2
    Minimal Contents, Lying, and Conventions of Language.Massimiliano Vignolo - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-25.
    One recurrent objection against minimalism is that minimal contents have no theoretical role. It has recently been argued that minimal contents serve to draw the distinction between lying and misleading. In Sect. 1 and Sect. 2 I summarise the main argument in support of that claim and contend that it is inconclusive. In Sect. 3 I discuss some cases of lying and some of misleading that raise difficulties for minimalism. In Sect. 4 I make a diagnosis of the failure of (...)
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  158.  16
    Nominalist Dispositional Essentialism.Lisa Vogt - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2).
    Dispositional Essentialism, as commonly conceived, consists in the claims that at least some of the fundamental properties essentially confer certain causal-nomological roles on their bearers, and that these properties give rise to the natural modalities. As such, the view is generally taken to be committed to a realist conception of properties as either universals or tropes, and to be thus incompatible with nominalism as understood in the strict sense. Pace this common assumption of the ontological import of Dispositional Essentialism, the (...)
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  159.  3
    The silver bullet: justice as mutual advantage and the vulnerability objection.Jeppe von Platz - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-23.
    Justice as mutual advantage appears to show inadequate concern for those that are insufficiently useful to others, implying that those that are most in need of the protections of justice fall outside the scope of justice as mutual advantage. Vanderschraaf offers a novel reply to this objection. He presents a game–the Indefinitely Repeated Provider-Recipient Game–which establishes that in some situations justice as mutual advantage can show concern for the vulnerable. This finding, however, does not match the problem raised by the (...)
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  160. Frequentist statistical inference without repeated sampling.Paul Vos & Don Holbert - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-25.
    Frequentist inference typically is described in terms of hypothetical repeated sampling but there are advantages to an interpretation that uses a single random sample. Contemporary examples are given that indicate probabilities for random phenomena are interpreted as classical probabilities, and this interpretation of equally likely chance outcomes is applied to statistical inference using urn models. These are used to address Bayesian criticisms of frequentist methods. Recent descriptions of p-values, confidence intervals, and power are viewed through the lens of classical probability (...)
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  161.  4
    Conceptual Challenges for Interpretable Machine Learning.David S. Watson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-33.
    As machine learning has gradually entered into ever more sectors of public and private life, there has been a growing demand for algorithmic explainability. How can we make the predictions of complex statistical models more intelligible to end users? A subdiscipline of computer science known as interpretable machine learning has emerged to address this urgent question. Numerous influential methods have been proposed, from local linear approximations to rule lists and counterfactuals. In this article, I highlight three conceptual challenges that are (...)
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  162.  11
    Irreducibly Collective Existence and Bottomless Nihilism.Jonas Werner - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-16.
    This paper develops the metaphysical hypothesis that there are irreducibly collective pluralities, pluralities of objects that do not have a singular object among them. A way to formulate this hypothesis using plural quantification will be proposed and the coherence of irreducibly collective existence will be defended. Furthermore, irreducibly collective existence will be shown to allow for bottomless scenarios that do not involve things standing in relations of parthood. This will create logical space for an anti-atomistic form of mereological nihilism.
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  163.  4
    A plea for distinctions.Mark Wilson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-28.
    The quality of philosophical diagnosis within the philosophy of science will be greatly improved if the original distinctions of applied mathematics are employed instead of the inadequate substitutes provided by the logical empiricists. The problem of evaluating counterfactual claims is examined from this point of view.
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  164.  62
    Why kinship is progeneratively constrained: Extending anthropology.Robert A. Wilson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-20.
    The conceptualisation of kinship and its study remain contested within anthropology. This paper draws on recent cognitive science, developmental cognitive psychology, and the philosophy of science to offer a novel argument for a view of kinship as progeneratively or reproductively constrained. I shall argue that kinship involves a form of extended cognition that incorporates progenerative facts, going on to show how the resulting articulation of kinship’s progenerative nature can be readily expressed by an influential conception of kinds, the homeostatic property (...)
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  165.  74
    Dualism all the way down: why there is no paradox of phenomenal judgment.Helen Yetter-Chappell - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-24.
    Epiphenomenalist dualists hold that certain physical states give rise to non-physical conscious experiences, but that these non-physical experiences are themselves causally inefficacious. Among the most pressing challenges facing epiphenomenalists is the so-called “paradox of phenomenal judgment”, which challenges epiphenomenalism’s ability to account for our knowledge of our own conscious experiences. According to this objection, we lack knowledge of the very thing that epiphenomenalists take physicalists to be unable to explain. By developing an epiphenomenalist theory of subjects and mental states, this (...)
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  166.  2
    Intelligence Involves Intensionality: An Explanatory Issue for Radical Enactivism.Silvano Zipoli Caiani - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-23.
