111 found

Year:

  1. Keep the chickens cooped: the epistemic inadequacy of free range metaphysics.Amanda Bryant - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):1867-1887.
    This paper aims to better motivate the naturalization of metaphysics by identifying and criticizing a class of theories I call ’free range metaphysics’. I argue that free range metaphysics is epistemically inadequate because the constraints on its content—consistency, simplicity, intuitive plausibility, and explanatory power—are insufficiently robust and justificatory. However, since free range metaphysics yields clarity-conducive techniques, incubates science, and produces conceptual and formal tools useful for scientifically engaged philosophy, I do not recommend its discontinuation. I do recommend, however, ending the (...)
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  2.  6
    A Proposal for a Minimalist Ontology.Michael Esfeld - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):1889-1905.
    This paper seeks to answer the following question: What is a minimal set of entities that form an ontology of the natural world, given our well-established physical theories? The proposal is that the following two axioms are sufficient to obtain such a minimalist ontology: There are distance relations that individuate simple objects, namely matter points. The matter points are permanent, with the distances between them changing. I sketch out how one can obtain our well-established physical theories on the basis of (...)
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  3.  90
    Right out of the box: how to situate metaphysics of science in relation to other metaphysical approaches.Alexandre Guay & Thomas Pradeu - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):1847-1866.
    Several advocates of the lively field of “metaphysics of science” have recently argued that a naturalistic metaphysics should be based solely on current science, and that it should replace more traditional, intuition-based, forms of metaphysics. The aim of the present paper is to assess that claim by examining the relations between metaphysics of science and general metaphysics. We show that the current metaphysical battlefield is richer and more complex than a simple dichotomy between “metaphysics of science” and “traditional metaphysics”, and (...)
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  4. Neural correlates without reduction: the case of the critical period.Muhammad Ali Khalidi - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):1-13.
    Researchers in the cognitive sciences often seek neural correlates of psychological constructs. In this paper, I argue that even when these correlates are discovered, they do not always lead to reductive outcomes. To this end, I examine the psychological construct of a critical period and briefly describe research identifying its neural correlates. Although the critical period is correlated with certain neural mechanisms, this does not imply that there is a reductionist relationship between this psychological construct and its neural correlates. Instead, (...)
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  5.  15
    Introduction: new trends in the metaphysics of science.Max Kistler - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):1841-1846.
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  6.  32
    Sellars’ metaethical quasi-realism.Griffin Klemick - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2215-2243.
    In this article, I expound and defend an interpretation of Sellars as a metaethical quasi-realist. Sellars analyzes moral discourse in non-cognitivist terms: in particular, he analyzes “ought”-statements as expressions of collective intentions deriving from a collective commitment to provide for the general welfare. But he also endorses a functional-role theory of meaning, on which a statement’s meaning is grounded in its being governed by semantical rules concerning language entry, intra-linguistic, and language departure transitions, and a theory of truth as correct (...)
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  7.  38
    Concepts and categorization: do philosophers and psychologists theorize about different things?Guido Löhr - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2171-2191.
    I discuss Edouard Machery’s claim that philosophers and psychologists when using the term ‘concept’ are really theorizing about different things. This view is not new, but it has never been developed or defended in detail. Once spelled out, we can see that Machery is right that the psychological literature uses a different notion of concept. However, Machery fails to acknowledge that the two notions are not only compatible but complementary. This fits more with the traditional view according to which philosophers (...)
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  8.  37
    Synergic kinds.Manolo Martínez - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):1931-1946.
    According to the homeostatic property cluster family of accounts, one of the main conditions for groups of properties to count as natural is that these properties be frequently co-instantiated. I argue that this condition is, in fact, not necessary for natural-kindness. Furthermore, even when it is present, the focus on co-occurrence distorts the role natural kinds play in science. Co-occurrence corresponds to what information theorists call redundancy: observing the presence of some of the properties in a frequently co-occurrent cluster makes (...)
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  9.  57
    Extended mind, functionalism and personal identity.Miljana Milojevic - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2143-2170.
    In this paper, I address one recent objection to Andy Clark and David Chalmers’s functionalist argument for the extended mind thesis. This objection is posed by Kengo Miyazono, who claims that they unjustifiably identify the original cognitive subject with the hybrid one in order to reach their conclusion about the mind extension. His attack consists of three steps: distinguishing hybrid from traditional cognitive subjects based on the systems reply originally directed at Searle’s Chinese room argument; pointing out that the conclusion (...)
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  10. Can We Perceive Mental States?Eleonore Neufeld - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2245-2269.
    In this paper, I defend Non-Inferentialism about mental states, the view that we can perceive some mental states in a direct, non-inferential way. First, I discuss how the question of mental state perception is to be understood in light of recent debates in the philosophy of perception, and reconstruct Non-Inferentialism in a way that makes the question at hand—whether we can perceive mental states or not—scientifically tractable. Next, I motivate Non-Inferentialism by showing that under the assumption of the widely-accepted Principle (...)
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  11.  4
    Incubating a future metaphysics: quantum gravity.Joshua Norton - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):1961-1982.
    In this paper, I will argue that metaphysicians ought to utilize quantum theories of gravity as incubators for a future metaphysics. I will argue why this ought to be done and will present cases studies from the history of science where physical theories have challenged both the dogmatic and speculative metaphysician. I provide two theories of QG and demonstrate the challenge they pose to certain aspects of our current metaphysics; in particular, how they challenge our understanding of the abstract–concrete distinction. (...)
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  12.  64
    Benacerraf, Field, and the agreement of mathematicians.Eileen S. Nutting - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2095-2110.
    Hartry Field’s epistemological challenge to the mathematical platonist is often cast as an improvement on Paul Benacerraf’s original epistemological challenge. I disagree. While Field’s challenge is more difficult for the platonist to address than Benacerraf’s, I argue that this is because Field’s version is a special case of what I call the ‘sociological challenge’. The sociological challenge applies equally to platonists and fictionalists, and addressing it requires a serious examination of mathematical practice. I argue that the non-sociological part of Field’s (...)
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  13.  65
    Self-ascription and the de se.James Openshaw - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2039-2050.
    This paper defends Lewis’ influential treatment of de se attitudes from recent criticism to the effect that a key explanatory notion—self-ascription—goes unexplained The Blackwell companion to David Lewis, Blackwell, Oxford, pp. 399–410, 2015). It is shown that Lewis’ treatment can be reconstructed in a way which provides clear responses. This sheds light on the explanatory ambitions of those engaged in Lewis’ project.
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  14. How Genealogies Can Affect the Space of Reasons.Matthieu Queloz - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2005-2027.
    Can genealogical explanations affect the space of reasons? Those who think so commonly face two objections. The first objection maintains that attempts to derive reasons from claims about the genesis of something commit the genetic fallacy—they conflate genesis and justification. One way for genealogies to side-step this objection is to focus on the functional origins of practices—to show that, given certain facts about us and our environment, certain conceptual practices are rational because apt responses. But this invites a second objection, (...)
