23 found

Year:

  1.  15
    The Question of Realism for Powers.Lorenzo Azzano - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):329-354.
    In recent years, a new dispute has risen to prominence: the dispute between realists and anti-realists about causal powers. Albeit sometimes overlooked, the meta-ontological features of this “question of realism for powers” are quite peculiar. For friends and foes of causal powers have characterized their contrasting views in a variety of different ways; as existence claims, as semantic or truth-making claims, as fundamentality claims, as claims about the nature of certain properties. Not only does this multiplicity of interpretations make it (...)
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  2.  1
    Optimal Representations and the Enhanced Indispensability Argument.Manuel Barrantes - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):247-263.
    The Enhanced Indispensability Argument appeals to the existence of Mathematical Explanations of Physical Phenomena to justify mathematical Platonism, following the principle of Inference to the Best Explanation. In this paper, I examine one example of a MEPP—the explanation of the 13-year and 17-year life cycle of magicicadas—and argue that this case cannot be used defend the EIA. I then generalize my analysis of the cicada case to other MEPPs, and show that these explanations rely on what I will call ‘optimal (...)
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  3.  4
    Agents Necessitating Effects in Newtonian Time and Space: From Power and Opportunity to Effectivity.Jan Broersen - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):31-68.
    We extend stit logic by adding a spatial dimension. This enables us to distinguish between powers and opportunities of agents. Powers are agent-specific and do not depend on an agent’s location. Opportunities do depend on locations, and are the same for every agent. The central idea is to define the real possibility to see to the truth of a condition in space and time as the combination of the power and the opportunity to do so. The focus on agent-relative powers (...)
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  4.  8
    Minority Advantage in Population Games.Justin Bruner - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):413-427.
    We identify a novel ‘cultural red king effect’ that, in many cases, results in stable arrangements which are to the detriment of minority groups. In particular, we show inequalities disadvantaging minority groups can naturally arise under an adaptive process when minority and majority members must routinely determine how to divide resources amongst themselves. We contend that these results show how inequalities disadvantaging minorities can likely arise by dint of their relative size and need not be a result of either explicit (...)
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  5.  60
    Toward a Plausible Event-Causal Indeterminist Account of Free Will.Laura Ekstrom - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):127-144.
    For those who maintain that free will is incompatible with causal determinism, a persistent problem is to give a coherent characterization of action that is neither determined by prior events nor random, arbitrary, lucky or in some way insufficiently under the control of the agent to count as free action. One approach—that of Roderick Chisholm and others—is to say that a third alternative is for an action to be caused by an agent in a way that is not reducible to (...)
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  6.  10
    A-Symmetric Confirmation and Anthropic Skepticism.Benjamin Eva - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):399-412.
    In recent years, anthropic reasoning has been used to justify a number of controversial skeptical hypotheses. In this paper, we consider two prominent examples, viz. Bostrom’s ‘Simulation Argument’ and the problem of ‘Boltzmann Brains’ in big bang cosmology. We argue that these cases call into question the assumption, central to Bayesian confirmation theory, that the relation of evidential confirmation is universally symmetric. We go on to argue that the fact that these arguments appear to contradict this fundamental assumption should not (...)
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  7.  3
    The Measurement Problem Revisited.Shan Gao - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):299-311.
    It has been realized that the measurement problem of quantum mechanics is essentially the determinate-experience problem, and in order to solve the problem, the physical state representing the measurement result is required to be also the physical state on which the mental state of an observer supervenes. This necessitates a systematic analysis of the forms of psychophysical connection in the solutions to the measurement problem. In this paper, I propose a new, mentalistic formulation of the measurement problem which lays more (...)
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  8.  28
    Sublating the Free Will Problematic: Powers, Agency and Causal Determination.Ruth Groff - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):179-200.
