67 found

Year:

  1. The Modal Account of Luck Revisited.J. Adam Carter & Martin Peterson - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6):2175-2184.
    According to the canonical formulation of the modal account of luck [e.g. Pritchard ], an event is lucky just when that event occurs in the actual world but not in a wide class of the nearest possible worlds where the relevant conditions for that event are the same as in the actual world. This paper argues, with reference to a novel variety of counterexample, that it is a mistake to focus, when assessing a given event for luckiness, on events distributed (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  2. Rational Action Without Knowledge (and Vice Versa).Jie Gao - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6):1901-1917.
    It has been argued recently that knowledge is the norm of practical reasoning. This norm can be formulated as a bi-conditional: it is appropriate to treat p as a reason for acting if and only if you know that p. Other proposals replace knowledge with warranted or justified belief. This paper gives counter-examples of both directions of any such bi-conditional. To the left-to-right direction: scientists can appropriately treat as reasons for action propositions of a theory they believe to be false (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  3.  13
    Infinite Lotteries, Large and Small Sets.Luc Lauwers - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6):2203-2209.
    One result of this note is about the nonconstructivity of countably infinite lotteries: even if we impose very weak conditions on the assignment of probabilities to subsets of natural numbers we cannot prove the existence of such assignments constructively, i.e., without something such as the axiom of choice. This is a corollary to a more general theorem about large-small filters, a concept that extends the concept of free ultrafilters. The main theorem is that proving the existence of large-small filters requires (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  4. Causation, Physics, and Fit.Christian Loew - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6):1945–1965.
    Our ordinary causal concept seems to fit poorly with how our best physics describes the world. We think of causation as a time-asymmetric dependence relation between relatively local events. Yet fundamental physics describes the world in terms of dynamical laws that are, possible small exceptions aside, time symmetric and that relate global time slices. My goal in this paper is to show why we are successful at using local, time-asymmetric models in causal explanations despite this apparent mismatch with fundamental physics. (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  5.  12
    A Note on Visions of Henkin.María Manzano & Enrique Alonso - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6):1839-1840.
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  6.  24
    Statements of Inference and Begging the Question.Matthew W. McKeon - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6):1919-1943.
    I advance a pragmatic account of begging the question according to which a use of an argument begs the question just in case it is used as a statement of inference and it fails to state an inference the arguer or an addressee can perform given what they explicitly believe. Accordingly, what begs questions are uses of arguments as statements of inference, and the root cause of begging the question is an argument’s failure to state an inference performable by the (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  7. On the Preference for More Specific Reference Classes.Paul D. Thorn - 2017 - Synthese 194 (6):2025-2051.
    In attempting to form rational personal probabilities by direct inference, it is usually assumed that one should prefer frequency information concerning more specific reference classes. While the preceding assumption is intuitively plausible, little energy has been expended in explaining why it should be accepted. In the present article, I address this omission by showing that, among the principled policies that may be used in setting one’s personal probabilities, the policy of making direct inferences with a preference for frequency information for (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  8.  27
    Knowledge, Perception, and the Art of Camouflage.Jérôme Dokic - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5):1531-1539.
    I present a novel argument against the epistemic conception of perception according to which perception either is a form of knowledge or puts the subject in a position to gain knowledge about what is perceived. ECP closes the gap between a perceptual experience that veridically presents a given state of affairs and an experience capable of yielding the knowledge that the state of affairs obtains. Against ECP, I describe a particular case of perceptual experience in which the following triad of (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  9.  5
    Introduction.Julien Dutant, Davide Fassio & Anne Meylan - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5):1427-1431.
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  10.  20
    Knowledge as de Re True Belief?Paul Egré - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5):1517-1529.
    In “Facts: Particulars of Information Units?”, Kratzer proposed a causal analysis of knowledge in which knowledge is defined as a form of de re belief of facts. In support of Kratzer’s view, I show that a certain articulation of the de re/de dicto distinction can be used to integrally account for the original pair of Gettier cases. In contrast to Kratzer, however, I think such an account does not fundamentally require a distinction between facts and true propositions. I then discuss (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  11.  6
    Replies: On Norms of Belief and Knowledge.Pascal Engel - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5):1555-1564.