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  15.  23
    A note on Horwich’s notion of grounding.Thomas Schindler - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2029-2038.
    Horwich proposes a solution to the liar paradox that relies on a particular notion of grounding—one that, unlike Kripke’s notion of grounding, does not invoke any “Tarski-style compositional principles”. In this short note, we will formalize Horwich’s construction and argue that his solution to the liar paradox does not justify certain generalizations about truth that he endorses. We argue that this situation is not resolved even if one appeals to the \-rule. In the final section, we briefly discuss how Horwich (...)
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  16.  49
    Why mental content is not like water: reconsidering the reductive claims of teleosemantics.Peter Schulte - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2271-2290.
    According to standard teleosemantics, intentional states are selectional states. This claim is put forward not as a conceptual analysis, but as a ‘theoretical reduction’—an a posteriori hypothesis analogous to ‘water = H2O’. Critics have tried to show that this meta-theoretical conception of teleosemantics leads to unacceptable consequences. In this paper, I argue that there is indeed a fundamental problem with the water/H2O analogy, as it is usually construed, and that teleosemanticists should therefore reject it. Fortunately, there exists a viable alternative (...)
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  17.  13
    Normative commitments, causal structure, and policy disagreement.Georgie Statham - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):1983-2003.
    Recently, there has been a large amount of support for the idea that causal claims can be sensitive to normative considerations. Previous work has focused on the concept of actual causation, defending the claim that whether or not some token event c is a cause of another token event e is influenced by both statistical and prescriptive norms. I focus on the policy debate surrounding alternative energies, and use the causal modelling framework to show that in this context, people’s normative (...)
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  18. So close no matter how far: counterfactuals in history of science and the inevitability/contingency controversy.Luca Tambolo - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2111-2141.
    This paper has a twofold purpose. First, it aims at highlighting one difference in how counterfactuals work in general history, on the one hand, and in history of the natural sciences, on the other hand. As we show, both in general history and in history of science good counterfactual narratives need to be plausible, where plausibility is construed as appropriate continuity of both the antecedent and the consequent of the counterfactual with what we know about the world. However, in general (...)
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  19.  37
    Emotions, concepts and the indeterminacy of natural kinds.Henry Taylor - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2073-2093.
    A central question for philosophical psychology is which mental faculties form natural kinds. There is hot debate over the kind status of faculties as diverse as consciousness, seeing, concepts, emotions, constancy and the senses. In this paper, I take emotions and concepts as my main focus, and argue that questions over the kind status of these faculties are complicated by the undeservedly overlooked fact that natural kinds are indeterminate in certain ways. I will show that indeterminacy issues have led to (...)
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  20.  34
    Back to the actual future.Jacek Wawer & Alex Malpass - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2193-2213.
    The purpose of the paper is to rethink the role of actuality in the branching model of possibilities. We investigate the idea that the model should be enriched with an additional factor—the so-called Thin Red Line—which is supposed to represent the single possible course of events that gets actualized in time. We believe that this idea was often misconceived which prompted some unfortunate reactions. On the one hand, it suggested problematic semantic models of future tense and and on the other, (...)
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  21.  23
    Credence for conclusions: a brief for Jeffrey’s rule.John R. Welch - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):2051-2072.
    Some arguments are good; others are not. How can we tell the difference? This article advances three proposals as a partial answer to this question. The proposals are keyed to arguments conditioned by different degrees of uncertainty: mild, where the argument’s premises are hedged with point-valued probabilities; moderate, where the premises are hedged with interval probabilities; and severe, where the premises are hedged with non-numeric plausibilities such as ‘very likely’ or ‘unconfirmed’. For mild uncertainty, the article proposes to apply a (...)
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  22.  10
    Physical modality, laws, and counterfactuals.James Woodward - 2020 - Synthese 197 (5):1907-1929.
    Standard philosophical accounts attempt to understand physical modality either in terms of special metaphysical entities and relationships or in terms of the organization of non-modal information, as in Best Systems Analysis. This paper defends an alternative to both these approaches in which invariance and various independence conditions play a central role. The methodological importance of separating law-claims from claims about initial and boundary conditions is highlighted.
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  23.  29
    Truthmaker Maximalism and the Truthmaker Paradox.Elke Brendel - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1647-1660.
    According to truthmaker maximalism, each truth has a truthmaker. Peter Milne has attempted to refute truthmaker maximalism on mere logical grounds via the construction of a self-referential truthmaker sentence M “saying” of itself that it doesn’t have a truthmaker. Milne argues that M turns out to be a true sentence without a truthmaker and thus provides a counterexample to truthmaker maximalism. In this paper, I show that Milne’s refutation of truthmaker maximalism does not succeed. In particular, I argue that the (...)
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  24.  65
    Scoring in Context.Igor Douven - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1565-1580.
    A number of authors have recently put forward arguments pro or contra various rules for scoring probability estimates. In doing so, they have skipped over a potentially important consideration in making such assessments, to wit, that the hypotheses whose probabilities are estimated can approximate the truth to different degrees. Once this is recognized, it becomes apparent that the question of how to assess probability estimates depends heavily on context.
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  25.  23
    How and Why We Reason From is to Ought.Jonathan St B. T. Evans & Shira Elqayam - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1429-1446.
    Originally identified by Hume, the validity of is–ought inference is much debated in the meta-ethics literature. Our work shows that inference from is to ought typically proceeds from contextualised, value-laden causal utility conditional, bridging into a deontic conclusion. Such conditional statements tell us what actions are needed to achieve or avoid consequences that are good or bad. Psychological research has established that people generally reason fluently and easily with utility conditionals. Our own research also has shown that people’s reasoning from (...)
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  26.  1
    An Optimality-Argument for Equal Weighting.Christian J. Feldbacher-Escamilla - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1543-1563.
    There are several proposals to resolve the problem of epistemic peer disagreement which concentrate on the question of how to incorporate evidence of such a disagreement. The main positions in this field are the equal weight view, the steadfast view, and the total evidence view. In this paper we present a new argument in favour of the equal weight view. As we will show, this view results from a general approach of forming epistemic attitudes in an optimal way. By this, (...)
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  27.  2
    A Partial Consequence Account of Truthlikeness.Roberto Festa & Gustavo Cevolani - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1627-1646.
    Popper’s original definition of truthlikeness relied on a central insight: that truthlikeness combines truth and information, in the sense that a proposition is closer to the truth the more true consequences and the less false consequences it entails. As intuitively compelling as this definition may be, it is untenable, as proved long ago; still, one can arguably rely on Popper’s intuition to provide an adequate account of truthlikeness. To this aim, we mobilize some classical work on partial entailment in defining (...)
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  28.  16
    Truth tracking performance of social networks: how connectivity and clustering can make groups less competent.Ulrike Hahn, Jens Ulrik Hansen & Erik J. Olsson - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1511-1541.
