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Theories and Things

Harvard University Press (1981)

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  1. Aspectos Convencionalistas da Filosofia de Willard Quine.Sofia Inês Albornoz Stein - 2003 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 7 (1-2):185-203.
    One of the main contributions of philosophers at the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century to philosophy of science and semantics was the thesis inspired in the scientific advances of natural and exact sciences, that there is not a single true theory of what goes on in the empirical world, but rather the possibility of constructing multiple versions, equally satisfactory, of an explanation of the world. In the Vienna Circle, more specifically, the conventionalist movement showed (...)
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  • Intrinsic Explanation and Field’s Dispensabilist Strategy.Russell Marcus - 2013 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 21 (2):163-183.
    Philosophy of mathematics for the last half-century has been dominated in one way or another by Quine’s indispensability argument. The argument alleges that our best scientific theory quantifies over, and thus commits us to, mathematical objects. In this paper, I present new considerations which undermine the most serious challenge to Quine’s argument, Hartry Field’s reformulation of Newtonian Gravitational Theory.
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  • Biological Normativity: A New Hope for Naturalism?Walter Veit - 2021 - Medicine, Health Care and Philosophy 24 (2):291-301.
    Since Boorse [Philos Sci 44:542–573, 1977] published his paper “Health as a theoretical concept” one of the most lively debates within philosophy of medicine has been on the question of whether health and disease are in some sense ‘objective’ and ‘value-free’ or ‘subjective’ and ‘value-laden’. Due to the apparent ‘failure’ of pure naturalist, constructivist, or normativist accounts, much in the recent literature has appealed to more conciliatory approaches or so-called ‘hybrid accounts’ of health and disease. A recent paper by Matthewson (...)
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  • The Long Shadow of Semantic Platonism: Part I: General Considerations.Gustavo Picazo - 2021 - Philosophia 49 (4):1427-1453.
    The present article is the first of a trilogy of papers, devoted to analysing the influence of semantic Platonism on contemporary philosophy of language. In the present article, I lay out the discussion by contrasting semantic Platonism with two other views of linguistic meaning: the socio-environmental conception of meaning and semantic anti-representationalism. Then, I identify six points in which the impregnation of semantic theory with Platonism can be particularly felt, resulting in shortcomings and inaccuracies of various kinds. These points are (...)
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  • The Application of Mathematics in Science: Sorin Bangu: The Applicability of Mathematics in Science: Indispensability and Ontology. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012, Xii+252pp, £55 HB. [REVIEW]Alex Koo - 2014 - Metascience 23 (2):263-268.
  • Sul dialeteismo. Lezioni padovane di Graham Priest ed altri saggi sul dialeteismo.Filippo Mancini & Massimiliano Carrara - 2021 - Padua, Province of Padua, Italy: Padova University Press.
    Per il dialeteismo ci sono contraddizioni vere. Questa concezione filosofica ha assunto una forma chiara e definita a partire dal lavoro del filosofo e logico Graham Priest – uno dei suoi padri fondatori, nonché uno dei suoi più strenui difensori. Questo libro intende portare il dialeteismo all’attenzione di un ampio pubblico, che non sia solo quello degli addetti ai lavori. Il volume è suddiviso in due parti. La prima include le cinque lezioni su "Dialeteismo e storia della filosofia" tenute da (...)
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  • Sui criteri d'identità.Massimiliano Carrara - 2018 - Padova: Padova University Press.
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  • Le varietà del naturalismo.Gaia Bagnati, Alice Morelli & Melania Cassan (eds.) - 2019 - Edizioni Ca' Foscari.
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  • Esistenza e Persistenza.Damiano Costa - 2018 - Milan, IT: Mimesis.
    Nel nostro universo, qualunque cosa, dalla più piccola particella alla più smisurata galassia, esiste in un qualche tempo e in un qualche luogo. Ma cosa significa esistere in un qualche tempo? Il fenomeno dell’esistenza temporale gioca un ruolo fondamentale nella comprensione dell’universo e di noi stessi quali creature temporali. Eppure è un fenomeno profondamente misterioso. L’esistenza temporale è da intendersi come una relazione? Che legami ha con l’esistenza dell’ontologia? L’esistenza temporale e la localizzazione spaziale sono due fenomeni essenzialmente differenti o (...)