    I argue that realism about causal powers sublates the passivist, Humean-inflected free will problematic. In the first part of the paper I show that adopting what I call ‘powers-non-determinism’ reconfigures the conceptual terrain with respect to the causation component of the contemporary problematic. In part two I show how adopting ‘powers-non-determinism’ significantly alters the nature of the discussion with respect to the agency component of the problematic. In part three I compare ‘powers-non-determinism’ to an otherwise- Humean agent causal position.
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  9.  50
    A Paradox Concerning Frankfurt Examples.Ishtiyaque Haji - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):87-103.
    The set with the following members is inconsistent: F-Lesson: A person can be blameworthy for performing an action even though she cannot refrain from performing it. Equivalence: ‘Ought not’ is equivalent to ‘impermissible.’ OIC: ‘Ought’ implies ‘can’ and ‘ought not’ implies ‘can refrain from.’ BRI: Necessarily, one is morally blameworthy for doing something only if it is overall morally impermissible for one to do it. Since Equivalence seems unassailable, one can escape the inconsistency by renouncing any one of the other (...)
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  10.  55
    The Complex Tapestry of Free Will: Striving Will, Indeterminism and Volitional Streams.Robert Kane - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):145-160.
    The aim of this paper is to respond to recent discussion of, and objections to, the libertarian view of free will I have developed in many works over the past four decades. The issues discussed all have a bearing on the central question of how one might make sense of a traditional free will requiring indeterminism in the light of modern science. This task involves, among other things, avoiding all traditional libertarian appeals to unusual forms of agency or causation that (...)
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  11.  55
    Due Deference to Denialism: Explaining Ordinary People’s Rejection of Established Scientific Findings.Neil Levy - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):313-327.
    There is a robust scientific consensus concerning climate change and evolution. But many people reject these expert views, in favour of beliefs that are strongly at variance with the evidence. It is tempting to try to explain these beliefs by reference to ignorance or irrationality, but those who reject the expert view seem often to be no worse informed or any less rational than the majority of those who accept it. It is also tempting to try to explain these beliefs (...)
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  12.  3
    Online Communities as Virtual Cognitive Niches.Lorenzo Magnani, Tommaso Bertolotti & Selene Arfini - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):377-397.
    In this paper we aim at discussing cognitive and epistemic features of online communities, by the use of cognitive niche constructions theories, presenting them as virtual cognitive niches. Virtual cognitive niches can be considered as digitally-encoded collaborative distributions of diverse types of information into an environment performed by agents to aid thinking and reasoning about some target domain. Discussing this definition, we will also consider how online communities, as networks displaying a social bias, can both foster civic awareness and promote (...)
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  13.  7
    A Default-Free Solution to the Imperfective Paradox.Vidal Mathieu & Perrin Denis - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):273-297.
    This article advances the first semantics that is neither for nor against a default implicational link between the progressive and perfective forms, when it comes to solving the imperfective paradox. Depending on the doxastic context of its use, we contend that the progressive form sometimes allows and sometimes does not allow the inference of the corresponding simple form. In other words, the preparatory phase of an event might or might not be believed to lead to its culmination. Indeed, the context (...)
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  14.  15
    The Principle of the Indiscernibility of Identicals Requires No Restrictions.Ari Maunu - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):239-246.
    There is a certain argument against the principle of the indiscernibility of identicals, or the thesis that whatever is true of a thing is true of anything identical with that thing. In this argument, PInI is used together with the self-evident principle of the necessity of self-identity to reach the conclusion, which is held to be paradoxical and, thus, fatal to PInI. My purpose is to show that the argument in question does not have this consequence. Further, I argue that (...)
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  15.  11
    Alternative Possibilities and Asymmetry.Erasmus Mayr - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):105-125.
    It has often been noted that many of our intuitive assessments of particular actions suggest that there is an asymmetry between blameworthy and praiseworthy actions with regard to the question of whether moral responsibility requires that the agent could have acted otherwise. It is a quite different question, though, whether such an asymmetry between good and bad cases can be supported by more systematic considerations. In this paper, I will develop a new argument for a restricted version of the asymmetry, (...)