    These replies to commentators on my work focus on the nature of epistemic norms, on the nature of truth and on the nature and value of knowledge. A normative account of belief and knowledge is committed to substantial and objective epistemic norms. But not everyone agrees on their form. I try here to reply to some doubts raised by my critics.
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  12.  44
    A Neo-Pyrrhonian Response to the Disagreeing About Disagreement Argument.Diego E. Machuca - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5):1663-1680.
    An objection that has been raised to the conciliatory stance on the epistemic significance of peer disagreement known as the Equal Weight View is that it is self-defeating, self-undermining, or self-refuting. The proponent of that view claims that equal weight should be given to all the parties to a peer dispute. Hence, if one of his epistemic peers defends the opposite view, he is required to give equal weight to the two rival views, thereby undermining his confidence in the correctness (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  13.  93
    A Foundation for Presentism.Robert E. Pezet - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5):1809–1837.
    Presentism states that everything is present. Crucial to our understanding of this thesis is how we interpret the ‘is’. Recently, several philosophers have claimed that on any interpretation presentism comes out as either trivially true or manifestly false. Yet, presentism is meant to be a substantive and interesting thesis. I outline in detail the nature of the problem and the standard interpretative options. After unfavourably assessing several popular responses in the literature, I offer an alternative interpretation that provides the desired (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  14.  41
    Engel on Pragmatic Encroachment and Epistemic Value.Duncan Pritchard - 2017 - Synthese 194 (5):1477-1486.
    I discuss Engel’s critique of pragmatic encroachment in epistemology and his related discussion of epistemic value. While I am sympathetic to Engel’s remarks on the former, I think he makes a crucial misstep when he relates this discussion to the latter topic. The goal of this paper is to offer a better articulation of the relationship between these two epistemological issues, with the ultimate goal of lending further support to Engel’s scepticism about pragmatic encroachment in epistemology. As we will see, (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  15. Can There Be a Bayesian Explanationism? On the Prospects of a Productive Partnership.Frank Cabrera - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1245–1272.
    In this paper, I consider the relationship between Inference to the Best Explanation and Bayesianism, both of which are well-known accounts of the nature of scientific inference. In Sect. 2, I give a brief overview of Bayesianism and IBE. In Sect. 3, I argue that IBE in its most prominently defended forms is difficult to reconcile with Bayesianism because not all of the items that feature on popular lists of “explanatory virtues”—by means of which IBE ranks competing explanations—have confirmational import. (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  16.  54
    The No Miracles Argument and the Base Rate Fallacy.Leah Henderson - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1295-1302.
    The no miracles argument is one of the main arguments for scientific realism. Recently it has been alleged that the no miracles argument is fundamentally flawed because it commits the base rate fallacy. The allegation is based on the idea that the appeal of the no miracles argument arises from inappropriate neglect of the base rate of approximate truth among the relevant population of theories. However, the base rate fallacy allegation relies on an assumption of random sampling of individuals from (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  17.  4
    Teleological Organisation.Sune Holm & John Basl - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1027-1029.
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  18.  33
    The Relativity of ‘Placebos’: Defending a Modified Version of Grünbaum’s Definition.Jeremy Howick - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1363-1396.
    Debates about the ethics and effects of placebos and whether ‘placebos’ in clinical trials of complex treatments such as acupuncture are adequate rage. Yet there is currently no widely accepted definition of the ‘placebo’. A definition of the placebo is likely to inform these controversies. Grünbaum’s characterization of placebos and placebo effects has been touted by some authors as the best attempt thus far, but has not won widespread acceptance largely because Grünbaum failed to specify what he means by a (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  19.  71
    What Makes Biological Organisation Teleological?Matteo Mossio & Leonardo Bich - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1089-1114.