    How can we explain the intelligence of behaviors? Radical enactivists maintain that intelligent behaviors can be explained without involving the attribution of representational contents. In this paper, I challenge this view by providing arguments showing that the intelligence of a behavior is reliant on ways of presenting the relative purpose and the environment in which that behavior is performed. This involves that a behavior is intelligent only if intesional contents are ascribed to the related agent. Importantly, this conclusion also concerns (...)
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  167. Disagreement Without Discovery and the Epistemological Argument for Freedom From Poverty.Marko-Luka Zubčić - 2022 - Synthese 200 (2):1-19.
    In this paper, I develop an epistemological argument for freedom from poverty, building on Gerald Gaus’ work on political and moral disagreement in New Diversity Theory. NDT argues that diversity and disagreement are fundamental to political and moral learning. In this paper, I address Gaus’ central arguments in NDT, and focus on what I argue to be the key epistemological distinction of his account—namely, the argument that the relevant diversity, which is conducive to political and moral learning and should therefore (...)
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  168.  2
    Brownian motion from a deterministic system of particles.Vincent Ardourel - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-15.
    Can Brownian motion arise from a deterministic system of particles? This paper addresses this question by analysing the derivation of Brownian motion as the limit of a deterministic hard-spheres gas with Lanford’s theorem. In particular, we examine the role of the Boltzmann-Grad limit in the loss of memory of the deterministic system and compare this derivation and the derivation of Brownian motion with the Langevin equation.
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  169.  9
    The Mathematical Stance.Alan Baker - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-18.
    Defenders of the enhanced indispensability argument argue that the most effective route to platonism is via the explanatory role of mathematical posits in science. Various compelling cases of mathematical explanation in science have been proposed, but a satisfactory general philosophical account of such explanations is lacking. In this paper, I lay out the framework for such an account based on the notion of “the mathematical stance.” This is developed by analogy with Dennett’s well-known concept of “the intentional stance.” Roughly, adopting (...)
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  170.  1
    Conventions, Morals and Strategy: Greta’s Dilemma and the Incarceration Game.Kaushik Basu - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-19.
    Conventions and leaders are believed to be the two pillars of justice and order in society. This paper evaluates this proposition and draws attention to two intriguing ways in which these pillars can malfunction. The argument is constructed by creating two new games, Greta’s Dilemma and the Incarceration Game. An awareness of these problems can help us use our ‘moral intention’ to reexamine our own collective behavior and to design prior conventions, which limit the power of the leader.
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  171.  2
    In Defence of Epistemic Vices.Steven Bland - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-22.
    Vice essentialism is the view that epistemic vices have robustly negative effects on our epistemic projects. Essentialists believe that the manifestation of epistemic vices can explain many of our epistemic failures, but few, if any, of our epistemic successes. The purpose of this paper is to argue that vice essentialism is false. In §1, I review the case that some epistemic vices, such as closed-mindedness and extreme epistemic deference, have considerably beneficial effects when manifested in collectivist contexts. In §2, I (...)
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  172.  85
    Trusting Scientific Experts in an Online World.Kenneth Boyd - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-31.
    A perennial problem in social epistemology is the problem of expert testimony, specifically expert testimony regarding scientific issues: for example, while it is important for me to know information pertaining to anthropogenic climate change, vaccine safety, Covid-19, etc., I may lack the scientific background required to determine whether the information I come across is, in fact, true. Without being able to evaluate the science itself, then, I need to find trustworthy expert testifiers to listen to. A major project in social (...)
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  173.  7
    Attitudes, deliberation and decisions.Richard Bradley - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-18.
    In this paper I discuss the challenges of several authors to the claims I make in Decision Theory with a Human Face regarding the relation between preference and choice, the nature of conditional desire, the semantics of conditionals, attitudes to chances and their role in individuating prospects, belief change under growing awareness and choice under ambiguity.
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  174.  1
    Recognizing Why Vision is Inferential.J. Brendan Ritchie - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-27.
    A theoretical pillars of vision science in the information-processing tradition is that perception involves unconscious inference. The classic support for this claim is that, since retinal inputs underdetermine their distal causes, visual perception must be the conclusion of a process that starts with premises representing both the sensory input and previous knowledge about the visible world. Focus on this “argument from underdetermination” gives the impression that, if it fails, there is little reason to think that visual processing involves unconscious inference. (...)
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  175. Laws, Melodies, and the Paradox of Predictability.Dorst Chris - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-21.
    If the laws of nature are deterministic, then it seems possible that a Laplacean intelligence that knows the initial conditions and the laws would be able to accurately predict everything that will ever happen. However, it would be easy to construct a counterpredictive device that falsifies any revealed prediction about its future behavior. What would then occur if a Laplacean intelligence encountered a counterpredictive device? This is the paradox of predictability. A number of philosophers have proposed solutions to it, though (...)
