Recent debates between representational and relational theories of perceptual experience sometimes fail to clarify in what respect the two views differ. In this essay, I explain that the relational view rejects two related claims endorsed by most representationalists: the claim that perceptual experiences can be erroneous, and the claim that having the same representational content is what explains the indiscriminability of veridical perceptions and phenomenally matching illusions or hallucinations. I then show how the relational view can claim that errors associated (...) with perception should be explained in terms of false judgments, and develop a theory of illusions based on the idea that appearances are properties of objects in the surrounding environment. I provide an account of why appearances are sometimes misleading, and conclude by showing how the availability of this view undermines one of the most common ways of motivating representationalist theories of perception. (shrink)
'We desire all and only those things we conceive to be good; we avoid what we conceive to be bad.' This slogan was once the standard view of the relationship between desire or motivation and rational evaluation. Many critics have rejected this scholastic formula as either trivial or wrong. It appears to be trivial if we just define the good as 'what we want', and wrong if we consider apparent conflicts between what we seem to want and what we seem (...) to think is good. In Appearances of the Good, Sergio Tenenbaum argues that the old slogan is both significant and right, even in cases of apparent conflict between our desires and our evaluative judgements. Maintaining that the good is the formal end of practical inquiry in much the same way as truth is the formal end of theoretical inquiry, he provides a fully unified account of motivation and evaluation. (shrink)
Can we build ‘moral robots’? If morality depends on emotions, the answer seems negative. Current robots do not meet standard necessary conditions for having emotions: they lack consciousness, mental states, and feelings. Moreover, it is not even clear how we might ever establish whether robots satisfy these conditions. Thus, at most, robots could be programmed to follow rules, but it would seem that such ‘psychopathic’ robots would be dangerous since they would lack full moral agency. However, I will argue that (...) in the future we might nevertheless be able to build quasi-moral robots that can learn to create the appearance of emotions and the appearance of being fully moral. I will also argue that this way of drawing robots into our social-moral world is less problematic than it might first seem, since human morality also relies on such appearances. (shrink)
Intentionalism—the view that the phenomenal character of an experience is wholly determined by its representational content—is very attractive. Unfortunately, it’s in conflict with some quite robust intuitions about the possibility of phenomenal spectrum inversion without misrepresentation. Faced with such a problem, there are the usual three options—reject intentionalism, discount the intuitions and deny that spectrum inversion without misrepresentation is possible, or find a way to reconcile the two by dissolving the apparent conflict. Sydney Shoemaker’s (1994) introduction of appearance properties (...) is a particularly ingenious way of pursuing the third strategy, by maintaining that there is a representational difference between the phenomenally spectrum-inverted subjects. In introducing appearance properties, Shoemaker does two things: he identifies a theoretical role for some family of properties to play, and he suggests a family of properties as candidates to play that role. I’ll argue that his proposed candidates do not play the role as well as we would like, suggest some new candidates, and argue that they do a better job of playing the role. The reason for the question mark in the title is that, if I’m right, it turns out that the best candidates to play the appearance property role aren’t properties. (shrink)
Intentionalism is the view that the phenomenal character of an experience is wholly determined by its representational content is very attractive. Unfortunately, it is in conflict with some quite robust intuitions about the possibility of phenomenal spectrum inversion without misrepresentation. Faced with such a problem, there are the usual three options: reject intentionalism, discount the intuitions and deny that spectrum inversion without misrepresentation is possible, or find a way to reconcile the two by dissolving the apparent conflict. Sydney Shoemaker's (1994) (...) introduction of appearance properties is a particularly ingenious way of pursuing the third strategy, by maintaining that there is a representational difference between the phenomenally spectrum-inverted subjects.2 In introducing appearance properties, Shoemaker does two things: he identifies a theoretical role for some family of properties to play, and he suggests a family of properties as candidates to play that role. I'll argue that his proposed candidates do not play the role as well as we would like, suggest some new candidates, and argue that they do a better job. (shrink)
Perceptual appearances of personality can be highly inaccurate, for example, when they rely on race, masculinity, and attractiveness, factors that have little to do with personality, as well as when they are the result of perceiver effects, such as an idiosyncratic tendency to view others negatively. This raises the question of whether these types of appearances can provide immediate justification for our judgments about personality. I argue that there are three reasons that we should think that they can. The inaccuracy (...) of these types of appearances is not nearly as widespread as it may initially seem. Even thin-slicing in zero-acquaintance conditions seems to reliably track many personality traits. The thought that perceptual appearances of personality can justify our beliefs only in conjunction with background information rests on a failure to acknowledge the existence of genuine high-level perceptual appearances of personality. Perceiver effect cases are not unlike cases in which we have inaccurate low-level perceptual appearances in unfavorable perceptual conditions. (shrink)