    Our beliefs and opinions are shaped by others, making our social networks crucial in determining what we believe to be true. Sometimes this is for the good because our peers help us form a more accurate opinion. Sometimes it is for the worse because we are led astray. In this context, we address via agent-based computer simulations the extent to which patterns of connectivity within our social networks affect the likelihood that initially undecided agents in a network converge on a (...)
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  29.  17
    Correction to: Ontological commitments of frame-based knowledge representations.David Hommen - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1839-1840.
    In Hommen, I refer to the work of Garcia in Garcia. In this addendum, I would like to supplement additional references to these papers.
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  30. Processes, Pre-Emption and Further Problems.Andreas Hüttemann - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1487-1509.
    In this paper I will argue that what makes our ordinary judgements about token causation true can be explicated in terms of interferences into quasi-inertial processes. These interferences and quasi-inertial processes can in turn be fully explicated in scientific terms. In this sense the account presented here is reductive. I will furthermore argue that this version of a process-theory of causation can deal with the traditional problems that process theories have to face, such as the problem of misconnection and the (...)
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  31.  40
    On Causality as the Fundamental Concept of Gödel’s Philosophy.Srećko Kovač - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1803-1838.
    This paper proposes a possible reconstruction and philosophical-logical clarification of Gödel's idea of causality as the philosophical fundamental concept. The results are based on Gödel's published and non-published texts (including Max Phil notebooks), and are established on the ground of interconnections of Gödel's dispersed remarks on causality, as well as on the ground of his general philosophical views. The paper is logically informal but is connected with already achieved results in the formalization of a causal account of Gödel's onto-theological theory. (...)
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  32.  3
    Refined Nomic Truth Approximation by Revising Models and Postulates.Theo A. F. Kuipers - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1601-1625.
    Assuming that the target of theory oriented empirical science in general and of nomic truth approximation in particular is to characterize the boundary or demarcation between nomic possibilities and nomic impossibilities, I have presented, in my article entitled “Models, postulates, and generalized nomic truth approximation” :3057–3077, 2016. 10.1007/s11229-015-0916-9), the ‘basic’ version of generalized nomic truth approximation, starting from ‘two-sided’ theories. Its main claim is that nomic truth approximation can perfectly be achieved by combining two prima facie opposing views on theories: (...)
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  33.  44
    On Salience and Signaling in Sender–Receiver Games: Partial Pooling, Learning, and Focal Points.Travis LaCroix - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1725-1747.
    I introduce an extension of the Lewis-Skyrms signaling game, analysed from a dynamical perspective via simple reinforcement learning. In Lewis’ (Convention, Blackwell, Oxford, 1969) conception of a signaling game, salience is offered as an explanation for how individuals may come to agree upon a linguistic convention. Skyrms (Signals: evolution, learning & information, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2010a) offers a dynamic explanation of how signaling conventions might arise presupposing no salience whatsoever. The extension of the atomic signaling game examined here—which I (...)
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  34.  4
    Truthlikeness: Old and New Debates.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1581-1599.
    The notion of truthlikeness or verisimilitude has been a topic of intensive discussion ever since the definition proposed by Karl Popper was refuted in 1974. This paper gives an analysis of old and new debates about this notion. There is a fairly large agreement about the truthlikeness ordering of conjunctive theories, but the main rival approaches differ especially about false disjunctive theories. Continuing the debate between Niiniluoto’s min-sum measure and Schurz’s relevant consequence measure, the paper also gives a critical assessment (...)
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  35.  3
    A New Proposal How to Handle Counterexamples to Markov Causation À la Cartwright, Or: Fixing the Chemical Factory.Nina Retzlaff & Alexander Gebharter - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1467-1486.
    Cartwright :3–27, 1999a; The dappled world, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1999b) attacked the view that causal relations conform to the Markov condition by providing a counterexample in which a common cause does not screen off its effects: the prominent chemical factory. In this paper we suggest a new way to handle counterexamples to Markov causation such as the chemical factory. We argue that Cartwright’s as well as similar scenarios feature a certain kind of non-causal dependence that kicks in once the (...)
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  36.  60
    Unfelt pain.Kevin Reuter & Justin Sytsma - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1777-1801.
    The standard view in philosophy treats pains as phenomenally conscious mental states. This view has a number of corollaries, including that it is generally taken to rule out the existence of unfelt pains. The primary argument in support of the standard view is that it supposedly corresponds with the commonsense conception of pain. In this paper, we challenge this doctrine about the commonsense conception of pain, and with it the support offered for the standard view, by presenting the results of (...)
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  37.  1
    Twelve Great Papers: Comments and Replies. Response to a Special Issue on Logical Perspectives on Science and Cognition—The Philosophy of Gerhard Schurz.Gerhard Schurz - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1661-1695.
    This is a response to the papers in the special issue Logical Perspectives on Science and Cognition—The Philosophy of Gerhard Schurz.
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  38.  5
    Defeasible Normative Reasoning.Wolfgang Spohn - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1391-1428.
    The paper is motivated by the need of accounting for the practical syllogism as a piece of defeasible reasoning. To meet the need, the paper first refers to ranking theory as an account of defeasible descriptive reasoning. It then argues that two kinds of ought need to be distinguished, purely normative and fact-regarding obligations. It continues arguing that both kinds of ought can be iteratively revised and should hence be represented by ranking functions, too, just as iteratively revisable beliefs. Its (...)
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  39.  37
    Plurivaluationism, supersententialism and the problem of the many languages.Rohan Sud - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1697-1723.
    According to the plurivaluationist, our vague discourse doesn’t have a single meaning. Instead, it has many meanings, each of which is precise—and it is this plurality of meanings that is the source of vagueness. I believe plurivaluationist positions are underdeveloped and for this reason unpopular. This paper attempts to correct this situation by offering a particular development of plurivaluationism that I call supersententialism. The supersententialist leverages lessons from another area of research—the Problem of the Many—in service of the plurivaluationist position. (...)
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  40.  2
    Introduction to the Special Issue “Logical Perspectives on Science and Cognition”.Markus Werning, Peter Brössel, Alexander Gebharter & Christian J. Feldbacher-Escamilla - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1381-1390.
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  41.  57
    Predictive Coding and Thought.Daniel Williams - 2020 - Synthese 197 (4):1749-1775.
    Predictive processing has recently been advanced as a global cognitive architecture for the brain. I argue that its commitments concerning the nature and format of cognitive representation are inadequate to account for two basic characteristics of conceptual thought: first, its generality—the fact that we can think and flexibly reason about phenomena at any level of spatial and temporal scale and abstraction; second, its rich compositionality—the specific way in which concepts productively combine to yield our thoughts. I consider two strategies for (...)
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  42. Why Metaphysical Debates Are Not Merely Verbal.Mark Balaguer - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1181-1201.