    This paper argues that biological organisation can be legitimately conceived of as an intrinsically teleological causal regime. The core of the argument consists in establishing a connection between organisation and teleology through the concept of self-determination: biological organisation determines itself in the sense that the effects of its activity contribute to determine its own conditions of existence. We suggest that not any kind of circular regime realises self-determination, which should be specifically understood as self-constraint: in biological systems, in particular, self-constraint (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  20.  61
    Nothing in Ethics Makes Sense Except in the Light of Evolution? Natural Goodness, Normativity, and Naturalism.Jay Odenbaugh - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1031-1055.
    Foot , Hursthouse , and Thompson , along with other philosophers, have argued for a metaethical position, the natural goodness approach, that claims moral judgments are, or are on a par with, teleological claims made in the biological sciences. Specifically, an organism’s flourishing is characterized by how well they function as specified by the species to which they belong. In this essay, I first sketch the Neo-Aristotelian natural goodness approach. Second, I argue that critics who claim that this sort of (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  21.  15
    Erratum To: A Forgotten Strand of Reception History: Understanding Pure Semantics.Peter Olen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1423-1423.
    Erratum to: Synthese DOI 10.1007/s11229-015-0678-4The last two block quotes of this article should be cited as “Sellars 1947c”, not “Sellars 1947”. “Sellars 1947c” references the bibliography entry for a piece of correspondence housed in the special collections archive at the University of Iowa. It is not, as the bibliography lists, a published work.
    No categories
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  22.  11
    Erratum To: A Measure of Inferential-Role Preservation.A. C. Paseau - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1425-1425.
    Erratum to: Synthese DOI 10.1007/s11229-015-0705-5In line 3 of footnote 8 on page 4, ‘allow’ should be ‘disallow’.In line 8 of page 5, \ should be \ and \ should be \. Similarly for lines 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 13 and 14 of page 6.The entry in row 20 column 6 of the table on page 5 should be 1 rather than 0.The entry \ in row 30 column 5 of the table on page 5 should be \.In line 27 (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  23. Against an Inferentialist Dogma.Thomas Raleigh - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1397-1421.
    I consider the ‘inferentialist’ thesis that whenever a mental state rationally justifies a belief it is in virtue of inferential relations holding between the contents of the two states. I suggest that no good argument has yet been given for the thesis. I focus in particular on Williamson (2000) and Ginsborg (2011) and show that neither provides us with a reason to deny the plausible idea that experience can provide non-inferential justification for belief. I finish by pointing out some theoretical (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  24.  46
    Fictionalism and the Incompleteness Problem.Lukas Skiba - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1349-1362.
    Modal fictionalists face a problem that arises due to their possible-world story being incomplete in the sense that certain relevant claims are neither true nor false according to it. It has recently been suggested that this incompleteness problem generalises to other brands of fictionalism, such as fictionalism about composite or mathematical objects. In this paper, I argue that these fictionalist positions are particularly threatened by a generalised incompleteness problem since they cannot emulate the modal fictionalists’ most attractive response. I then (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  25.  38
    Mindreading in Adults: Evaluating Two-Systems Views.Peter Carruthers - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):673-688.
    A number of convergent recent findings with adults have been interpreted as evidence of the existence of two distinct systems for mindreading that draw on separate conceptual resources: one that is fast, automatic, and inflexible; and one that is slower, controlled, and flexible. The present article argues that these findings admit of a more parsimonious explanation. This is that there is a single set of concepts made available by a mindreading system that operates automatically where it can, but which frequently (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  26.  10
    What Asymmetry? Knowledge of Self, Knowledge of Others, and the Inferentialist Challenge.Quassim Cassam - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):723-741.
    There is widely assumed to be a fundamental epistemological asymmetry between self-knowledge and knowledge of others. They are said to be ’categorically different in kind and manner’, and the existence of such an asymmetry is taken to be a primitive datum in accounts of the two kinds of knowledge. I argue that standard accounts of the differences between self-knowledge and knowledge of others exaggerate and misstate the asymmetry. The inferentialist challenge to the asymmetry focuses on the extent to which both (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  27.  13
    Modulation : An Alternative to Instructions and Forces.Flament Fultot Martin - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):887-916.