Parts I and II of 'Conflicting Appearances, Necessity and the Irreducibility of Propositions about Colours' review the argument from 'conflicting appearances' for the view that nothing has any one colour. I take further a well-known criticism of the argument made by Austin and Burnyeat. In Part III I undertake the task of positive construction, offering a theory of what it is that all things coloured a particular colour have in common. I end, in Part IV, by arguing that the resulting (...) 'colour phenomenalism', rather than physicalism, is required to give a satisfactory account of the necessity of Wittgenstein's 'puzzle propositions' about colour. (shrink)
Scientific realists claim that the best of successful rival theories is (approximately) true. Relative realists object that we cannot make the absolute judgment that a theory is successful, and that we can only make the relative judgment that it is more successful than its competitor. I argue that this objection is undermined by the cases in which empirical equivalents are successful. Relative realists invoke the argument from a bad lot to undermine scientific realism and to support relative realism. In response, (...) I construct the argument from double spaces. It is similar to the argument from a bad lot, but threatens many philosophical inferences, including relative realists’ inference from comparative success to comparative truth. (shrink)
With this third edition of Nelson Goodman's The Structure of Appear ance, we are pleased to make available once more one of the most in fluential and important works in the philosophy of our times. Professor Geoffrey Hellman's introduction gives a sustained analysis and appreciation of the major themes and the thrust of the book, as well as an account of the ways in which many of Goodman's problems and projects have been picked up and developed by others. Hellman also (...) suggests how The Structure of Appearance introduces issues which Goodman later continues in his essays and in the Languages of Art. There remains the task of understanding Good man's project as a whole; to see the deep continuities of his thought, as it ranges from logic to epistemology, to science and art; to see it therefore as a complex yet coherent theory of human cognition and practice. What we can only hope to suggest, in this note, is the b. road Significance of Goodman's apparently technical work for philosophers, scientists and humanists. One may say of Nelson Goodman that his bite is worse than his bark. Behind what appears as a cool and methodical analysis of the conditions of the construction of systems, there lurks a radical and disturbing thesis: that the world is, in itself, no more one way than another, nor are we. It depends on the ways in which we take it, and on what we do. (shrink)
Pyrrhonian sceptics claim, notoriously, to assent to the appearances without making claims about how things are. To see whether this is coherent we need to consider the philosophical history of ‘appearance’(phainesthai)-talk, and the closely related concept of an impression (phantasia). This history suggests that the sceptics resemble Plato in lacking the ‘non-epistemic’ or ‘non-doxastic’ conception of appearance developed by Aristotle and the Stoics. What is distinctive about the Pyrrhonian sceptic is simply that the degree of doxastic commitment involved (...) in his assent to an impression is asymptotally low. (shrink)
One might think that its seeming to you that p makes you justified in believing that p. After all, when you have no defeating beliefs, it would be irrational to have it seem to you that p but not believe it. That view is plausible for perceptual justification, problematic in the case of memory, and clearly wrong for inferential justification. I propose a view of rationality and justified belief that deals happily with inference and memory. Appearances are to be evaluated (...) as ‘sound’ or ‘unsound.’ Only a sound appearance can give rise to a justified belief, yet even an unsound appearance can ‘rationally require’ the subject to form the belief. Some of our intuitions mistake that rational requirement for the belief’s being justified. The resulting picture makes it plausible that there are also unsound perceptual appearances. I suggest that to have a sound perceptually basic appearance that p, one must see that p. (shrink)
A familiar slogan in the literature on temporal experience is that ‘a succession of appearances, in and of itself, does not amount to an experience of succession’. I show that we can distinguish between a strong and a weak sense of this slogan. I diagnose the strong interpretation of the slogan as requiring the support of an assumption I call the ‘Seems→Seemed’ claim. I then show that commitment to this assumption comes at a price: if we accept it, we either (...) have to reject the extremely plausible idea that experience is as it seems, or we are forced to provide an account of temporal experience that isn’t compatible with the phenomenology. I conclude by noting that the only plausible interpretation of the slogan is the weak interpretation, and outline a positive account of temporal experience, according to which an appearance of succession requires a succession of appearances. (shrink)
Solving the meta-problem of consciousness requires, among other things, explaining why we are so reluctant to endorse various forms of illusionism about the phenomenal. I will try to tackle this task in two steps. The first consists in clarifying how the concept of consciousness precludes the possibility of any distinction between 'appearance' and 'reality'. The second consists in spelling out our reasons for recognizing the existence of something that satisfies that concept.
