35 found

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  1.  35
    Mindreading in Adults: Evaluating Two-Systems Views.Peter Carruthers - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):673-688.
    A number of convergent recent findings with adults have been interpreted as evidence of the existence of two distinct systems for mindreading that draw on separate conceptual resources: one that is fast, automatic, and inflexible; and one that is slower, controlled, and flexible. The present article argues that these findings admit of a more parsimonious explanation. This is that there is a single set of concepts made available by a mindreading system that operates automatically where it can, but which frequently (...)
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  2.  4
    What Asymmetry? Knowledge of Self, Knowledge of Others, and the Inferentialist Challenge.Quassim Cassam - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):723-741.
    There is widely assumed to be a fundamental epistemological asymmetry between self-knowledge and knowledge of others. They are said to be ’categorically different in kind and manner’, and the existence of such an asymmetry is taken to be a primitive datum in accounts of the two kinds of knowledge. I argue that standard accounts of the differences between self-knowledge and knowledge of others exaggerate and misstate the asymmetry. The inferentialist challenge to the asymmetry focuses on the extent to which both (...)
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  3.  11
    Modulation : An Alternative to Instructions and Forces.Flament Fultot Martin - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):887-916.
    It is widely believed that neural elements interact by communicating messages. Neurons, or groups of neurons, are supposed to send packages of data with informational content to other neurons or to the body. Thus, behavior is traditionally taken to consist in the execution of commands or instructions sent by the nervous system. As a consequence, neural elements and their organization are conceived as literally embodying and transmitting representations that other elements must in some way read and conform to. In opposition (...)
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  4.  13
    The Future of Social Cognition: Paradigms, Concepts and Experiments.Nivedita Gangopadhyay - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):655-672.
    Since the publication of Premack and Woodruff’s classic paper introducing the notion of a ‘theory of mind’ :515–526, 1978), interdisciplinary research in social cognition has witnessed the development of theory–theory, simulation theory, hybrid approaches, and most recently interactionist and perceptual accounts of other minds. The challenges that these various approaches present for each other and for research in social cognition range from adequately defining central concepts to designing experimental paradigms for testing empirical hypotheses. But is there any approach that promises (...)
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  5.  35
    A Plea for Radical Contextualism.Minyao Huang - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):963-988.
    Extant contextualist theories have relied on the mechanism of pragmatically driven modulation to explain the way non-indexical expressions take on different interpretations in different contexts. In this paper I argue that a modulation-based contextualist semantics is untenable with respect to non-ambiguous expressions whose invariant meaning fails to determine a unique literal interpretation, such as ‘lawyer’ ‘musician’ ‘book’ and ‘game’. The invariant meaning of such an expression corresponds to a range of closely related and equally basic interpretations, none of which can (...)
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  6.  34
    Basic Social Cognition Without Mindreading: Minding Minds Without Attributing Contents.Daniel D. Hutto - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):827-846.
    This paper argues that mind-reading hypotheses, of any kind, are not needed to best describe or best explain basic acts of social cognition. It considers the two most popular MRHs: one-ToM and two-ToM theories. These MRHs face competition in the form of complementary behaviour reading hypotheses. Following Buckner, it is argued that the best strategy for putting CBRHs out of play is to appeal to theoretical considerations about the psychosemantics of basic acts of social cognition. In particular, need-based accounts that (...)
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  7.  30
    Defending the Liberal-Content View of Perceptual Experience: Direct Social Perception of Emotions and Person Impressions.Albert Newen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):761-785.
    The debate about direct perception encompasses different topics, one of which concerns the richness of the contents of perceptual experiences. Can we directly perceive only low-level properties, like edges, colors etc., or can we perceive high-level properties and entities as well? The aim of the paper is to defend the claim that the content of our perceptual experience can include emotions and also person impressions. Using these examples, an argument is developed to defend a liberal-content view for core examples of (...)
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  8.  30
    The Essence of Mentalistic Agents.Shaun Nichols - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):809-825.
    Over the last several decades, there has been a wealth of illuminating work on processes implicated in social cognition. Much less has been done in articulating how we learn the contours of particular concepts deployed in social cognition, like the concept MENTALISTIC AGENT. Recent developments in learning theory afford new tools for approaching these questions. In this article, I describe some rudimentary ways in which learning theoretic considerations can illuminate philosophically important aspects of the MENTALISTIC AGENT concept. I maintain that (...)