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  • Working From Within: The Nature and Development of Quine's Naturalism.Sander Verhaegh - 2018 - New York: Oxford University Press.
    During the past few decades, a radical shift has occurred in how philosophers conceive of the relation between science and philosophy. A great number of analytic philosophers have adopted what is commonly called a ‘naturalistic’ approach, arguing that their inquiries ought to be in some sense continuous with science. Where early analytic philosophers often relied on a sharp distinction between science and philosophy—the former an empirical discipline concerned with fact, the latter an a priori discipline concerned with meaning—philosophers today largely (...)
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  • The Given Regained: Reflections on the Sensuous Content of Experience.Richard Schantz - 2001 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 62 (1):167-180.
    The major part of our beliefs and our knowledge of the world is based on, or grounded in, sensory experience. But, how is it that we can have perceptual beliefs that things are thus and so, and, moreover, be justified in having them? What conditions must experience satisfy to rationally warrant, and not merely to cause, our beliefs? Against the currently very popular contention that experience itself already has to be propositionally and conceptually structured, I will rehabilitate the claim that (...)
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  • Believing in Things.Zoltán Gendler Szabó - 2003 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 66 (3):584–611.
    I argue against the standard view that ontological debates can be fully described as disagreements about what we should believe to exist. The central thesis of the paper is that believing in Fs in the ontologically relevant sense requires more than merely believing that Fs exist. Believing in Fs is not even a propositional attitude; it is rather an attitude one bears to the term expressed by 'Fs'. The representational correctness of such a belief requires not only that there be (...)
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  • Noneism, Ontology, and Fundamentality.Tatjana Von Solodkoff & Richard Woodward - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (3):558-583.
    In the recent literature on all things metaontological, discussion of a notorious Meinongian doctrine—the thesis that some objects have no kind of being at all—has been conspicuous by its absence. And this is despite the fact that this thesis is the central element of the noneist metaphysics of Richard Routley (1980) and Graham Priest (2005). In this paper, we therefore examine the metaontological foundations of noneism, with a view to seeing exactly how the noneist's approach to ontological inquiry differs from (...)
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  • Belief in Absolute Necessity.John Divers & José Edgar González-Varela - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (2):358-391.
    We outline a theory of the cognitive role of belief in absolute necessity that is normative and intended to be metaphysically neutral. We take this theory to be unique in scope since it addresses simultaneously the questions of how such belief is (properly) acquired and of how it is (properly) manifest. The acquisition and manifestation conditions for belief in absolute necessity are given univocally, in terms of complex higher-order attitudes involving two distinct kinds of supposition (A-supposing and C-supposing). It is (...)
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  • L'effondrement Empirique de la Signification.Isabelle Delpla - 2002 - Dialogue 41 (1):113.
    Écrire un livre sur les fondements empiriques de la signification qui reprenne la question tant débattue de la critique de l'analycité, de la traduction radicale et de l'indétermination de la traduction, d'un point de vue éclairant, précis, et renouvelé à bien des égards, est la gageure que relève Martin Montminy avec son excellent livre Les fondements empiriques de la signification. La thèse simple mais convaincante de l'auteur est que la critique de l'analycité et de la distinction entre analytique et synthétique, (...)
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  • DE NATURA RERUM - Scripta in Honorem Professoris Olli Koistinen Sexagesimum Annum Complentis.Hemmo Laiho & Arto Repo (eds.) - 2016 - Turku: University of Turku.
  • The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology.Herman Cappelen, Tamar Szabó Gendler & John Hawthorne (eds.) - 2016 - Oxford University Press.