    A number of philosophers have argued in recent years that certain kinds of metaphysical debates—e.g., debates over the existence of past and future objects, mereological sums, and coincident objects—are merely verbal. It is argued in this paper that metaphysical debates are not merely verbal. The paper proceeds by uncovering and describing a pattern that can be found in a very wide range of philosophical problems and then explaining how, in connection with any problem of this general kind, there is always (...)
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  43.  82
    Implicit Attitudes and Awareness.Jacob Berger - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1291-1312.
    I offer here a new hypothesis about the nature of implicit attitudes. Psy- chologists and philosophers alike often distinguish implicit from explicit attitudes by maintaining that we are aware of the latter, but not aware of the former. Recent experimental evidence, however, seems to challenge this account. It would seem, for example, that participants are frequently quite adept at predicting their own perfor- mances on measures of implicit attitudes. I propose here that most theorists in this area have nonetheless overlooked (...)
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  44.  3
    Two Roads to the Successor Axiom.Stefan Buijsman - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1241-1261.
    Most accounts of our knowledge of the successor axiom claim that this is based on the procedure of adding one. While they usually don’t claim to provide an account of how children actually acquire this knowledge, one may well think that this is how they get that knowledge. I argue that when we look at children’s responses in interviews, the time when they learn the successor axiom and the intermediate learning stages they find themselves in, that there is an empirically (...)
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  45.  24
    Self-Forming Actions, Contrastive Explanations, and the Structure of the Will.Neil Campbell - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1225-1240.
    Robert Kane’s libertarian theory is often attacked on the grounds that undetermined self-forming actions are not amenable to contrastive explanation. I propose that we should understand contrastive explanations in terms of an appeal to structuring causes. Doing so reveals that Kane’s claim that there can be no contrastive explanation for self-forming actions is not an unwanted implication of his appeal to indeterminism, but is actually an implication of the fact that the agent’s will is not yet appropriately structured. I then (...)
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  46.  31
    The Constituents of an Explication.Moritz Cordes - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):983-1010.
    The method of explication has been somewhat of a hot topic in the last 10 years. Despite the multifaceted research that has been directed at the issue, one may perceive a lack of step-by-step procedural or structural accounts of explication. This paper aims at providing a structural account of the method of explication in continuation of the works of Geo Siegwart. It is enhanced with a detailed terminology for the assessment and comparison of explications. The aim is to provide means (...)
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  47. Philosophical Methods Under Scrutiny: Introduction to the Special Issue "Philosophical Methods".Anna-Maria A. Eder, Insa Lawler & Raphael van Riel - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):915-923.
    This paper is the introduction to the Special Issue “Philosophical Methods”. The Special Issue will be published by Synthese.
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  48. Philosophical Expertise Under the Microscope.Miguel Egler & Lewis Dylan Ross - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1077-1098.
    Recent experimental studies indicate that epistemically irrelevant factors can skew our intuitions, and that some degree of scepticism about appealing to intuition in philosophy is warranted. In response, some have claimed that philosophers are experts in such a way as to vindicate their reliance on intuitions—this has become known as the ‘expertise defence’. This paper explores the viability of the expertise defence, and suggests that it can be partially vindicated. Arguing that extant discussion is problematically imprecise, we will finesse the (...)
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  49.  25
    On Question-Begging and Analytic Content.Z. Elgin Samuel - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1149-1163.
    Among contemporary philosophers, there is widespread consensus that begging the question is a grave argumentative flaw. However, there is presently no satisfactory analysis of what this flaw consists of. Here, I defend a notion of question-begging in terms of analyticity. In particular, I argue that an argument begs the question just in case its conclusion is an analytic part of the conjunction of its premises.
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  50.  5
    The Brain Attics: The Strategic Role of Memory in Single and Multi-Agent Inquiry.Emmanuel J. Genot & Justine Jacot - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1203-1224.
    M. B. Hintikka and J. Hintikka claimed that their reconstruction of the ‘Sherlock Holmes sense of deduction’ can “serve as an explication for the link between intelligence and memory”. The claim is vindicated, first for the single-agent case, where the reconstruction captures strategies for accessing the content of a distributed and associative memory; then, for the multi-agent case, where the reconstruction captures strategies for accessing knowledge distributed in a community. Moreover, the reconstruction of the ‘Sherlock Holmes sense of deduction’ allows (...)
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  51.  28
    Causal Powers and Social Ontology.Tobias Hansson Wahlberg - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1357-1377.
    Over the last few decades, philosophers and social scientists have applied the so-called powers ontology to the social domain. I argue that this application is highly problematic: many of the alleged powers in the social realm violate the intrinsicality condition, and those that can be coherently taken to be intrinsic to their bearers are arguably causally redundant. I end the paper by offering a diagnosis of why philosophers and social scientists have been tempted to think that there are powers in (...)
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  52.  45
    Correction To: Bad Company Objection to Joongol Kim’s Adverbial Theory of Numbers.Namjoong Kim - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1379-1379.
    Unfortunately, there is a typo in the author name. The correct spelling is Namjoong Kim. The author name was updated in the original publication.
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  53.  38
    Explication as a Strategy for Revisionary Philosophy.Eve Kitsik - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1035-1056.
    I will defend explication, in a Carnapian sense, as a strategy for revisionary ontologists and radical sceptics. The idea is that these revisionary philosophers should explicitly commit to using expressions like “S knows that p” and “Fs exist” differently from how these expressions are used in everyday contexts. I will first motivate this commitment for these revisionary philosophers. Then, I will address the main worries that arise for this strategy: the unintelligibility worry and the topic shift worry. I will focus (...)
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  54. Regression to the Mean and Judy Benjamin.Randall G. McCutcheon - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1343-1355.
    Van Fraassen's Judy Benjamin problem asks how one ought to update one's credence in A upon receiving evidence of the sort ``A may or may not obtain, but B is k times likelier than C'', where {A,B,C} is a partition. Van Fraassen's solution, in the limiting case of increasing k, recommends a posterior converging to the probability of A conditional on A union B, where P is one's prior probability function. Grove and Halpern, and more recently Douven and Romeijn, have (...)
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  55.  52
    On Strawson’s Critique of Explication as a Method in Philosophy.Mark Pinder - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):955-981.
    In the course of theorising, it can be appropriate to replace one concept—a folk concept, or one drawn from an earlier stage of theorising—with a more precise counterpart. The best-known account of concept replacement is Rudolf Carnap’s ‘explication’. P.F. Strawson famously critiqued explication as a method in philosophy. As the critique is standardly construed, it amounts to the objection that explication is ‘irrelevant’, fails to be ‘illuminating’, or simply ‘changes the subject’. In this paper, I argue that this is an (...)
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  56. The Hybrid Contents of Memory.André Sant’Anna - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1263-1290.
    This paper proposes a novel account of the contents of memory. By drawing on insights from the philosophy of perception, I propose a hybrid account of the contents of memory designed to preserve important aspects of representationalist and relationalist views. The hybrid view I propose also contributes to two ongoing debates in philosophy of memory. First, I argue that, in opposition to eternalist views, the hybrid view offers a less metaphysically-charged solution to the co-temporality problem. Second, I show how the (...)