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  176.  6
    Against telic monism in logic.Leon Commandeur - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-18.
    Telic monism in logic is the thesis that there is one single philosophically primary goal to logic. A different way to put it is that there is only one canonical application to logic. This thesis is widely present—implicitly or more explicitly—in the literature on the philosophy of logic, yet has not been examined nor argued for extensively. In this paper I will present and critically examine telic monism. One prominent candidate for the canonical application of logic, namely the formal codification (...)
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  177.  5
    The public relevance of philosophy.Stijn Conix, Olivier Lemeire & Pei-Shan Chi - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-28.
    Various authors have recently expressed doubts about the public relevance of philosophy. These doubts target both academic philosophy in general and particular subfields of philosophy. This paper investigates whether these doubts are justified through two tests in which the lack of public relevance of a philosophical paper is operationalized as the degree to which that paper is isolated. Both tests suggest that academic philosophy in general is more isolated from the broader public than it should be, and confirm the hypothesis (...)
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  178.  1
    Behavioural Modernity, Investigative Disintegration & Rubicon Expectation.Adrian Currie & Andra Meneganzin - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-28.
    ‘Behavioural modernity’ isn’t what it used to be. Once conceived as an integrated package of traits demarcated by a clear archaeological signal in a specific time and place, it is now disparate, archaeologically equivocal, and temporally and spatially spread. In this paper we trace behavioural modernity’s empirical and theoretical developments over the last three decades, as surprising discoveries in the material record, as well the reappraisal of old evidence, drove increasingly sophisticated demographic, social and cultural models of behavioural modernity. We (...)
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  179.  3
    The Determinacy of Computation.André Curtis-Trudel - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-28.
    A skeptical worry known as ‘the indeterminacy of computation’ animates much recent philosophical reflection on the computational identity of physical systems. On the one hand, computational explanation seems to require that physical computing systems fall under a single, unique computational description at a time. On the other, if a physical system falls under any computational description, it seems to fall under many simultaneously. Absent some principled reason to take just one of these descriptions in particular as relevant for computational explanation, (...)
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  180.  1
    A fixed-point problem for theories of meaning.Niklas Dahl - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-15.
    In this paper I argue that it’s impossible for there to be a single universal theory of meaning for a language. First, I will consider some minimal expressiveness requirements a language must meet to be able to express semantic claims. Then I will argue that in order to have a single unified theory of meaning, these expressiveness requirements must be satisfied by a language which the semantic theory itself applies to. That is, we would need a language which can express (...)
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  181. Contraries, Oppositions, and Contradictions: A Species/Genus Account of Humean Contrariety.Brent Delaney - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-22.
    Abstract: Hume’s account of contrariety in Book I of the Treatise poses several interpretive puzzles. I consider each in turn and offer a novel interpretation of contrariety based on Hume’s discussion of the passions. That Book II and Book I form a complete chain of reasoning suggests that the way in which passions are related is analogous to the way in which ideas are related in the understanding. I argue that Hume identifies three species of empirical contrariety in Book II: (...)
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  182.  83
    Causation Comes in Degrees.Huzeyfe Demirtas - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-17.
    Which country, politician, or policy is more of a cause of the Covid-19 pandemic death toll? Which of the two factories causally contributed more to the pollution of the nearby river? A wide-ranging portion of our everyday thought and talk, and attitudes rely on a graded notion of causation. However, it is sometimes highlighted that on most contemporary accounts, causation is on-off. Some philosophers further question the legitimacy of talk of degrees of causation and suggest that we avoid it. Some (...)
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  183. Science, Assertion, and the Common Ground.Corey Dethier - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-19.
    I argue that the appropriateness of an assertion is sensitive to context—or, really, the “common ground”—in a way that hasn’t previously been emphasized by philosophers. This kind of context-sensitivity explains why some scientific conclusions seem to be appropriately asserted even though they are not known, believed, or justified on the available evidence. I then consider other recent attempts to account for this phenomenon and argue that if they are to be successful, they need to recognize the kind of context-sensitivity that (...)
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  184.  34
    Disagreement in Philosophy.Catherine Z. Elgin - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-16.
    Recent philosophical discussions construe disagreement as epistemically unsettling. On learning that a peer disagrees, it is said, you should suspend judgment, lower your credence, or dismiss your peer’s conviction as somehow flawed, even if you can neither identify the flaw nor explain why you think she is the party in error. Philosophers do none of these things. A distinctive feature of philosophy as currently practiced is that, although we marshal the strongest arguments we can devise, we do not expect others (...)
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  185.  84
    Understanding and Scientific Progress: Lessons From Epistemology.Nicholas Emmerson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-18.