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  9.  16
    In Defense of a Developmental Dogma: Children Acquire Propositional Attitude Folk Psychology Around Age 4.Hannes Rakoczy - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):689-707.
    When do children acquire a propositional attitude folk psychology or theory of mind? The orthodox answer to this central question of developmental ToM research had long been that around age 4 children begin to apply “belief” and other propositional attitude concepts. This orthodoxy has recently come under serious attack, though, from two sides: Scoffers complain that it over-estimates children’s early competence and claim that a proper understanding of propositional attitudes emerges only much later. Boosters criticize the orthodoxy for underestimating early (...)
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  10.  4
    The Problem of Logical Omniscience, the Preface Paradox, and Doxastic Commitments.Niels Skovgaard-Olsen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):917-939.
    The main goal of this paper is to investigate what explanatory resources Robert Brandom’s distinction between acknowledged and consequential commitments affords in relation to the problem of logical omniscience. With this distinction the importance of the doxastic perspective under consideration for the relationship between logic and norms of reasoning is emphasized, and it becomes possible to handle a number of problematic cases discussed in the literature without thereby incurring a commitment to revisionism about logic. One such case in particular is (...)
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  11.  55
    Feel the Flow.Sam Baron - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):609-630.
    The experience of temporal flow is, for many, the central—if not the only—reason for believing an A-theory of time. Recently, however, B-theorists have argued that experience does not, in fact, favor the A-theory. Call such an argument: a debunking argument. The goal of the present paper is to defend the A-theory against two prominent versions of the debunking argument.
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  12.  20
    The Jeffreys–Lindley Paradox and Discovery Criteria in High Energy Physics.Robert D. Cousins - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):395-432.
    The Jeffreys–Lindley paradox displays how the use of a \ value ) in a frequentist hypothesis test can lead to an inference that is radically different from that of a Bayesian hypothesis test in the form advocated by Harold Jeffreys in the 1930s and common today. The setting is the test of a well-specified null hypothesis versus a composite alternative. The \ value, as well as the ratio of the likelihood under the null hypothesis to the maximized likelihood under the (...)
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  13.  20
    A Philosophical Look at the Discovery the Higgs Boson.Richard Dawid - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):253-257.
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  14. Hope, Knowledge, and Blindspots.Jordan Dodd - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):531-543.
    Roy Sorensen introduced the concept of an epistemic blindspot in the 1980s. A proposition is an epistemic blindspot for some individual at some time if and only if that proposition is consistent but unknowable by that individual at that time. In the first half of this paper, I extend Sorensen work on blindspots by arguing that there exist blindspots that essentially involve hopes. In the second half, I show how such blindspots can contribute to and impair different pursuits of self-understanding. (...)
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  15.  59
    The Missing Piece of the Puzzle: The Discovery of the Higgs Boson.Allan Franklin - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):259-274.
    The missing piece of the puzzle: the discovery of the Higgs boson On July 4, 2012 the CMS and ATLAS collaborations at the large hadron collider jointly announced the discovery of a new elementary particle, which resembled the Higgs boson, the last remaining undiscovered piece of the standard model of elementary particles. Both groups claimed to have observed a five-standard-deviation effect above background, the gold standard for discovery in high-energy physics. In this essay I will briefly discuss the how the (...)
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  16.  43
    Prediction in General Relativity.C. D. McCoy - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):491-509.
    Several authors have claimed that prediction is essentially impossible in the general theory of relativity, the case being particularly strong, it is said, when one fully considers the epistemic predicament of the observer. Each of these claims rests on the support of an underdetermination argument and a particular interpretation of the concept of prediction. I argue that these underdetermination arguments fail and depend on an implausible explication of prediction in the theory. The technical results adduced in these arguments can be (...)
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  17.  24
    Experimenter’s Regress Argument, Empiricism, and the Calibration of the Large Hadron Collider.Slobodan Perovic - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):313-332.
    H. Collins has challenged the empiricist understanding of experimentation by identifying what he thinks constitutes the experimenter’s regress: an instrument is deemed good because it produces good results, and vice versa. The calibration of an instrument cannot alone validate the results: the regressive circling is broken by an agreement essentially external to experimental procedures. In response, A. Franklin has argued that calibration is a key reasonable strategy physicists use to validate production of results independently of their interpretation. The physicists’ arguments (...)
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  18.  42
    Higgs Naturalness and the Scalar Boson Proliferation Instability Problem.James D. Wells - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):477-490.