    It is widely believed that neural elements interact by communicating messages. Neurons, or groups of neurons, are supposed to send packages of data with informational content to other neurons or to the body. Thus, behavior is traditionally taken to consist in the execution of commands or instructions sent by the nervous system. As a consequence, neural elements and their organization are conceived as literally embodying and transmitting representations that other elements must in some way read and conform to. In opposition (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  28.  15
    The Future of Social Cognition: Paradigms, Concepts and Experiments.Nivedita Gangopadhyay - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):655-672.
    Since the publication of Premack and Woodruff’s classic paper introducing the notion of a ‘theory of mind’ :515–526, 1978), interdisciplinary research in social cognition has witnessed the development of theory–theory, simulation theory, hybrid approaches, and most recently interactionist and perceptual accounts of other minds. The challenges that these various approaches present for each other and for research in social cognition range from adequately defining central concepts to designing experimental paradigms for testing empirical hypotheses. But is there any approach that promises (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  29.  41
    A Plea for Radical Contextualism.Minyao Huang - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):963-988.
    Extant contextualist theories have relied on the mechanism of pragmatically driven modulation to explain the way non-indexical expressions take on different interpretations in different contexts. In this paper I argue that a modulation-based contextualist semantics is untenable with respect to non-ambiguous expressions whose invariant meaning fails to determine a unique literal interpretation, such as ‘lawyer’ ‘musician’ ‘book’ and ‘game’. The invariant meaning of such an expression corresponds to a range of closely related and equally basic interpretations, none of which can (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  30.  37
    Basic Social Cognition Without Mindreading: Minding Minds Without Attributing Contents.Daniel D. Hutto - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):827-846.
    This paper argues that mind-reading hypotheses, of any kind, are not needed to best describe or best explain basic acts of social cognition. It considers the two most popular MRHs: one-ToM and two-ToM theories. These MRHs face competition in the form of complementary behaviour reading hypotheses. Following Buckner, it is argued that the best strategy for putting CBRHs out of play is to appeal to theoretical considerations about the psychosemantics of basic acts of social cognition. In particular, need-based accounts that (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  31.  38
    Defending the Liberal-Content View of Perceptual Experience: Direct Social Perception of Emotions and Person Impressions.Albert Newen - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):761-785.
    The debate about direct perception encompasses different topics, one of which concerns the richness of the contents of perceptual experiences. Can we directly perceive only low-level properties, like edges, colors etc., or can we perceive high-level properties and entities as well? The aim of the paper is to defend the claim that the content of our perceptual experience can include emotions and also person impressions. Using these examples, an argument is developed to defend a liberal-content view for core examples of (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  32.  36
    The Essence of Mentalistic Agents.Shaun Nichols - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):809-825.
    Over the last several decades, there has been a wealth of illuminating work on processes implicated in social cognition. Much less has been done in articulating how we learn the contours of particular concepts deployed in social cognition, like the concept MENTALISTIC AGENT. Recent developments in learning theory afford new tools for approaching these questions. In this article, I describe some rudimentary ways in which learning theoretic considerations can illuminate philosophically important aspects of the MENTALISTIC AGENT concept. I maintain that (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  33.  17
    In Defense of a Developmental Dogma: Children Acquire Propositional Attitude Folk Psychology Around Age 4.Hannes Rakoczy - 2017 - Synthese 194 (3):689-707.
    When do children acquire a propositional attitude folk psychology or theory of mind? The orthodox answer to this central question of developmental ToM research had long been that around age 4 children begin to apply “belief” and other propositional attitude concepts. This orthodoxy has recently come under serious attack, though, from two sides: Scoffers complain that it over-estimates children’s early competence and claim that a proper understanding of propositional attitudes emerges only much later. Boosters criticize the orthodoxy for underestimating early (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  34.  63
    Feel the Flow.Sam Baron - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):609-630.