    Contemporary debate surrounding the nature of scientific progress has focused upon the precise role played by justification, with two realist accounts having dominated proceedings. Recently, however, a third realist account has been put forward, one which offers no role for justification at all. According to Finnur Dellsén’s (Stud Hist Philos Sci Part A 56:72–83, 2016) noetic account, science progresses when understanding increases, that is, when scientists grasp how to correctly explain or predict more aspects of the world that they could (...)
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  186. Conventionalism About Time Direction.Matt Farr - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-21.
    In what sense is the direction of time a matter of convention? In 'The Direction of Time', Hans Reichenbach makes brief reference to parallels between his views about the status of time’s direction and his conventionalism about geometry. In this article, I: (1) provide a conventionalist account of time direction motivated by a number of Reichenbach’s claims in the book; (2) show how forwards and backwards time can give equivalent descriptions of the world despite the former being the ‘natural’ direction (...)
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  187.  74
    Philosophers' Linguistic Expertise: A Psycholinguistic Approach to the Expertise Objection Against Experimental Philosophy.Eugen Fischer, Paul E. Engelhardt & Aurélie Herbelot - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-33.
    Philosophers are often credited with particularly well-developed conceptual skills. The ‘expertise objection’ to experimental philosophy builds on this assumption to challenge inferences from findings about laypeople to conclusions about philosophers. We draw on psycholinguistics to develop and assess this objection. We examine whether philosophers are less or differently susceptible than laypersons to cognitive biases that affect how people understand verbal case descriptions and judge the cases described. We examine two possible sources of difference: Philosophers could be better at deploying concepts, (...)
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  188.  2
    Ostrich tropes.Daniel Giberman - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-25.
    According to the cluster of theories in the metaphysics of properties known as ‘trope’ theories, properties are collections of particular qualitative instances. Though increasingly influential, the cluster is sufficiently diverse for there to be little agreement as to the prospects of its members. The present essay articulates and defends a conception of tropes as primitively qualitatively complex, somewhat in the vein of Quinean nominalist objects. After clarifying the relationships among tropes, properties, property exemplification, and property conferral, the essay discusses the (...)
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  189. Knowing more (about questions).Joshua Habgood-Coote - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-23.
    How should we measure knowledge? According to the Counting Approach, we can measure knowledge by counting pieces of knowledge. Versions of the Counting Approach that try to measure knowledge by counting true beliefs with suitable support or by counting propositions known run into problems, stemming from infinite numbers of propositions and beliefs, difficulties in individuating propositions and beliefs, and cases in which knowing the same number of propositions contributes differently to knowledge. In this paper I develop a novel question-relative and (...)
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  190.  16
    Mathematics Embodied: Merleau-Ponty on Geometry and Algebra as Fields of Motor Enaction.Jan Halák - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-28.
    This paper aims to clarify Merleau-Ponty’s contribution to an embodied-enactive account of mathematical cognition. I first identify the main points of interest in the current discussions of embodied higher cognition and explain how they relate to Merleau-Ponty and his sources, in particular Husserl’s late works. Subsequently, I explain these convergences in greater detail by more specifically discussing the domains of geometry and algebra and by clarifying the role of gestalt psychology in Merleau-Ponty’s account. Beyond that, I explain how, for Merleau-Ponty, (...)
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  191.  6
    Causal Fundamentality.Soufiane Hamri - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-13.
    I present an argument for causal fundamentality, understood as the thesis that the causal history of every being, whose existence has a causal explanation, includes some uncaused beings. I argue that this thesis is a consequence of an actualist account of metaphysical modality whose novelty lies in its hybrid dispositional-essentialist foundation. I argue that my modal theory is extensionally correct and minimalistic. Its range of metaphysical necessities and possibilities is just as wide as needed to capture the pre-theoretical notion of (...)
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  192.  2
    The value of common knowledge.Allan Hazlett - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-18.
    I articulate the question of the value of common knowledge, or the question of why common knowledge is preferred to mere widespread knowledge. I argue that common knowledge often enjoys instrumental value lacked by widespread knowledge, and present a case that suggests that common knowledge sometimes enjoys non-instrumental value lacked by widespread knowledge. But I articulate some doubts about whether we should draw that conclusion from the case.
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  193.  77
    Deliberation and confidence change.Nora Heinzelmann & Stephan Hartmann - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-13.
    We argue that social deliberation may increase an agent’s confidence and credence under certain circumstances. An agent considers a proposition H and assigns a probability to it. However, she is not fully confident that she herself is reliable in this assignment. She then endorses H during deliberation with another person, expecting him to raise serious objections. To her surprise, however, the other person does not raise any objections to H. How should her attitudes toward H change? It seems plausible that (...)
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  194.  9
    On luck and significance.Jesse Hill - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-18.