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  57.  27
    Experience and Reasoning: Challenging the a Priori/a Posteriori Distinction.Daniele Sgaravatti - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1127-1148.
    Williamson and others have recently argued against the significance of the a priori/a posteriori distinction. My aim in this paper is to explain, defend, and expand upon one of these arguments. In the first section, I develop in some detail a line of argument sketched in Williamson. In the second section, I consider two replies to Williamson and show that they miss the structure of the challenge, as I understand it. The problem for defenders of the distinction is to find (...)
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  58.  16
    Pleonastic Propositions and the Face Value Theory.Alex Steinberg - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1165-1180.
    Propositions are a useful tool in philosophical theorizing, even though they are not beyond reasonable nominalistic doubts. Stephen Schiffer’s pleonasticism about propositions is a paradigm example of a realistic account that tries to alleviate such doubts by grounding truths about propositions in ontologically innocent facts. Schiffer maintains two characteristic theses about propositions: first, that they are so-called pleonastic entities whose existence is subject to what he calls something-from-nothing transformations ; and, second, that they are the referents of ‘that’-clauses that function (...)
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  59.  43
    Enactment and Construction of the Cognitive Niche: Toward an Ontology of the Mind-World Connection.Konrad Werner - 2020 - Synthese 197 (3):1313-1341.
    The paper discusses the concept of the cognitive niche and distinguishes the latter from the metabolic niche. By using these posits I unpack certain ideas that are crucial for the enactivist movement, especially for its original formulation proposed by Varela, Thompson and Rosh. Drawing on the ontology of location, boundaries, and parthood, I argue that enacting the world can be seen as the process of cognitive niche construction. Moreover, it turns out that enactivism—as seen through the lens of the conceptual (...)
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  60.  54
    Epistemic Freedom Revisited.Gregory Antill - 2020 - Synthese 197 (2):793-815.
    Philosophers have recently argued that self-fulfilling beliefs constitute an important counter-example to the widely accepted theses that we ought not and cannot believe at will. Cases of self-fulfilling belief are thought to constitute a special class where we enjoy the epistemic freedom to permissibly believe for pragmatic reasons, because whatever we choose to believe will end up true. In this paper, I argue that this view fails to distinguish between the aim of acquiring a true belief and the aim of (...)
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  61.  10
    Introduction.Carolin Antos, Neil Barton, Sy-David Friedman, Claudio Ternullo & John Wigglesworth - 2020 - Synthese 197 (2):469-475.
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  62.  35
    Is Maximin Egalitarian?Jacob Barrett - 2020 - Synthese 197 (2):817-837.
    According to the Maximin principle of distributive justice, one outcome is more just than another if the worst off individual in the first outcome is better off than the worst off individual in the second. This is often interpreted as a highly egalitarian principle, and, more specifically, as a highly egalitarian way of balancing a concern with equality against a concern with efficiency. But this interpretation faces a challenge: why should a concern with efficiency and equality lead us to a (...)
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  63.  30
    Diversity and Rights: A Social Choice-Theoretic Analysis of the Possibility of Public Reason.Hun Chung & Brian Kogelmann - 2020 - Synthese 197 (2):839-865.
    Public reason liberalism takes as its starting point the deep and irreconcilable diversity we find characterizing liberal societies. This deep and irreconcilable diversity creates problems for social order. One method for adjudicating these conflicts is through the use of rights. This paper is about the ability of such rights to adjudicate disputes when perspectival disagreements—or disagreements over how to categorize objects in the world—obtain. We present both formal possibility and impossibility results for rights structures under varying degrees of perspectival diversity. (...)
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  64.  8
    Correction To: Expressing ‘the Structure of’ in Homotopy Type Theory.David Corfield - 2020 - Synthese 197 (2):701-701.
    The original article has been corrected. The article is published with Open Access but was missing Open Access information. This has been added.
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  65.  24
    Expressing ‘the Structure of’ in Homotopy Type Theory.David Corfield - 2020 - Synthese 197 (2):681-700.
    As a new foundational language for mathematics with its very different idea as to the status of logic, we should expect homotopy type theory to shed new light on some of the problems of philosophy which have been treated by logic. In this article, definite description, and in particular its employment within mathematics, is formulated within the type theory. Homotopy type theory has been proposed as an inherently structuralist foundational language for mathematics. Using the new formulation of definite descriptions, opportunities (...)
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  66.  9
    Maximality and Ontology: How Axiom Content Varies Across Philosophical Frameworks.Sy-David Friedman & Neil Barton - 2020 - Synthese 197 (2):623-649.
    Discussion of new axioms for set theory has often focused on conceptions of maximality, and how these might relate to the iterative conception of set. This paper provides critical appraisal of how certain maximality axioms behave on different conceptions of ontology concerning the iterative conception. In particular, we argue that forms of multiversism and actualism face complementary problems. The latter view is unable to use maximality axioms that make use of extensions, where the former has to contend with the existence (...)
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  67.  1
    What Paradoxes Depend On.Ming Hsiung - 2020 - Synthese 197 (2):887-913.
    This paper gives a definition of self-reference on the basis of the dependence relation given by Leitgeb :155–192, 2005), and the dependence digraph by Beringer and Schindler. Unlike the usual discussion about self-reference of paradoxes centering around Yablo’s paradox and its variants, I focus on the paradoxes of finitary characteristic, which are given again by use of Leitgeb’s dependence relation. They are called ‘locally finite paradoxes’, satisfying that any sentence in these paradoxes can depend on finitely many sentences. I prove (...)
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  68.  15
    Epistemic Theories of Objective Chance.Richard Johns - 2020 - Synthese 197 (2):703-730.
    Epistemic theories of objective chance hold that chances are idealised epistemic probabilities of some sort. After giving a brief history of this approach to objective chance, I argue for a particular version of this view, that the chance of an event E is its epistemic probability, given maximal knowledge of the possible causes of E. The main argument for this view is the demonstration that it entails all of the commonly-accepted properties of chance. For example, this analysis entails that chances (...)
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  69.  9
    Can We Resolve the Continuum Hypothesis?Shivaram Lingamneni - 2020 - Synthese 197 (2):599-622.
    I argue that contemporary set theory, as depicted in the 2011–2012 EFI lecture series, lacks a program that promises to decide, in a genuinely realist fashion, the continuum hypothesis and related questions about the “width” of the universe. We can distinguish three possible objectives for a realist completion of set theory: maximizing structures, maximizing sets, and maximizing interpretive power. However, none of these is allied to a program that can plausibly decide CH. I discuss the implications of this for set (...)
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  70. Temporal Phenomenology: Phenomenological Illusion Versus Cognitive Error.Kristie Miller, Alex Holcombe & Andrew James Latham - 2020 - Synthese 197 (2):751-771.