    The experience of temporal flow is, for many, the central—if not the only—reason for believing an A-theory of time. Recently, however, B-theorists have argued that experience does not, in fact, favor the A-theory. Call such an argument: a debunking argument. The goal of the present paper is to defend the A-theory against two prominent versions of the debunking argument.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  35.  21
    The Jeffreys–Lindley Paradox and Discovery Criteria in High Energy Physics.Robert D. Cousins - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):395-432.
    The Jeffreys–Lindley paradox displays how the use of a \ value ) in a frequentist hypothesis test can lead to an inference that is radically different from that of a Bayesian hypothesis test in the form advocated by Harold Jeffreys in the 1930s and common today. The setting is the test of a well-specified null hypothesis versus a composite alternative. The \ value, as well as the ratio of the likelihood under the null hypothesis to the maximized likelihood under the (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   2 citations  
  36.  24
    A Philosophical Look at the Discovery the Higgs Boson.Richard Dawid - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):253-257.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  37. Hope, Knowledge, and Blindspots.Jordan Dodd - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):531-543.
    Roy Sorensen introduced the concept of an epistemic blindspot in the 1980s. A proposition is an epistemic blindspot for some individual at some time if and only if that proposition is consistent but unknowable by that individual at that time. In the first half of this paper, I extend Sorensen work on blindspots by arguing that there exist blindspots that essentially involve hopes. In the second half, I show how such blindspots can contribute to and impair different pursuits of self-understanding. (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  38.  60
    The Missing Piece of the Puzzle: The Discovery of the Higgs Boson.Allan Franklin - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):259-274.
    The missing piece of the puzzle: the discovery of the Higgs boson On July 4, 2012 the CMS and ATLAS collaborations at the large hadron collider jointly announced the discovery of a new elementary particle, which resembled the Higgs boson, the last remaining undiscovered piece of the standard model of elementary particles. Both groups claimed to have observed a five-standard-deviation effect above background, the gold standard for discovery in high-energy physics. In this essay I will briefly discuss the how the (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  39.  43
    Prediction in General Relativity.C. D. McCoy - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):491-509.
    Several authors have claimed that prediction is essentially impossible in the general theory of relativity, the case being particularly strong, it is said, when one fully considers the epistemic predicament of the observer. Each of these claims rests on the support of an underdetermination argument and a particular interpretation of the concept of prediction. I argue that these underdetermination arguments fail and depend on an implausible explication of prediction in the theory. The technical results adduced in these arguments can be (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  40.  25
    Experimenter’s Regress Argument, Empiricism, and the Calibration of the Large Hadron Collider.Slobodan Perovic - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):313-332.
    H. Collins has challenged the empiricist understanding of experimentation by identifying what he thinks constitutes the experimenter’s regress: an instrument is deemed good because it produces good results, and vice versa. The calibration of an instrument cannot alone validate the results: the regressive circling is broken by an agreement essentially external to experimental procedures. In response, A. Franklin has argued that calibration is a key reasonable strategy physicists use to validate production of results independently of their interpretation. The physicists’ arguments (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  41.  43
    Higgs Naturalness and the Scalar Boson Proliferation Instability Problem.James D. Wells - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):477-490.
    Sensitivity to the square of the cutoff scale of quantum corrections of the Higgs boson mass self-energy has led many authors to conclude that the Higgs theory suffers from a naturalness or fine-tuning problem. However, speculative new physics ideas to solve this problem have not manifested themselves yet at high-energy colliders, such as the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. For this reason, the role of naturalness as a guide to theory model-building is being severely questioned. Most attacks suggest that one (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  42.  32
    Knowledge How, Ability, and the Type-Token Distinction.Garry Young - 2017 - Synthese 194 (2):593-607.