    It is often assumed that all lucky events are significant. The thought is that a chancy event such as winning the lottery is lucky for you in part because it affects your interests or well-being. But whether you win an Absurdist Raffle in which there are no prizes, is, intuitively, not a matter of luck. This is because this event—even if chancy—is not significant for any subject. However, a few philosophers have recently claimed not only that luck does not necessarily (...)
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  195.  9
    Dependent philosophical majorities and the skeptical argument from disagreement.Rasmus Jaksland - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-24.
    According to the skeptical argument from disagreement, we are mandated to suspend judgement about a question if we discover that others disagree with us. Critics, however, have proposed that this skeptical argument fails if there are not equally many people on either side of the debate: numbers matter. The present paper explicates this as the argument that a group can be more likely to arrive at the correct view by majority rule than the members are on their own. Defenders of (...)
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  196.  91
    Alethic Pluralism for Pragmatists.Tom Kaspers - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-19.
    Pragmatism and the correspondence theory of truth are longtime foes. Nevertheless, there is an argument to be made that pragmatists must embrace truth as correspondence. I show that there is a distinctive pragmatic utility to taking truth to be correspondence, and I argue that it would be inconsistent for pragmatists to accept the utility of the belief that truth is correspondence while resisting the premise that this belief is correct. -/- In order to show how pragmatists can embrace truth as (...)
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  197.  2
    Are ABM Explanations in the Social Sciences Inevitably Individualist?Harold Kincaid & Julie Zahle - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-22.
    Agent-based models are increasingly important in social science research. They have two obvious apparent virtues: they can model complex macrosociological phenomena without strong assumptions about agents and without analytic solutions for models, and they seem to instantiate the methodological individualist program in a concrete way. We argue that the latter claim is false. After providing schematic accounts of ABM models and a first introduction to ways in which to characterize individualist explanations, we work through six conceptions of individualist explanations that (...)
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  198.  2
    Diachronic trends in the topic distributions of formal epistemology abstracts.David Kinney - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-34.
    Formal epistemology is a growing field of philosophical research. It is also evolving, with the subject matter of formal epistemology papers changing considerably over the past two decades. To quantify the ways in which formal epistemology is changing, I generate a stochastic block topic model of the abstracts of papers classified by PhilPapers.org as pertaining to formal epistemology. This model identifies fourteen salient topics of formal epistemology abstracts at a first level of abstraction, and four topics at a second level (...)
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  199.  4
    A Novel Understanding of the Nature of Epistemic Vice.Alkis Kotsonis - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-16.
    My aim in this paper is to present and discuss a novel understanding of the nature of epistemic vice. I highlight that epistemic vice such as excessive curiosity, gossip and excessive inquisitiveness do not obstruct the acquisition, transmission and retention of knowledge and are not characterized by a deficiency of epistemic desires or vicious epistemic motivations. However, I argue that such traits ought to be classified as epistemic vices because the agent who possesses them causes epistemic harm to other agents (...)
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  200.  2
    Oswald revisited: the effect of focus and context.Eugenia Kulakova & Stefan Rinner - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-15.
    In this paper, we will present an analysis of the Oswald example that takes a closer look at the antecedents of the Oswald minimal pair. We will argue that diverging foci in the antecedents of the Oswald example result in different truth conditions of the conditionals, explaining the difference in truth values between the two sentences. Although the explanation will incorporate aspects of Stalnaker’s theory of conditionals, it will go beyond Stalnaker’s analysis of the Oswald example on one crucial point. (...)
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  201.  67
    Robust Passage Phenomenology Probably Does Not Explain Future-Bias.Andrew J. Latham, Kristie Miller, Christian Tarsney & Hannah Tierney - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-23.
    People are ‘biased toward the future’: all else being equal, we typically prefer to have positive experiences in the future, and negative experiences in the past. Several explanations have been suggested for this pattern of preferences. Adjudicating among these explanations can, among other things, shed light on the rationality of future-bias: For instance, if our preferences are explained by unjustified beliefs or an illusory phenomenology, we might conclude that they are irrational. This paper investigates one hypothesis, according to which future-bias (...)
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  202.  21
    Are we free to make the laws?Christian Loew & Andreas Hüttemann - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-16.
    Humeans about laws maintain that laws of nature are nothing over and above the complete distribution of non-modal, categorical properties in spacetime. ‘Humean compatibilists’ argue that if Humeanism about laws is true, then agents in a deterministic world can do otherwise than they are lawfully determined to do because of the distinctive nature of Humean laws. More specifically, they reject a central premise of the Consequence argument by maintaining that deterministic laws of nature are ‘up to us’. In this paper, (...)
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  203.  70
    Structuralist approaches to Bohmian mechanics.Lorenzo Lorenzetti - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-15.