    This is the most comprehensive book ever published on philosophical methodology. A team of thirty-eight of the world's leading philosophers present original essays on various aspects of how philosophy should be and is done. The first part is devoted to broad traditions and approaches to philosophical methodology. The entries in the second part address topics in philosophical methodology, such as intuitions, conceptual analysis, and transcendental arguments. The third part of the book is devoted to essays about the interconnections between philosophy (...)
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  • Inference to the Best Explanation.Peter Lipton - 2004 - In Martin Curd & Stathis Psillos (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Philosophy of Science. Routledge. pp. 193.
    Science depends on judgments of the bearing of evidence on theory. Scientists must judge whether an observation or the result of an experiment supports, disconfirms, or is simply irrelevant to a given hypothesis. Similarly, scientists may judge that, given all the available evidence, a hypothesis ought to be accepted as correct or nearly so, rejected as false, or neither. Occasionally, these evidential judgments can be made on deductive grounds. If an experimental result strictly contradicts a hypothesis, then the truth of (...)
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  • Simplicity.Alann D. Baker - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Semantic Holism in Scientific Language.Holger Andreas - 2010 - Philosophy of Science 77 (4):524-543.
    Whether meaning is compositional has been a major issue in linguistics and formal philosophy of language for the last 2 decades. Semantic holism is widely and plausibly considered as an objection to the principle of semantic compositionality therein. It comes as a surprise that the holistic peculiarities of scientific language have been rarely addressed in formal accounts so far, given that semantic holism has its roots in the philosophy of science. For this reason, a model-theoretic approach to semantic holism in (...)
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  • Toward a Commonsense Answer to the Special Composition Question.Chad Carmichael - 2015 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 93 (3):475-490.
    The special composition question is the question, ‘When do some things compose something?’ The answers to this question in the literature have largely been at odds with common sense, either by allowing that any two things compose something, or by denying the existence of most ordinary composite objects. I propose a new ‘series-style’ answer to the special composition question that accords much more closely with common sense, and I defend this answer from van Inwagen's objections. Specifically, I will argue that (...)
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  • Ontological Indifference of Theories and Semantic Primacy of Sentences.Dirk Greimann - 2021 - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy 35 (2):167-190.
    In his late philosophy, Quine generalized the structuralist view in the philosophy of mathematics that mathematical theories are indifferent to the ontology we choose for them. According to his ‘global structuralism’, the choice of objects does not matter to any scientific theory. In the literature, this doctrine is mainly understood as an epistemological thesis claiming that the empirical evidence for a theory does not depend on the choice of its objects. The present paper proposes a new interpretation suggested by Quine’s (...)
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  • Re-Radicalizing Nelson's Feminist Empiricism.Edrie Sobstyl - 2004 - Hypatia 19 (1):119-141.
    The relationship between individuals and communities in knowing is a central topic of discussion in current feminist epistemology. Lynn Hankinson Nelson's work is unusual in grounding knowledge primarily in the community rather than the individual. In this essay I argue that responses to Nelson's work are based on a misinterpretation of her holistic approach. However, Nelson's holism is incomplete and hence inconsistent. I defend a more radically holistic feminist empiricism with a multiaspect view of the knower, which is more consistent (...)
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  • Approaching the Truth Via Belief Change in Propositional Languages.Gustavo Cevolani & Francesco Calandra - 2010 - In M. Suàrez, M. Dorato & M. Rèdei (eds.), EPSA Epistemology and Methodology of Science: Launch of the European Philosophy of Science Association. Springer. pp. 47--62.
    Starting from the sixties of the past century theory change has become a main concern of philosophy of science. Two of the best known formal accounts of theory change are the post-Popperian theories of verisimilitude (PPV for short) and the AGM theory of belief change (AGM for short). In this paper, we will investigate the conceptual relations between PPV and AGM and, in particular, we will ask whether the AGM rules for theory change are effective means for approaching the truth, (...)
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  • Supermachines and Superminds.Eric Steinhart - 2003 - Minds and Machines 13 (1):155-186.