    This paper examines the relationship between knowing how to G and the ability to G, which is typically presented in one of the following ways: knowing how to G entails the ability to G; knowing how to G does not entail the ability to G. In an attempt to reconcile these two putatively opposing positions, I distinguish between type and token actions. It is my contention that S can know how to G in the absence of an ability to \, (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  43.  39
    Carnap and the Invariance of Logical Truth.Steve Awodey - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):67-78.
    The failed criterion of logical truth proposed by Carnap in the Logical Syntax of Language was based on the determinateness of all logical and mathematical statements. It is related to a conception which is independent of the specifics of the system of the Syntax, hints of which occur elsewhere in Carnap’s writings, and those of others. What is essential is the idea that the logical terms are invariant under reinterpretation of the empirical terms, and are therefore semantically determinate. A certain (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  44.  37
    Value Concepts.Rudolf Carnap - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):185-194.
    Carnap wrote a continuation of his reply to Kaplan, which would, however, have made that reply, already by far the longest in the book, too long. So he set aside his projected notes for a continuation to serve as the basis for a separate paper, which he never got around to writing. It is transcribed here from his shorthand and translated into English, with some introductory notes to provide a little context.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  45.  24
    Carnapian Rationality.A. W. Carus - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):163-184.
    It is generally thought that Carnap’s principle of tolerance cannot be integrated into a coherent overall conception of rationality. The doubts come from many sides, of which two are singled out. This paper argues that both are wrong, and that Carnapian rationality is a viable and perhaps quite interesting program for further development.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  46.  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 (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  47.  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 (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  48.  77
    Carnap on Empirical Significance.Sebastian Lutz - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):217-252.
    Carnap’s search for a criterion of empirical significance is usually considered a failure. I argue that the results from two out of his three different approaches are at the very least problematic, but that one approach led to success. Carnap’s criterion of translatability into logical syntax is too vague to allow for definite results. His criteria for terms—introducibility by chains of reduction sentences and his criterion from “The Methodological Character of Theoretical Concepts”—are almost trivial and have no clear relation to (...)
    Direct download (7 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  49.  75
    Carnapian Explication, Formalisms as Cognitive Tools, and the Paradox of Adequate Formalization.Novaes Catarina Dutilh & Reck Erich - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):195-215.
    Explication is the conceptual cornerstone of Carnap’s approach to the methodology of scientific analysis. From a philosophical point of view, it gives rise to a number of questions that need to be addressed, but which do not seem to have been fully addressed by Carnap himself. This paper reconsiders Carnapian explication by comparing it to a different approach: the ‘formalisms as cognitive tools’ conception. The comparison allows us to discuss a number of aspects of the Carnapian methodology, as well as (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  50.  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 (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  51.  12
    Carnap on Logic and Rationality.Georg Schiemer - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):1-14.
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  52.  27
    Carnap’s Early Metatheory: Scope and Limits.Georg Schiemer, Richard Zach & Erich Reck - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):33-65.
    In Untersuchungen zur allgemeinen Axiomatik and Abriss der Logistik, Carnap attempted to formulate the metatheory of axiomatic theories within a single, fully interpreted type-theoretic framework and to investigate a number of meta-logical notions in it, such as those of model, consequence, consistency, completeness, and decidability. These attempts were largely unsuccessful, also in his own considered judgment. A detailed assessment of Carnap’s attempt shows, nevertheless, that his approach is much less confused and hopeless than it has often been made out to (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  53.  69
    Frege and Carnap on the Normativity of Logic.Florian Steinberger - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):143-162.
    In this paper I examine the question of logic’s normative status in the light of Carnap’s Principle of Tolerance. I begin by contrasting Carnap’s conception of the normativity of logic with that of his teacher, Frege. I identify two core features of Frege’s position: first, the normative force of the logical laws is grounded in their descriptive adequacy; second, norms implied by logic are constitutive for thinking as such. While Carnap breaks with Frege’s absolutism about logic and hence with the (...)
    Direct download (5 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  54.  44
    Carnapian and Tarskian Semantics.Pierre Wagner - 2017 - Synthese 194 (1):97-119.