    Lam and Esfeld have argued that, within Bohmian mechanics, the wave function can be interpreted as a physical structure instantiated by the fundamental particles posited by the theory. Further, to characterize the nature of this structure, they appeal to the framework of Ontic Structural Realism, thereby proposing a structuralist interpretation of Bohmian mechanics. However, I shall point out that OSR denotes a family of distinct views, each of which maintains a different account about the relation between structures and objects, and (...)
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  204.  5
    Indeterminacy, coincidence, and “Sourcing Newness” in mathematical research.James V. Martin - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-23.
    Far from being unwelcome or impossible in a mathematical setting, indeterminacy in various forms can be seen as playing an important role in driving mathematical research forward by providing “sources of newness” in the sense of Hutter and Farías :434–449, 2017). I argue here that mathematical coincidences, phenomena recently under discussion in the philosophy of mathematics, are usefully seen as inducers of indeterminacy and as put to work in guiding mathematical research. I suggest that to call a pair of mathematical (...)
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  205.  2
    Interests from and in conventions.C. M. Melenovsky - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-21.
    In Strategic Justice, Peter Vanderschraaf introduces a “Baseline Consistency” criterion for Justice as Mutual Advantage. This criterion requires assessing how well individuals fare under existing conventions with how well they would fare under hypothetical social conditions. However, this comparison requires the impossible. Under different social conditions, individuals would have different preferences and different interests. As such, we cannot make any direct comparison between how well an individual fares across the two social conditions. The standard of assessment would change from one (...)
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  206. Refitting the mirrors: on structural analogies in epistemology and action theory.Lisa Miracchi & J. Adam Carter - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-28.
    Structural analogies connect Williamson’s epistemology and action theory: for example, action is the direction-of-fit mirror image of knowledge, and knowledge stands to belief as action stands to intention. These structural analogies, for Williamson, are meant to illuminate more generally how ‘mirrors’ reversing direction of fit should be understood as connecting the spectrum of our cognitive and practically oriented mental states. This paper has two central aims, one negative and the other positive. The negative aim is to highlight some intractable problems (...)
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  207.  50
    Tough Enough? Robust Satisficing as a Decision Norm for Long-Term Policy Analysis.Andreas L. Mogensen & David Thorstad - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-26.
    This paper aims to open a dialogue between philosophers working in decision theory and operations researchers and engineers working on decision-making under deep uncertainty. Specifically, we assess the recommendation to follow a norm of robust satisficing when making decisions under deep uncertainty in the context of decision analyses that rely on the tools of Robust Decision-Making developed by Robert Lempert and colleagues at RAND. We discuss two challenges for robust satisficing: whether the norm might derive its plausibility from an implicit (...)
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  208.  1
    Confirmation by Analogy.Francesco Nappo - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-26.
    This paper proposes a framework for representing in Bayesian terms the idea that analogical arguments of various degrees of strength may provide inductive support to yet untested scientific hypotheses. On this account, contextual information plays a crucial role in determining whether, and to what extent, a given similarity or dissimilarity between source and target may confirm an empirical hypothesis over a rival one. In addition to showing confirmation by analogy compatible with the adoption of a Bayesian standpoint, the proposal outlined (...)
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  209.  5
    Underdetermination, Holism, and Feminist Philosophy of Science.Lynn Hankinson Nelson - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-12.
    Appeals to some thesis of underdetermination, to the idea that scientific theories and hypotheses are not entailed by the evidence that supports them, are common in feminist philosophy of science. These appeals seek to understand and explain how androcentrism and other problematic approaches to gender have found their way into good science, as well as the reverse – how feminist approaches to gender and science that are also value-laden, can contribute to good science. Focusing on W.V. Quine’s positions on holism (...)
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  210.  4
    Model robustness in economics: the admissibility and evaluation of tractability assumptions.Ryan O’Loughlin & Dan Li - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-23.
    Lisciandra poses a challenge for robustness analysis as applied to economic models. She argues that substituting tractability assumptions risks altering the main mathematical structure of the model, thereby preventing the possibility of meaningfully evaluating the same model under different assumptions. In such cases RA is argued to be inapplicable. However, Lisciandra is mistaken to take the goal of RA as keeping the mathematical properties of tractability assumptions intact. Instead, RA really aims to keep the modeling component while varying the corresponding (...)
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  211.  1
    Collaborative Knowledge: Where the Distributed and Commitment Models Merge.Spyridon Orestis Palermos - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-16.
    Within analytic philosophy, the existence of collective knowledge has been motivated by means of two apparently distinct, and in direct competition with one another, theoretical approaches: the commitment model and the distributed model. This paper agues, however, that to fully account for collaborative knowledge—i.e., a special kind of collective knowledge—both models are required. In other words, there is at least one kind of collective knowledge, the account of which requires treating the two models not as competitors but as complementary to (...)
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  212.  25
    What is so Special About Episodic Memory: Lessons From the System-Experience Distinction.Shen Pan - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-26.