    If the computational theory of mind is right, then minds are realized by machines. There is an ordered complexity hierarchy of machines. Some finite machines realize finitely complex minds; some Turing machines realize potentially infinitely complex minds. There are many logically possible machines whose powers exceed the Church–Turing limit (e.g. accelerating Turing machines). Some of these supermachines realize superminds. Superminds perform cognitive supertasks. Their thoughts are formed in infinitary languages. They perceive and manipulate the infinite detail of fractal objects. They (...)
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  • Logically Possible Machines.Eric Steinhart - 2002 - Minds and Machines 12 (2):259-280.
    I use modal logic and transfinite set-theory to define metaphysical foundations for a general theory of computation. A possible universe is a certain kind of situation; a situation is a set of facts. An algorithm is a certain kind of inductively defined property. A machine is a series of situations that instantiates an algorithm in a certain way. There are finite as well as transfinite algorithms and machines of any degree of complexity (e.g., Turing and super-Turing machines and more). There (...)
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  • On the Logical Positivists' Theory of Truth: The Fundamental Problem and a New Perspective. [REVIEW]Lorenz B. Puntel - 1999 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 30 (1):101-130.
    The present article purports to show that the protocol sentence debate, pursued by some leading members of the Vienna Circle in the mid-1930s, was essentially a controversy over the explanation and the real significance of the concept of truth. It is further shown that the fundamental issue underlying the discussions about the concept of truth was the relationship between form and content, as well as between logic/language and the world. R. Carnap was the philosopher who most explicitly and systematically attempted (...)
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  • Idealistische Häresien in der Wissenschaftsphilosophie: Cassirer, Carnap Und Kuhn.Thomas Mormann - 1999 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 30 (2):233 - 270.
    Idealist Heresies in Philosophy of Science: Cassirer, Carnap, and Kuhn. As common wisdom has it, philosophy of science in the analytic tradition and idealist philosophy are incompatible. Usually, not much effort is spent for explaining what is to be understood by idealism. Rather, it is taken for granted that idealism is an obsolete and unscientific philosophical account. In this paper it is argued that this thesis needs some qualification. Taking Carnap and Kuhn as paradigmatic examples of positivist and postpositivist philosophies (...)
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  • On the de-Naturalization of Epistemology.András Kertész - 2002 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 33 (2):269-288.
    Starting from an overview of approaches to naturalized epistemology, the paper shows, firstly, that Quine's programme yields a sceptical paradox. This means that Quine's attempt to defeat scepticism itself yields a rather strong argument for scepticism and thus against his own programme of naturalized epistemology. Secondly, it is shown that this paradox can be solved by an approach called reflexive-heuristic naturalism. Finally, the paper also raises some fundamental problems which the solution proposed has to leave open.
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  • A Physicalist Reinterpretion of 'Phenomenal' Spaces.Lieven Decock - 2006 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 5 (2):197-225.
    This paper argues that phenomenal or internal metrical spaces are redundant posits. It is shown that we need not posit an internal space-time frame, as the physical space-time suffices to explain geometrical perception, memory and planning. More than the internal space-time frame, the idea of a phenomenal colour space has lent credibility to the idea of internal spaces. It is argued that there is no phenomenal colour space that underlies the various psychophysical colour spaces; it is parasitic upon physical and (...)
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  • Gender Issues in Corporate Leadership.Devora Shapiro & Marilea Bramer - 2013 - Handbook of the Philosophical Foundations of Business Ethics:1177-1189.
    Gender greatly impacts access to opportunities, potential, and success in corporate leadership roles. We begin with a general presentation of why such discussion is necessary for basic considerations of justice and fairness in gender equality and how the issues we raise must impact any ethical perspective on gender in the corporate workplace. We continue with a breakdown of the central categories affecting the success of women in corporate leadership roles. The first of these includes gender-influenced behavioral factors, such as the (...)
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  • The Identity of Living Beings, Epigenetics, and the Modesty of Philosophy.Giovanni Boniolo & Giuseppe Testa - 2012 - Erkenntnis 76 (2):279-298.