    Sensitivity to the square of the cutoff scale of quantum corrections of the Higgs boson mass self-energy has led many authors to conclude that the Higgs theory suffers from a naturalness or fine-tuning problem. However, speculative new physics ideas to solve this problem have not manifested themselves yet at high-energy colliders, such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. For this reason, the role of naturalness as a guide to theory model-building is being severely questioned. Most attacks suggest that one (...)
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  19.  31
    Knowledge How, Ability, and the Type-Token Distinction.Garry Young - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):593-607.
    This paper examines the relationship between knowing how to G and the ability to G, which is typically presented in one of the following ways: knowing how to G entails the ability to G; knowing how to G does not entail the ability to G. In an attempt to reconcile these two putatively opposing positions, I distinguish between type and token actions. It is my contention that S can know how to G in the absence of an ability to \, (...)
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  20.  35
    Carnap and the Invariance of Logical Truth.Steve Awodey - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):67-78.
    The failed criterion of logical truth proposed by Carnap in the Logical Syntax of Language was based on the determinateness of all logical and mathematical statements. It is related to a conception which is independent of the specifics of the system of the Syntax, hints of which occur elsewhere in Carnap’s writings, and those of others. What is essential is the idea that the logical terms are invariant under reinterpretation of the empirical terms, and are therefore semantically determinate. A certain (...)
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  21.  36
    Value Concepts.Rudolf Carnap - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):185-194.
    Carnap wrote a continuation of his reply to Kaplan, which would, however, have made that reply, already by far the longest in the book, too long. So he set aside his projected notes for a continuation to serve as the basis for a separate paper, which he never got around to writing. It is transcribed here from his shorthand and translated into English, with some introductory notes to provide a little context.
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  22.  22
    Carnapian Rationality.A. W. Carus - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):163-184.
    It is generally thought that Carnap’s principle of tolerance cannot be integrated into a coherent overall conception of rationality. The doubts come from many sides, of which two are singled out. This paper argues that both are wrong, and that Carnapian rationality is a viable and perhaps quite interesting program for further development.
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  23.  35
    The Logical and the Analytic.Richard Creath - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):79-96.
    This paper considers various objections to Carnap’s logical syntax definition of ’logical expression’, including those by Saunders Mac Lane and W. V. O. Quine. While the specific objections of these two authors can be answered, if necessary by a slight modification of Carnap’s definition, there are other objections that I do not see how to meet. I also consider the proposal by Denis Bonnay for avoiding the objections to Carnap’s definition. In light of the unresolved problems with Carnap’s definition, I (...)
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  24.  35
    The Role of Universal Language in the Early Work of Carnap and Tarski.Iris Loeb - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):15-31.
    It is often argued that by assuming the existence of a universal language, one prohibits oneself from conducting semantical investigations. It could thus be thought that Tarski’s stance towards a universal language in his fruitful Wahrheitsbegriff differs essentially from Carnap’s in the latter’s less successful Untersuchungen zur allgemeinen Axiomatik. Yet this is not the case. Rather, these two works differ in whether or not the studied fragments of the universal language are languages themselves, i.e., whether or not they are closed (...)
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  25.  72
    Carnap on Empirical Significance.Sebastian Lutz - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):217-252.
    Carnap’s search for a criterion of empirical significance is usually considered a failure. I argue that the results from two out of his three different approaches are at the very least problematic, but that one approach led to success. Carnap’s criterion of translatability into logical syntax is too vague to allow for definite results. His criteria for terms—introducibility by chains of reduction sentences and his criterion from “The Methodological Character of Theoretical Concepts”—are almost trivial and have no clear relation to (...)
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  26.  71
    Carnapian Explication, Formalisms as Cognitive Tools, and the Paradox of Adequate Formalization.Novaes Catarina Dutilh & Reck Erich - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):195-215.
    Explication is the conceptual cornerstone of Carnap’s approach to the methodology of scientific analysis. From a philosophical point of view, it gives rise to a number of questions that need to be addressed, but which do not seem to have been fully addressed by Carnap himself. This paper reconsiders Carnapian explication by comparing it to a different approach: the ‘formalisms as cognitive tools’ conception. The comparison allows us to discuss a number of aspects of the Carnapian methodology, as well as (...)
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  27.  33
    A Forgotten Strand of Reception History: Understanding Pure Semantics.Peter Olen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):121-141.