    Temporal non-dynamists hold that there is no temporal passage, but concede that many of us judge that it seems as though time passes. Phenomenal Illusionists suppose that things do seem this way, even though things are not this way. They attempt to explain how it is that we are subject to a pervasive phenomenal illusion. More recently, Cognitive Error Theorists have argued that our experiences do not seem that way; rather, we are subject to an error that leads us mistakenly (...)
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  71.  28
    Validity, Dialetheism and Self-Reference.Federico Matias Pailos - 2020 - Synthese 197 (2):773-792.
    It has been argued recently that dialetheist theories are unable to express the concept of naive validity. In this paper, we will show that LP\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$\mathbf {LP}$$\end{document} can be non-trivially expanded with a naive validity predicate. The resulting theory, LPVal\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$\mathbf {LP}^{\mathbf {Val}}$$\end{document} reaches this goal by adopting a weak self-referential procedure. We show that LPVal\documentclass[12pt]{minimal} \usepackage{amsmath} \usepackage{wasysym} \usepackage{amsfonts} \usepackage{amssymb} \usepackage{amsbsy} \usepackage{mathrsfs} \usepackage{upgreek} \setlength{\oddsidemargin}{-69pt} \begin{document}$$\mathbf (...)
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  72.  12
    Reverse Formalism 16.Sam Sanders - 2020 - Synthese 197 (2):497-544.
    In his remarkable paper Formalism 64, Robinson defends his eponymous position concerning the foundations of mathematics, as follows:Any mention of infinite totalities is literally meaningless.We should act as if infinite totalities really existed. Being the originator of Nonstandard Analysis, it stands to reason that Robinson would have often been faced with the opposing position that ‘some infinite totalities are more meaningful than others’, the textbook example being that of infinitesimals. For instance, Bishop and Connes have made such claims regarding infinitesimals, (...)
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  73.  17
    An Indeterminate Universe of Sets.Chris Scambler - 2020 - Synthese 197 (2):545-573.
    In this paper, I develop a view on set-theoretic ontology I call Universe-Indeterminism, according to which there is a unique but indeterminate universe of sets. I argue that Solomon Feferman’s work on semi-constructive set theories can be adapted to this project, and develop a philosophical motivation for a semi-constructive set theory closely based on Feferman’s but tailored to the Universe-Indeterminist’s viewpoint. I also compare the emergent Universe-Indeterminist view to some more familiar views on set-theoretic ontology.
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  74.  6
    Why is the Universe of Sets Not a Set?Zeynep Soysal - 2020 - Synthese 197 (2):575-597.
    According to the iterative conception of sets, standardly formalized by ZFC, there is no set of all sets. But why is there no set of all sets? A simple-minded, though unpopular, “minimal” explanation for why there is no set of all sets is that the supposition that there is contradicts some axioms of ZFC. In this paper, I first explain the core complaint against the minimal explanation, and then argue against the two main alternative answers to the guiding question. I (...)
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  75.  49
    A Meaning Explanation for HoTT.Dimitris Tsementzis - 2020 - Synthese 197 (2):651-680.
    In the Univalent Foundations of mathematics spatial notions like “point” and “path” are primitive, rather than derived, and all of mathematics is encoded in terms of them. A Homotopy Type Theory is any formal system which realizes this idea. In this paper I will focus on the question of whether a Homotopy Type Theory can be justified intuitively as a theory of shapes in the same way that ZFC can be justified intuitively as a theory of collections. I first clarify (...)
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  76. A Metasemantic Challenge for Mathematical Determinacy.Jared Warren & Daniel Waxman - 2020 - Synthese 197 (2):477-495.
    This paper investigates the determinacy of mathematics. We begin by clarifying how we are understanding the notion of determinacy before turning to the questions of whether and how famous independence results bear on issues of determinacy in mathematics. From there, we pose a metasemantic challenge for those who believe that mathematical language is determinate, motivate two important constraints on attempts to meet our challenge, and then use these constraints to develop an argument against determinacy and discuss a particularly popular approach (...)
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  77.  6
    A Statistical Analysis of Luck.Isaac Wilhelm - 2020 - Synthese 197 (2):867-885.
    A modal analysis of luck, due to Duncan Pritchard, has become quite popular in recent years. There are many reasons to like Pritchard’s analysis, but at least two compelling problems have been identified. So I propose an alternative analysis of luck based on the laws of statistical mechanics. The statistical analysis avoids the two problems facing Pritchard’s analysis, and it has many other attractive features.
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  78.  44
    Acceptable Gaps in Mathematical Proofs.Line Edslev Andersen - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):233-247.
    Mathematicians often intentionally leave gaps in their proofs. Based on interviews with mathematicians about their refereeing practices, this paper examines the character of intentional gaps in published proofs. We observe that mathematicians’ refereeing practices limit the number of certain intentional gaps in published proofs. The results provide some new perspectives on the traditional philosophical questions of the nature of proof and of what grounds mathematical knowledge.
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  79.  50
    Towards a Phenomenological Conception of Experiential Justification.Philipp Berghofer - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):155-183.
    The aim of this paper is to shed light on and develop what I call a phenomenological conception of experiential justification. According to this phenomenological conception, certain experiences gain their justificatory force from their distinctive phenomenology. Such an approach closely connects epistemology and philosophy of mind and has recently been proposed by several authors, most notably by Elijah Chudnoff, Ole Koksvik, and James Pryor. At the present time, however, there is no work that contrasts these different versions of PCEJ. This (...)
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  80.  19
    Bargaining and the Dynamics of Divisional Norms.Justin P. Bruner - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):407-425.
    Recently, philosophers have investigated the emergence and evolution of the social contract. Yet extant work is limited as it focuses on the use of simple behavioral norms in rather rigid strategic settings. Drawing on axiomatic bargaining theory, we explore the dynamics of more sophisticated norms capable of guiding behavior in a wide range of scenarios. Overall, our investigation suggests the utilitarian bargaining solution has a privileged status as it has certain stability properties other social arrangements lack.
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  81. Deflationary Metaphysics and Ordinary Language.Tim Button - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):33-57.
    Amie Thomasson and Eli Hirsch have both attempted to deflate metaphysics, by combining Carnapian ideas with an appeal to ordinary language. My main aim in this paper is to critique such deflationary appeals to ordinary language. Focussing on Thomasson, I draw two very general conclusions. First: ordinary language is a wildly complicated phenomenon. Its implicit ontological commitments can only be tackled by invoking a context principle; but this will mean that ordinary language ontology is not a trivial enterprise. Second: ordinary (...)
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  82.  10
    Duhem’s Problem Revisited: Logical Versus Epistemic Formulations and Solutions.Michael Dietrich & Phillip Honenberger - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):337-354.
    When the results of an experiment appears to disconfirm a hypothesis, how does one know whether it’s the hypothesis, or rather some auxiliary hypothesis or assumption, that is at fault? Philosophers’ answers to this question, now known as “Duhem’s problem,” have differed widely. Despite these differences, we affirm Duhem’s original position that the logical structure of this problem alone does not allow a solution. A survey of philosophical approaches to Duhem’s problem indicates that what allows any philosopher, or scientists for (...)