    Two problems related to the biological identity of living beings are faced: the who-problem (which are the biological properties making that living being unique and different from the others?); the persistence-problem (what does it take for a living being to persist from a time to another?). They are discussed inside a molecular biology framework, which shows how epigenetics can be a good ground to provide plausible answers. That is, we propose an empirical solution to the who-problem and to the persistence-problem (...)
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  • Naturalism, Fallibilism, and the a Priori.Lisa Warenski - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 142 (3):403-426.
    This paper argues that a priori justification is, in principle, compatible with naturalism—if the a priori is understood in a way that is free of the inessential properties that, historically, have been associated with the concept. I argue that empirical indefeasibility is essential to the primary notion of the a priori ; however, the indefeasibility requirement should be interpreted in such a way that we can be fallibilist about apriori-justified claims. This fallibilist notion of the a priori accords with the (...)
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  • Erkenntnistheoretische Und Ontologische Probleme der Theoretischen Begriffe.Marco Buzzoni - 1997 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 28 (1):19-53.
    Operationalism and theoretical entities. The thesis of the“theory ladenness” of observation leads to an antinomy. In order to solve this antinomy a technical operationalism is sketched, according to which theories should in principle not contain anything that cannot be reduced to technical procedures. This implies the rejection of Quine's underdeterminacy thesis and of many views about the theoretical-observational distinction, e.g. neopositivistic views, van Fraassen's view, Sneed-Stegmüller's view. Then I argue for the following theses: 1. All scientific concepts are theory laden (...)
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  • Science Without Reference?Felix M.�Hlh�Lzer - 1995 - Erkenntnis 42 (2):203-222.
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  • Inference to the Best Explanation and Mathematical Realism.Sorin Ioan Bangu - 2008 - Synthese 160 (1):13-20.
    Arguing for mathematical realism on the basis of Field’s explanationist version of the Quine–Putnam Indispensability argument, Alan Baker has recently claimed to have found an instance of a genuine mathematical explanation of a physical phenomenon. While I agree that Baker presents a very interesting example in which mathematics plays an essential explanatory role, I show that this example, and the argument built upon it, begs the question against the mathematical nominalist.
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  • The Epistemic Indispensability Argument.Cristian Soto - 2019 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 50 (1):145-161.
    This article elaborates the epistemic indispensability argument, which fully embraces the epistemic contribution of mathematics to science, but rejects the contention that such a contribution is a reason for granting reality to mathematicalia. Section 1 introduces the distinction between ontological and epistemic readings of the indispensability argument. Section 2 outlines some of the main flaws of the first premise of the ontological reading. Section 3 advances the epistemic indispensability argument in view of both applied and pure mathematics. And Sect. 4 (...)
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  • Natural Kinds and Naturalised Kantianism.Michela Massimi - 2014 - Noûs 48 (3):416-449.
  • On What It Takes for There to Be No Fact of the Matter.Jody Azzouni & Otávio Bueno - 2008 - Noûs 42 (4):753-769.
    Philosophers are very fond of making non-factualist claims—claims to the effect that there is no fact of the matter as to whether something is the case. But can these claims be coherently stated in the context of classical logic? Some care is needed here, we argue, otherwise one ends up denying a tautology or embracing a contradiction. In the end, we think there are only two strategies available to someone who wants to be a non-factualist about something, and remain within (...)
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  • Ontological Commitment in the Vernacular.Jody Azzouni - 2007 - Noûs 41 (2):204–226.
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  • The Institution of Philosophy: Escaping Disciplinary Capture.Adam Briggle & Robert Frodeman - 2016 - Metaphilosophy 47 (1):26-38.
    Philosophers view themselves as critical thinkers par excellence. But they have overlooked the institutional arrangements that govern their lives. The early twentieth-century research university disciplined philosophers, placing them in departments, where they wrote for and were judged by their disciplinary peers. Oddly, this change has been unremarked upon, or has been treated as simply part of the necessary professionalization of an academic field of research. The department has been tacitly assumed to be a neutral space from which thought germinates; it (...)
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  • Rethinking Knowledge.Carlo Cellucci - 2015 - Metaphilosophy 46 (2):213-234.