    I explore a strand of reception history that follows Rudolf Carnap’s shift from a purely syntactical analysis of constructed languages to his conception of pure semantics. My exploration focuses on Gustav Bergmann’s and Everett Hall’s interpretation of pure semantics, their understanding of what constitutes a ’formal’ investigation of language, and their arguments concerning the relationship between expressions and their extra-linguistic referents. I argue that Bergmann and Hall strongly misread Carnap’s semantic project and, subsequently, their misunderstanding is passed down through colleagues (...)
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  28.  12
    Carnap on Logic and Rationality.Georg Schiemer - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):1-14.
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  29.  25
    Carnap’s Early Metatheory: Scope and Limits.Georg Schiemer, Richard Zach & Erich Reck - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):33-65.
    In Untersuchungen zur allgemeinen Axiomatik and Abriss der Logistik, Carnap attempted to formulate the metatheory of axiomatic theories within a single, fully interpreted type-theoretic framework and to investigate a number of meta-logical notions in it, such as those of model, consequence, consistency, completeness, and decidability. These attempts were largely unsuccessful, also in his own considered judgment. A detailed assessment of Carnap’s attempt shows, nevertheless, that his approach is much less confused and hopeless than it has often been made out to (...)
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  30.  62
    Frege and Carnap on the Normativity of Logic.Florian Steinberger - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):143-162.
    In this paper I examine the question of logic’s normative status in the light of Carnap’s Principle of Tolerance. I begin by contrasting Carnap’s conception of the normativity of logic with that of his teacher, Frege. I identify two core features of Frege’s position: first, the normative force of the logical laws is grounded in their descriptive adequacy; second, norms implied by logic are constitutive for thinking as such. While Carnap breaks with Frege’s absolutism about logic and hence with the (...)
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  31.  42
    Carnapian and Tarskian Semantics.Pierre Wagner - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):97-119.
    Many papers have been devoted to the semantic turn Carnap took in the late 1930s after Tarski had explained to him his method for defining truth and his work on the establishment of scientific semantics. Commentators have often argued that the major turn in Carnap’s approach to languages had already been taken in the Logical Syntax of Language, but they have usually assumed that Carnap was happy to subsequently follow Tarski and adopt Tarskian semantics. In this paper, it is argued (...)
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  32.  3
    Network Analyses in Systems Biology: New Strategies for Dealing with Biological Complexity.Sara Green, Maria Şerban, Raphael Scholl, Nicholaos Jones, Ingo Brigandt & William Bechtel - 2017 - Synthese.
    The increasing application of network models to interpret biological systems raises a number of important methodological and epistemological questions. What novel insights can network analysis provide in biology? Are network approaches an extension of or in conflict with mechanistic research strategies? When and how can network and mechanistic approaches interact in productive ways? In this paper we address these questions by focusing on how biological networks are represented and analyzed in a diverse class of case studies. Our examples span from (...)
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  33.  11
    Systematizing the Theoretical Virtues.Michael N. Keas - 2017 - Synthese:1-33.
    There are at least twelve major virtues of good theories: evidential accuracy, causal adequacy, explanatory depth, internal consistency, internal coherence, universal coherence, beauty, simplicity, unification, durability, fruitfulness, and applicability. These virtues are best classified into four classes: evidential, coherential, aesthetic, and diachronic. Each virtue class contains at least three virtues that sequentially follow a repeating pattern of progressive disclosure and expansion. Systematizing the theoretical virtues in this manner clarifies each virtue and suggests how they might have a coordinated and cumulative (...)
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  34.  8
    Bayes and the First Person: Consciousness of Thoughts, Inner Speech and Probabilistic Inference.Franz Knappik - 2017 - Synthese:1-28.
    On a widely held view, episodes of inner speech provide at least one way in which we become conscious of our thoughts. However, it can be argued, on the one hand, that consciousness of thoughts in virtue of inner speech presupposes interpretation of the simulated speech. On the other hand, the need for such self-interpretation seems to clash with distinctive first-personal characteristics that we would normally ascribe to consciousness of one’s own thoughts: a special reliability; a lack of conscious ambiguity (...)
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  35.  27
    An Elegant Universe.Claudio Calosi - 2017 - Synthese:1-16.
    David Lewis famously endorsed Unrestricted Composition. His defense of such a controversial principle builds on the alleged innocence of mereology. This innocence defense has come under different attacks in the last decades. In this paper I pursue another line of defense, that stems from some early remarks by van Inwagen. I argue that Unrestricted Composition leads to a better metaphysics. In particular I provide new arguments for the following claims: Unrestricted Composition entails extensionality of composition, functionality of location and four-dimensionalism (...)
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