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  83.  41
    What Does It Take to Be a Brain Disorder?Anneli Jefferson - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):249-262.
    In this paper, I address the question whether mental disorders should be understood to be brain disorders and what conditions need to be met for a disorder to be rightly described as a brain disorder. I defend the view that mental disorders are autonomous and that a condition can be a mental disorder without at the same time being a brain disorder. I then show the consequences of this view. The most important of these is that brain differences underlying mental (...)
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  84.  14
    The C Account of Assertion: A Negative Result.Christoph Kelp & Mona Simion - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):125-137.
    According to what Williamson labels ‘the C account of assertion’, there is one and only one rule that is constitutive of assertion. This rule, the so-called ‘C Rule’, states that one must assert p only if p has property C. This paper argues that the C account of assertion is incompatible with any live proposal for C in the literature.
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  85.  40
    Third Factor Explanations and Disagreement in Metaethics.Michael Klenk - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):427-446.
    Several moral objectivists try to explain the reliability of moral beliefs by appealing to a third factor, a substantive moral claim that explains, first, why we have the moral beliefs that we have and, second, why these beliefs are true. Folke Tersman has recently suggested that moral disagreement constrains the epistemic legitimacy of third-factor explanations. Apart from constraining third-factor explanations, Tersman’s challenge could support the view that the epistemic significance of debunking explanations depends on the epistemic significance of disagreement. This (...)
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  86. Existence Predicates.Friederike Moltmann - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):311-335.
    Natural languages generally distinguishes among different existence predicates for different types of entities, such as English 'exist', 'occur', and 'obtain'. The paper gives an in-depth discussion and analysis of a range of existence predicates in natural language within the general project of descriptive metaphysics, or more specifically ‘natural language ontology’.
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  87.  26
    Social Aspects of Scientific Knowledge.Ilkka Niiniluoto - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):447-468.
    From its inception in 1987 social epistemology has been divided into analytic and critical approaches, represented by Alvin I. Goldman and Steve Fuller, respectively. In this paper, the agendas and some basic ideas of ASE and CSE are compared and assessed by bringing into the discussion also other participants of the debates on the social aspects of scientific knowledge—among them Raimo Tuomela, Philip Kitcher and Helen Longino. The six topics to be analyzed include individual and collective epistemic agents; the notion (...)
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  88.  18
    Minimalism, Supervaluations and Fixed Points.Sergi Oms - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):139-153.
    In this paper I introduce Horwich’s deflationary theory of truth, called ‘Minimalism’, and I present his proposal of how to cope with the Liar Paradox. The proposal proceeds by restricting the T-schema and, as a consequence of that, it needs a constructive specification of which instances of the T-schema are to be excluded from Minimalism. Horwich has presented, in an informal way, one construction that specifies the Minimalist theory. The main aim of the paper is to present and scrutinize some (...)
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  89.  10
    Atomic Ontology.Andrew Parisi - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):355-379.
    The aim of this article is to offer a method for determining the ontological commitments of a formalized theory. The second section shows that determining the consequence relation of a language model-theoretically entails that the ontology of a theory is tied very closely to the variables that feature in that theory. The third section develops an alternative way of determining the ontological commitments of a theory given a proof-theoretic account of the consequence relation for the language that theory is in. (...)
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  90.  5
    Motivating Dualities.James Read & Thomas Møller-Nielsen - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):263-291.
    There exists a common view that for theories related by a ‘duality’, dual models typically may be taken ab initio to represent the same physical state of affairs, i.e. to correspond to the same possible world. We question this view, by drawing a parallel with the distinction between ‘interpretational’ and ‘motivational’ approaches to symmetries.
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  91.  9
    New Perspectives in Metaontology: Introduction to the Special Issue.Carlo Rossi & Kyle Mitchell - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):1-5.
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  92.  2
    Rationality in Context: On Inequality and the Epistemic Problems of Maximizing Expected Utility.Simon Scheller, Johannes Marx & Dominik Klein - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):209-232.
    The emergence of economic inequality has often been linked to individual differences in mental or physical capacities. By means of an agent-based simulation this paper shows that neither of these is a necessary condition. Rather, inequality can arise from iterated interactions of fully rational agents. This bears consequences for our understanding of both inequality and rationality. In a setting of iterated bargaining games, we claim that expected utility maximizing agents perform suboptimally in comparison with other strategies. The reason for this (...)
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  93.  96
    Grounding and Dependence.Benjamin Schnieder - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):95-124.
    The paper deals with the notions of grounding and of existential dependence. It is shown that cases of existential dependence seem to be systematically correlated to cases of grounding and hence the question is raised what sort of tie might hold the two notions together so as to account for the observed correlation. The paper focusses on three possible ties between grounding and existential dependence: identity, definition, and grounding. A case for the definitional tie is made.
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  94.  31
    Kuhn’s “Wrong Turning” and Legacy Today.Yafeng Shan - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):381-406.
    Alexander Bird indicates that the significance of Thomas Kuhn in the history of philosophy of science is somehow paradoxical. On the one hand, Kuhn was one of the most influential and important philosophers of science in the second half of the twentieth century. On the other hand, nowadays there is little distinctively Kuhn’s legacy in the sense that most of Kuhn’s work has no longer any philosophical significance. Bird argues that the explanation of the paradox of Kuhn’s legacy is that (...)
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  95. Abductive Two-Dimensionalism: A New Route to the a Priori Identification of Necessary Truths.Biggs Stephen & Wilson Jessica - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):59-93.
    Epistemic two-dimensional semantics, advocated by Chalmers and Jackson, among others, aims to restore the link between necessity and a priority seemingly broken by Kripke, by showing how armchair access to semantic intensions provides a basis for knowledge of necessary a posteriori truths. The most compelling objections to E2D are that, for one or other reason, the requisite intensions are not accessible from the armchair. As we substantiate here, existing versions of E2D are indeed subject to such access-based objections. But, we (...)
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  96.  55
    Toward a Sharp Semantics/Pragmatics Distinction.Megan Henricks Stotts - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):185–208.
    The semantics/pragmatics distinction was once considered central to the philosophy of language, but recently the distinction’s viability and importance have been challenged. In opposition to the growing movement away from the distinction, I argue that we really do need it, and that we can draw the distinction sharply if we draw it in terms of the distinction between non-mental and mental phenomena. On my view, semantic facts arise from context-independent meaning, compositional rules, and non-mental elements of context, whereas pragmatic facts (...)
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  97. The Neo-Carnapians.Peter van Inwagen - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):7-32.
    This essay defends the neo-Quinean approach to ontology against the criticisms of two neo-Carnapians, Huw Price and Amie Thomasson.
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  98.  23
    Complementarity in Information Studies.Liqian Zhou - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):293-310.