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  16.  9
    An Introduction to Real Possibilities, Indeterminism, and Free Will: Three Contingencies of the Debate.Thomas Müller, Antje Rumberg & Verena Wagner - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):1-10.
  17.  2
    De Finetti Coherence and the Product Law for Independent Events.Daniele Mundici - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):265-271.
    In an earlier paper the present author proved that de Finetti coherence is preserved under taking products of coherent books on two finite sets of independent events. Conversely, in this note it is proved that product is the only coherence preserving operation on coherent books. Our proof shows that the traditional definition of stochastically independent classes of events actually follows from the combination of two more basic notions: boolean algebraic independence and de Finetti coherent betting system.
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  18.  1
    The Libertarian Predicament: A Plea for Action Theory.Dawa Ometto & Niels Miltenburg - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):161-178.
    Libertarians in the contemporary free will debate find themselves under attack from two angles. They face the challenge of defending the necessity of indeterminism for freedom against the philosophical mainstream position of compatibilism. And second, they are increasingly forced to argue for the very possibility of indeterministic free will, in the face of the so-called luck objection. Many contemporary libertarians try to overcome the second problem by adopting the causal theory of action. We argue that this move at the same (...)
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  19.  1
    A Unified Account of the Conjunction Fallacy by Coherence.Tomoji Shogenji & Martin Jönsson - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):221-237.
    We propose a coherence account of the conjunction fallacy applicable to both of its two paradigms. We compare our account with a recent proposal by Tentori et al. : 235–255, 2013) that attempts to generalize earlier confirmation accounts. Their model works better than its predecessors in some respects, but it exhibits only a shallow form of generality and is unsatisfactory in other ways as well: it is strained, complex, and untestable as it stands. Our coherence account inherits the strength of (...)
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  20.  10
    Constructivism, Representation, and Stability: Path-Dependence in Public Reason Theories of Justice.John Thrasher - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):429-450.
    Public reason theories are characterized by three conditions: constructivism, representation, and stability. Constructivism holds that justification does not rely on any antecedent moral or political values outside of the procedure of agreement. Representation holds that the reasons for the choice in the model must be rationally explicable to real agents outside the model. Stability holds that the principles chosen in the procedure should be stable upon reflection, especially in the face of diversity in a pluralistic society. Choice procedures that involve (...)
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  21.  11
    The Harms of Ignoring the Social Nature of Science.Sara Weaver - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):355-375.
    In this paper I argue that philosophers of science have an obligation to recognize and engage with the social nature of the sciences they assess if those sciences are morally relevant. Morally-relevant science is science that has the potential to risk harm to humans, non-humans, or the environment. My argument and the approach I develop are informed by an analysis of the philosophy of biology literature on the criticism of evolutionary psychology, the study of the evolution of human psychology and (...)
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  22.  12
    A Critical Discussion of Prior’s Philosophical and Tense-Logical Analysis of the Ideas of Indeterminism and Human Freedom.Peter Øhrstrøm - 2019 - Synthese 196 (1):69-85.
    This paper is a critical discussion of A.N. Prior’s contribution to the modern understanding of indeterminism and human freedom of choice. Prior suggested that these ideas should be conceived in terms of his tense logic. It can be demonstrated that his approach provides an attractive formalization that makes it possible to discuss indeterminism and human freedom of choice in a very precise manner and in a broader metaphysical context. It is also argued that Prior’s development of this approach was closely (...)
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  23.  75
    Vertical Versus Horizontal: What is Really at Issue in the Exclusion Problem?John Donaldson - 2019 - Synthese:1-16.
    I outline two ways of reading what is at issue in the exclusion problem faced by non-reductive physicalism, the “vertical” versus “horizontal”, and argue that the vertical reading is to be preferred to the horizontal. I discuss the implications: that those who have pursued solutions to the horizontal reading of the problem have taken a wrong turn.
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