    Compared to other forms of memory, episodic memory is commonly viewed as special for being distinctively metarepresentational and, relatedly, uniquely human. There is an inherent ambiguity in these conceptions, however, because “episodic memory” has two closely connected yet subtly distinct uses, one designating the recollective experience and the other designating the underlying neurocognitive system. Since experience and system sit at different levels of theorizing, their disentanglement is not only necessary but also fruitful for generating novel theoretical hypotheses. To show this, (...)
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  213.  54
    Having a Disagreement: Expression, Persuasion and Demand.Giulio Pietroiusti - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-12.
    It is common to distinguish between disagreement in the state sense (being in disagreement) and disagreement in the activity sense (having a disagreement). This paper deals with the question of what it is for two people to have a disagreement. First, I present and reject the thesis according to which having a disagreement is a matter of expressing conflicting attitudes. I argue that this is not sufficient for having a disagreement: two people can express conflicting attitudes without having a disagreement. (...)
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  214. Counterfactuals, Indeterminacy, and Value: A Puzzle.Eli Pitcovski & Andrew Peet - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-20.
    According to the Counterfactual Comparative Account of harm and benefit, an event is overall harmful for a subject to the extent that this subject would have been better off if it had not occurred. In this paper we present a challenge for the Counterfactual Comparative Account. We argue that if physical processes are chancy in the manner suggested by our best physical theories, then CCA faces a dilemma: If it is developed in line with the standard approach to counterfactuals, then (...)
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  215.  14
    Getting Counterfactuals Right: The Perspective of the Causal Reasoner.Elena Popa - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-18.
    This paper aims to bridge philosophical and psychological research on causation, counterfactual thought, and the problem of backtracking. Counterfactual approaches to causation such as that by Lewis have ruled out backtracking, while on prominent models of causal inference interventionist counterfactuals do not backtrack. However, on various formal models, certain backtracking counterfactuals end up being true, and psychological evidence shows that people do sometimes backtrack when answering counterfactual questions in causal contexts. On the basis of psychological research, I argue that while (...)
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  216.  1
    Predictive minds can think: addressing generality and surface compositionality of thought.Sofiia Rappe - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-22.
    Predictive processing framework has found wide applications in cognitive science and philosophy. It is an attractive candidate for a unified account of the mind in which perception, action, and cognition fit together in a single model. However, PP cannot claim this role if it fails to accommodate an essential part of cognition—conceptual thought. Recently, Williams argued that PP struggles to address at least two of thought’s core properties—generality and rich compositionality. In this paper, I show that neither necessarily presents a (...)
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  217.  5
    Possibility, relevant similarity, and structural knowledge.Tom Schoonen - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-22.
    Recently, interest has surged in similarity-based epistemologies of possibility. However, it has been pointed out that the notion of ‘relevant similarity’ is not properly developed in this literature. In this paper, I look at the research done in the field of analogical reasoning, where we find that one of the most promising ways of capturing relevance in similarity reasoning is by relying on the predictive analogy similarity relation. This takes relevant similarity to be based on shared properties that have structural (...)
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  218.  9
    Wavefunction realism does not ‘privilege position’.David Schroeren - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-14.
    It is common ground among proponents and detractors of wavefunction realism that the view ‘privileges position’, in the sense that it arbitrarily singles out one among a continuum infinity of wavefunction representations as characterizing the fundamental field: the position representation. This paper shows that, properly understood, wavefunction realism does not involve such an arbitrary choice. First, I argue that, though each wavefunction representation gives rise to a different version of wavefunction realism, the difference between these theories amounts to a mere (...)
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  219.  4
    Truthmaking for Meinongians.Maciej Sendłak - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-20.
    This paper aims to introduce Meinongian Abstractionism, i.e. a view on the metaphysics of truthmaking and modality. This approach is based on the notion of objectives—one of the key elements of Alexius Meinong’s Theory of Objects. In the light of it, worlds are interpreted in terms of sets of subsistent and non-subsistent objectives. This—along with Meinong’s characterization of objectives—provides a ground for possible as well as impossible worlds. One of the consequences of Meinongain Abstractionism is a reformulation of the relation (...)
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  220.  34
    What is logical deflationism? Two non-metalinguistic conceptions of logic.Lionel Shapiro - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-28.
    This paper compares two ways of holding that logic is special among the sciences in that it has no restricted class of entities as its subject matter, but instead concerns all entities alike. One way is Williamson’s explanation of how inquiry into logical consequence and logical truth only superficially concerns the linguistic or conceptual entities that bear these properties. Williamson draws on ideas familiar from deflationism about truth, and his account has been called “deflationary.” I argue that the analogy is (...)
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  221.  14
    Logical form and logical space in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus.Oliver Thomas Spinney - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-23.