    Many papers have been devoted to the semantic turn Carnap took in the late 1930s after Tarski had explained to him his method for defining truth and his work on the establishment of scientific semantics. Commentators have often argued that the major turn in Carnap’s approach to languages had already been taken in the Logical Syntax of Language, but they have usually assumed that Carnap was happy to subsequently follow Tarski and adopt Tarskian semantics. In this paper, it is argued (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  55.  40
    Kant and Frege on Existence.Toni Kannisto - 2017 - Synthese 1:01-26.
    According to what Jonathan Bennett calls the Kant-Frege view of existence, Frege gave solid logical foundations to Kant's claim that existence is not a real predicate. In this article I will challenge Bennett's claim by arguing that although Kant and Frege agree on what existence is not, they agree neither on what it is nor on the importance and justification of existential propositions. I identify three main differences: First, whereas for Frege existence is a (non-relational) property of a concept, for (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  56.  82
    A Principled Approach to Defining Actual Causation.Sander Beckers & Joost Vennekens - 2017 - Synthese:1-28.
    In this paper we present a new proposal for defining actual causation, i.e., the problem of deciding if one event caused another. We do so within the popular counterfactual tradition initiated by Lewis, which is characterised by attributing a fundamental role to counterfactual dependence. Unlike the currently prominent definitions, our approach proceeds from the ground up: we start from basic principles, and construct a definition of causation that satisfies them. We define the concepts of counterfactual dependence and production, and put (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography   1 citation  
  57.  33
    Is Defining Life Pointless? Operational Definitions at the Frontiers of Biology.Leonardo Bich & Sara Green - 2017 - Synthese:1-28.
    Despite numerous and increasing attempts to define what life is, there is no consensus on necessary and sufficient conditions for life. Accordingly, some scholars have questioned the value of definitions of life and encouraged scientists and philosophers alike to discard the project. As an alternative to this pessimistic conclusion, we argue that critically rethinking the nature and uses of definitions can provide new insights into the epistemic roles of definitions of life for different research practices. This paper examines the possible (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  58. Keep the Chickens Cooped: The Epistemic Inadequacy of Free Range Metaphysics.Amanda Bryant - 2017 - Synthese:1-21.
    This paper aims to better motivate the naturalization of metaphysics by identifying and criticizing a class of theories I call 'free range metaphysics'. I argue that free range metaphysics is epistemically inadequate because the constraints on its content — consistency, simplicity, intuitive plausibility, and explanatory power — are insufficiently robust and justificatory. However, since free range metaphysics yields clarity-conducive techniques, incubates science, and produces conceptual and formal tools useful for scientifically engaged philosophy, I do not recommend its discontinuation. I do (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  59.  31
    Assertion, Belief, and Context.Roger Clarke - 2017 - Synthese:1-27.
    This paper argues for a treatment of belief as essentially sensitive to certain features of context. The first part gives an argument that we must take belief to be context-sensitive in the same way that assertion is, if we are to preserve appealing principles tying belief to sincere assertion. In particular, whether an agent counts as believing that p in a context depends on the space of alternative possibilities the agent is considering in that context. One and the same doxastic (...)
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  60.  8
    Network Analyses in Systems Biology: New Strategies for Dealing with Biological Complexity.Sara Green, Maria Şerban, Raphael Scholl, Nicholaos Jones, Ingo Brigandt & William Bechtel - 2017 - Synthese.
    The increasing application of network models to interpret biological systems raises a number of important methodological and epistemological questions. What novel insights can network analysis provide in biology? Are network approaches an extension of or in conflict with mechanistic research strategies? When and how can network and mechanistic approaches interact in productive ways? In this paper we address these questions by focusing on how biological networks are represented and analyzed in a diverse class of case studies. Our examples span from (...)
    Direct download (4 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  61.  27
    Systematizing the Theoretical Virtues.Michael N. Keas - 2017 - Synthese:1-33.