    The principle of complementarity in physics can be generalized and extended to information studies. It helps explain the dilemma faced by information studies today. The prevailing endeavor that going beyond the limitation of formal theories and to develop a unified theory of information falls in the dilemma which is structurally homologous to the dilemmas in quantum physics. The dilemma is caused by an epistemological paradox called assignment paradox. The paradox can be removed through generalized complementarity. It means that the concept (...)
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  99.  77
    “Consciousness and Information Integration”.Berit Brogaard, Bartek Chomanski & Dimitria Electra Gatzia - 2020 - Synthese 1 (e-print).
    Integration information theories posit that the integration of information is necessary and/or sufficient for consciousness. In this paper, we focus on three of the most prominent information integration theories: Information Integration Theory (IIT), Global Workspace Theory (GWT), and Attended Intermediate-Level Theory (AIR). We begin by explicating each theory and key concepts they utilize (e.g., information, integration, etc.). We then argue that the current evidence indicates that the integration of information (as specified by each of the theories) is neither necessary nor (...)
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  100.  80
    Mereology and Identity.Massimiliano Carrara & Giorgio Lando - 2020 - Synthese 1 (Online First):1-23.
  101.  31
    Implicit Biases in Visually Guided Action.Berit Brogaard - 2020 - Synthese:1-25.
    For almost half a century dual-stream advocates have vigorously defended the view that there are two functionally specialized cortical streams of visual processing originating in the primary visual cortex: a ventral, perception-related ‘conscious’ stream and a dorsal, action-related ‘unconscious’ stream. They furthermore maintain that the perceptual and memory systems in the ventral stream are relatively shielded from the action system in the dorsal stream. In recent years, this view has come under scrutiny. Evidence points to two overlapping action pathways: a (...)
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  102.  88
    Proving Quadratic Reciprocity: Explanation, Disagreement, Transparency and Depth.William D'Alessandro - 2020 - Synthese:1-44.
    Gauss’s quadratic reciprocity theorem is among the most important results in the history of number theory. It’s also among the most mysterious: since its discovery in the late 18th century, mathematicians have regarded reciprocity as a deeply surprising fact in need of explanation. Intriguingly, though, there’s little agreement on how the theorem is best explained. Two quite different kinds of proof are most often praised as explanatory: an elementary argument that gives the theorem an intuitive geometric interpretation, due to Gauss (...)
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  103. No Commitment to the Truth.Anna-Maria A. Eder - 2020 - Synthese:1-24.
    On an evidentialist position, it is epistemically rational for us to believe propositions that are (stably) supported by our total evidence. We are epistemically permitted to believe such propositions, and perhaps even ought to do so. Epistemic rationality is normative. One popular way to explain the normativity appeals to epistemic teleology. The primary aim of this paper is to argue that appeals to epistemic teleology do not support that we ought to believe what is rational to believe, only that we (...)
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  104.  26
    Joint Actions, Commitments and the Need to Belong.Víctor Fernandez Castro & Elisabeth Pacherie - 2020 - Synthese:1-30.
    This paper concerns the credibility problem for commitments. Commitments play an important role in cooperative human interactions and can dramatically improve the performance of joint actions by stabilizing expectations, reducing the uncertainty of the interaction, providing reasons to cooperate or improving action coordination. However, commitments can only serve these functions if they are credible in the first place. What is it then that insures the credibility of commitments? To answer this question, we need to provide an account of what motivates (...)
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  105.  23
    Truth and Ignorance.Brent G. Kyle - 2020 - Synthese:1-24.
    I argue that the Standard View of ignorance is at odds with the claim that knowledge entails truth. In particular, if knowledge entails truth then we cannot explain away some apparent absurdities that arise from the Standard View of ignorance. I then discuss a modified version of the Standard View, which simply adds a truth requirement to the original Standard View. I show that the two main arguments for the original Standard View fail to support this modified view.
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  106.  14
    Emergence and Structural Properties.Michele Paolini Paoletti - 2020 - Synthese:1-24.
    I present in this article a new theory of structural properties or, more precisely, of structural kinds, such as being methane. According to this theory, structural kinds are kinds that are both emergent and sustained in their existence. In the first section, I introduce structural properties and four problems that affect the most widely held conception of them, namely, the pictorial conception. In the second section, I introduce some theses about emergence, powers, emergent powers, relations and structures that I have (...)
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  107.  14
    Conceptual Engineering for Truth: Aletheic Properties and New Aletheic Concepts.Kevin Scharp - 2020 - Synthese:1-42.
    What is the property of being true like? To answer this question, begin with a Canberra-plan analysis of the concept of truth. That is, assemble the platitudes for the concept of truth, and then investigate which property might satisfy them. This project is aided by Friedman and Sheard’s groundbreaking analysis of twelve logical platitudes for truth. It turns out that, because of the paradoxes like the liar, the platitudes for the concept of truth are inconsistent. Moreover, there are so many (...)
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  108.  19
    The oldest solution to the circularity problem for Humeanism about the laws of nature.David Mark Kovacs - 2020 - Synthese:1-21.
    According to Humeanism about the laws, the laws of nature are nothing over and above certain kinds of regularities about particular facts. Humeanism has often been accused of circularity: according to scientific practice laws often explain their instances, but on the Humean view they also reduce to the mosaic, which includes those instances. In this paper I formulate the circularity problem in a way that avoids a number of controversial assumptions routinely taken for granted in the literature, and against which (...)
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  109.  13
    Realism Without Representationalism.Henrik Rydenfelt - 2020 - Synthese:1-18.
    Scientific realism is a critical target of anti-representationalists such as Richard Rorty and Huw Price, who have questioned the very possibility of providing a satisfactory argument for realism or any other ontological position. I will argue that there is a viable form of realism which not only withstands this criticism but is vindicated on the antirepresentationalists’ own grounds. This realist position, largely drawn from the notion of the scientific method developed by the founder of philosophical pragmatism, Charles S. Peirce, will (...)
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  110.  9
    Truth, fallibility, and justification: new studies in the norms of assertion.John Turri - 2020 - Synthese:1-12.
    This paper advances our understanding of the norms of assertion in two ways. First, I evaluate recent studies claiming to discredit an important earlier finding which supports the hypothesis that assertion has a factive norm. In particular, I evaluate whether it was due to stimuli mentioning that a speaker’s evidence was fallible. Second, I evaluate the hypothesis that assertion has a truth-insensitive standard of justification. In particular, I evaluate the claim that switching an assertion from true to false, while holding (...)
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  111.  12
    Limits to Levels in the Methodological Individualism–Holism Debate.Julie Zahle - 2020 - Synthese:1-20.
    It is currently common to conceive of the classic methodological individualism–holism debate in level terms. Accordingly, the dispute is taken to concern the proper level of explanations in the social sciences. In this paper, I argue that the debate is not apt to be characterized in level terms. The reason is that widely adopted notions of individualist explanations do not qualify as individual-level explanations because they span multiple levels. I defend this claim relative to supervenience, emergence, and other accounts of (...)
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