    In this article I offer a novel explanation of Wittgenstein’s claim, in his Tractatus, that to represent the logical form of a proposition would require our being positioned outside of logic. The account here presented aims to exploit a connection, widely noticed, between the logical forms of objects and those of the propositions in which the names of those objects figure. I show that the logical forms of propositions may, on Wittgenstein’s view, be identified with places in logical space, and (...)
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  222.  10
    Overcoming Epistemic Compositionalism by Appreciating Kant's Insight: Skepticism, Givenness, and Mind-Independence in the Transcendental Deduction.Maximilian Tegtmeyer - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-37.
    Many interpretations of Kant’s first Critique fail to appreciate the revolutionary nature of his account of knowledge and its implications for skepticism, givenness and mind-independence, because they read Kant as holding a compositional account of knowledge. I contend that the reason for this is that this account is both naturally appealing in its own right, and fits an influential reading of Kant’s Transcendental Deduction. On this reading, the Deduction aims to respond to a skeptical worry which issues from the empiricist (...)
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  223.  10
    Merely Superficially Contingent a Priori Knowledge and the McKinsey Paradox.Joshua Rowan Thorpe - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-15.
    The conclusion of the McKinsey paradox is that certain contingent claims about the external world are knowable a priori. Almost all of the literature on the paradox assumes that this conclusion is unacceptable, and focuses on finding a way of avoiding it. However, there is no consensus that any of these responses work. In this paper I take a different approach, arguing that the conclusion is acceptable. First, I develop our understanding of what Evans calls merely superficially contingent a priori (...)
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  224.  4
    Temporal binding: digging into animal minds through time perception.Antonella Tramacere & Colin Allen - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-24.
    Temporal binding is the phenomenon in which events related as cause and effect are perceived by humans to be closer in time than they actually are :382–385, 2002, https://doi.org/10.1038/nn827). Despite the fact that temporal binding experiments with humans have relied on verbal instructions, we argue that they are adaptable to nonhuman animals, and that a finding of temporal binding from such experiments would provide evidence of causal reasoning that cannot be reduced to associative learning. Our argument depends on describing and (...)
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  225. Neuromedia, Cognitive Offloading, and Intellectual Perseverance.Cody Turner - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-26.
    This paper engages in what might be called anticipatory virtue epistemology, as it anticipates some virtue epistemological risks related to a near-future version of brain-computer interface technology that Michael Lynch (2014) calls 'neuromedia.' I analyze how neuromedia is poised to negatively affect the intellectual character of agents, focusing specifically on the virtue of intellectual perseverance, which involves a disposition to mentally persist in the face of challenges towards the realization of one’s intellectual goals. First, I present and motivate what I (...)
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  226.  7
    Complex demonstratives, singular thought, and belief attributions.José Manuel Viejo - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-27.
    Jeffrey King has famously argued that there are several prima facie problems with the direct reference theory of the semantics of complex demonstratives, three of which apparently resist solution. King concludes by observing that, if these outstanding problems cannot be solved, then the prospects for a direct reference semantics for complex demonstratives will be poor. I shall focus on just one of these outstanding problems—the objection from belief attributions—and suggest that it, at least, can be answered.
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  227.  10
    A reductive analysis of statements about universals.Ben White - 2022 - Synthese 200 (1):1-21.
    This paper proposes an analysis of statements about universals according to which such statements assert nothing more than that the evidence we’d take to confirm them obtains, where this evidence is understood to consist solely of patterns in the behavior of particulars that cannot be explained by other regularities in the way things behave. On this analysis, to say that a universal exists is simply to say that there is such a pattern in the behavior of certain particulars, and for (...)
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  228.  12
    Does Anti-Exceptionalism About Logic Entail That Logic is A Posteriori?Stephen Biggs & Jessica Wilson - 2022 - Synthese 1 (1):1--17.
    The debate between exceptionalists and anti-exceptionalists about logic is often framed as concerning whether the justification of logical theories is a priori or a posteriori (for short: whether logic is a priori or a posteriori). As we substantiate (S1), this framing more deeply encodes the usual anti-exceptionalist thesis that logical theories, like scientific theories, are abductively justified, coupled with the common supposition that abduction is an a posteriori mode of inference, in the sense that the epistemic value of abduction is (...)
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  229. Williamson on Indicatives and Suppositional Heuristics.Franz Berto - 2022 - Synthese (1):1-12.
    Timothy Williamson has defended the claim that the semantics of the indicative ‘if’ is given by the material conditional. Putative counterexamples can be handled by better understanding the role played in our assessment of indicatives by a fallible cognitive heuristic, called the Suppositional Procedure. Williamson’s Suppositional Conjecture has it that the Suppositional Procedure is humans’ primary way of prospectively assessing conditionals. This paper raises some doubts on the Suppositional Procedure and Conjecture.
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