    The view that the subject matter of epistemology is the concept of knowledge is faced with the problem that all attempts so far to define that concept are subject to counterexamples. As an alternative, this article argues that the subject matter of epistemology is knowledge itself rather than the concept of knowledge. Moreover, knowledge is not merely a state of mind but rather a certain kind of response to the environment that is essential for survival. In this perspective, the article (...)
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  • Physical Scale Effects and Philosophical Thought Experiments.Robert Klee - 2008 - Metaphilosophy 39 (1):89–104.
    The scales across which physical properties exist are vast and subtle in their effects on particular systems placed locally on such scales. For example, human experiential access is restricted only to partial segments of the mass density, size, and temperature scales of the universe. I argue that philosophers must learn to appreciate better the effects of physical scales. Specifically, thought experiments in philosophy should be more sensitive to physical scale effects, because the conclusion of a thought experiment may be undermined (...)
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  • Naturalism Radicalized.Javier Rodríguez-alcázar - 1996 - Metaphilosophy 27 (4):356-380.
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  • Practical‐Political Jurisprudence and the Dual Nature of Law.Sarah Nason - 2013 - Ratio Juris 26 (3):430-455.
    Law contains many dualities, though most, if not all, of these dualities resolve into one complex puzzle: To what extent is law a matter of pure social facts, or moral value untethered to social facts? I argue that each concept of law reconciles this duality in a different way on the basis of certain beneficial consequences that might result. Instead of pitting concepts against one another universally, we should accept that the balance between law's social fact and moral value dimensions (...)
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  • What is so Practical About Theory? Lewin Revisited.Lloyd E. Sandelands - 1990 - Journal for the Theory of Social Behaviour 20 (3):235–262.
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  • Quine’s Intuition: Why Quine’s Early Nominalism is Naturalistic.James Andrew Smith - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (5):1199-1218.
    According to a growing consensus in the secondary literature on Quine, the judgment Quine makes in favor of the nominalism outlined in “Steps Toward a Constructive Nominalism” is in tension with the naturalism he later adopts. In this paper, I show the consensus view is mistaken by showing that Quine’s judgment is rooted in a naturalistic standard of clarity. Moreover, I argue that Quine late in his career is committed to accepting one plausible reading of his judgment in 1947. In (...)
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  • Scientific Philosophy and the Critique of Metaphysics from Russell to Carnap to Quine.Sean Morris - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (4):773-799.
    In his “Wissenschaftslogik: The Role of Logic in the Philosophy of Science,” Michael Friedman argues that Carnap’s philosophy of science “is fundamentally anti-metaphysical—he aims to use the tools of mathematical logic to dissolve rather [than] solve traditional philosophical problems—and it is precisely this point that is missed by his logically-minded contemporaries such as Hempel and Quine”. In this paper, I take issue with this claim, arguing that Quine, too, is a part of this anti-metaphysical tradition. I begin in section I (...)
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  • No Pain, No Gain (in Darwinian Fitness): A Representational Account of Affective Experience.Benjamin Kozuch - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (3):693-714.
    Reductive representationalist theories of consciousness are yet to produce a satisfying account of pain’s affective component, the part that makes it painful. The paramount problem here is that that there seems to be no suitable candidate for what affective experience represents. This article suggests that affective experience represents the Darwinian fitness effects of events. I argue that, because of affective experience’s close association with motivation, natural selection will work to bring affect into covariance with the average fitness effects of types (...)
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  • Buffon, Darwin, and the Non-Individuality of Species – a Reply to Jean Gayon.David N. Stamos - 1998 - Biology and Philosophy 13 (3):443-470.
    Gayon's recent claim that Buffon developed a concept of species as physical individuals is critically examined and rejected. Also critically examined and rejected is Gayon's more central thesis that as a consequence of his analysis of Buffon's species concept, and also of Darwin's species concept, it is clear that modern evolutionary theory does not require species to be physical individuals. While I agree with Gayon's conclusion that modern evolutionary theory does not require species to be physical individuals, I disagree with (...)
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