    There are at least twelve major virtues of good theories: evidential accuracy, causal adequacy, explanatory depth, internal consistency, internal coherence, universal coherence, beauty, simplicity, unification, durability, fruitfulness, and applicability. These virtues are best classified into four classes: evidential, coherential, aesthetic, and diachronic. Each virtue class contains at least three virtues that sequentially follow a repeating pattern of progressive disclosure and expansion. Systematizing the theoretical virtues in this manner clarifies each virtue and suggests how they might have a coordinated and cumulative (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  62.  19
    Bayes and the First Person: Consciousness of Thoughts, Inner Speech and Probabilistic Inference.Franz Knappik - 2017 - Synthese:1-28.
    On a widely held view, episodes of inner speech provide at least one way in which we become conscious of our thoughts. However, it can be argued, on the one hand, that consciousness of thoughts in virtue of inner speech presupposes interpretation of the simulated speech. On the other hand, the need for such self-interpretation seems to clash with distinctive first-personal characteristics that we would normally ascribe to consciousness of one’s own thoughts: a special reliability; a lack of conscious ambiguity (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  63.  15
    Probabilistic Consistency Norms and Quantificational Credences.Benjamin Lennertz - 2017 - Synthese:1-19.
    In addition to beliefs, people have attitudes of confidence called credences. Combinations of credences, like combinations of beliefs, can be inconsistent. It is common to use tools from probability theory to understand the normative relationships between a person’s credences. More precisely, it is common to think that something is a consistency norm on a person’s credal state if and only if it is a simple transformation of a truth of probability. Though it is common to challenge the right-to-left direction of (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  64.  13
    Lay Intuitions About Epistemic Normativity.Pendaran Roberts, James Andow & Kelly Schmidtke - 2017 - Synthese:1-21.
    Recent empirical work on non-philosophers’ intuitions about epistemic normativity reveals patterns that cannot be fully accounted for by direct epistemic consequentialism. On the basis of these results, one might picture participants as “epistemic deontologists.” We present the results of two new experiments that support a more nuanced picture. We examine intuitions about guesses and hypotheses, and about beliefs. Our results suggest a two-factor model of intuitions, wherein both consequentialist and non-consequentialist considerations affect participants’ judgments about epistemic permissibility.
    No categories
    Direct download (6 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  65.  28
    Agent-Causal Libertarianism, Statistical Neural Laws and Wild Coincidences.Jason D. Runyan - 2017 - Synthese:1-18.
    Agent-causal libertarians maintain we are irreducible agents who, by acting, settle matters that aren’t already settled. This implies that the neural matters underlying the exercise of our agency don’t conform to deterministic laws, but it does not appear to exclude the possibility that they conform to statistical laws. However, Pereboom (Noûs 29:21–45, 1995; Living without free will, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 2001; in: Nadelhoffer (ed) The future of punishment, Oxford University Press, New York, 2013) has argued that, if these neural (...)
    No categories
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  66.  8
    Explaining Doxastic Transparency: Aim, Norm, or Function?Ema Sullivan-Bissett - 2017 - Synthese:1-24.
    I argue that explanations of doxastic transparency which go via an appeal to an aim or norm of belief are problematic. I offer a new explanation by appeal to a biological function of our mechanisms for belief production. I begin by characterizing the phenomenon, and then move to the teleological and normative accounts of belief, advertised by their proponents as able to give an explanation of it. I argue that, at the very least, both accounts face serious difficulties in this (...)
    Direct download (2 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
  67.  34
    An Elegant Universe.Claudio Calosi - 2017 - Synthese:1-16.
    David Lewis famously endorsed Unrestricted Composition. His defense of such a controversial principle builds on the alleged innocence of mereology. This innocence defense has come under different attacks in the last decades. In this paper I pursue another line of defense, that stems from some early remarks by van Inwagen. I argue that Unrestricted Composition leads to a better metaphysics. In particular I provide new arguments for the following claims: Unrestricted Composition entails extensionality of composition, functionality of location and four-dimensionalism (...)
    Direct download (3 more)  
     
    Export citation  
     
    My bibliography  
 Previous issues
  
Next issues