Appearance and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Physics addresses quantum mechanics and relativity and their philosophical implications, focusing on whether these theories of modern physics can help us know nature as it really is, or only as it appears to us. The author clearly explains the foundational concepts and principles of both quantum mechanics and relativity and then uses them to argue that we can know more than mere appearances, and that we can know to some extent (...) the way things really are. He argues that modern physics gives us reason to believe that we can know some things about the objective, real world, but he also acknowledges that we cannot know everything, which results in a position he calls realistic realism. This book is not a survey of possible philosophical interpretations of modern physics, nor does it leap from a caricature of the physics to some wildly alarming metaphysics. Instead, it is careful with the physics and true to the evidence in arriving at its own realistic conclusions. It presents the physics without mathematics, and makes extensive use of diagrams and analogies to explain important ideas. Engaging and accessible, Appearance and Reality serves as an ideal introduction for anyone interested in the intersection of philosophy and physics, including students in philosophy of physics and philosophy of science courses. (shrink)
There seems to be a large gulf between percepts and concepts. In particular, con- cepts seem to be capable of representing things that percepts cannot. We can conceive of things that would be impossible to perceive. (The converse may also seem true, but I will leave that to one side.) In one respect, this is trivially right. We can conceive of things that we cannot encounter, such as unicorns. We cannot literally perceive unicorns, even if we occasionally.
The problem of the nature of color is typically put in terms of the following question about the intentional content of visual experiences: what’s the nature of the property we attribute to physical objects in virtue of our visual experiences of color? This problem has proven to be tenacious largely because it’s not clear what the constraints are for an answer. With no clarity about constraints, the proposed solutions range widely, the most common dividing into subjectivist views which hold that (...) attributed colors are mental properties or mental events} and a variety of realist views, which hold that colors are properties of physical objects. These realist views, in turn, divide into views that hold that attributed colors are dispositions of physical objects to produce color experiences (dispositionalism),° nondispositional relations between objects and perceivers (the relational view)," physical properties of physical objects (physicalism),‘ or sui generis properties of physical objects (primitivism and impressionism).‘ I’ll examine a proposed constraint which Mark Johnston (1992) calls Revelation. According to Revelation, the appearance of color in our ordinary visual experience provides us with unqualified access to the nature of color. While every proposal about the nature of color must take a stand on how the.. (shrink)
It might be suggested that in auditory experience elements of the material world are not apparent to us in the way they are in vision and touch, and that this constitutes a shortcoming in the kind of cognitive contact with the world provided by auditory perception. I develop this suggestion, and then set out a way of thinking about the appearances of sound-producing events that might provide a response.
Many meta-ethicists have thought that rationality requires us to heed apparent normative reasons, not objective normative reasons. But what are apparent reasons? There are two kinds of standard answers. On de dicto views, R is an apparent reason for S to \ when it appears to S that R is an objective reason to \ . On de re views, R is an apparent reason for S to \ when R’s truth would constitute an objective reason for S to \ (...) , and it appears to S that R. De re views are currently more popular because they avoid overintellectualizing rationality. But they face problems owing to the way in which they do so. Some assume that we can escape these problems by requiring more information to be apparent or by appealing to defeat. But these strategies fail. So, I defend a new view: apparent reasons are apparent facts that agents are competently attracted to treat like objective reasons, where competence is indirectly defined in terms of objective reasons and a competence/performance distinction is honored. Since one can treat X like an F without having the concept of an F, the view does not overintellectualize rationality. But it is also strong enough to dodge the pitfalls of de re views. (shrink)
Phenomenal Conservatism (the view that an appearance that p gives one prima facie justification for believing that p) is a promising, and popular, internalist theory of epistemic justification. Despite its popularity, it faces numerous objections and challenges. For instance, epistemologists have argued that Phenomenal Conservatism is incompatible with Bayesianism, is afflicted by bootstrapping and cognitive penetration problems, does not guarantee that epistemic justification is a stable property, does not provide an account of defeat, and is not a complete theory (...) of epistemic justification. This book shows that Phenomenal Conservatism is actually immune to some of these problems, though not all of them. Accordingly, it explores the prospects of integrating Phenomenal Conservatism with Explanationism (the view that epistemic justification is a matter of explanatory relations between one’s evidence and propositions supported by that evidence). The resulting theory, Phenomenal Explanationism, has advantages over Phenomenal Conservatism and Explanationism taken on their own. Phenomenal Explanationism is a highly unified, comprehensive internalist theory of epistemic justification that delivers on the promises of Phenomenal Conservatism while avoiding its pitfalls. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to explore bodily changes following weight loss surgery. Our empirical material is based on individual interviews with 22 Norwegian women. To further analyze their experiences, we build primarily on the phenomenologist Drew Leder`s distinction between bodily dis-appearance and dys-appearance. Additionally, our analysis is inspired by Simone de Beauvoir, Merleau-Ponty and Julia Kristeva. Although these scholars have not directed their attention to obesity operations, they occupy a prime framework for shedding light on different (...) dimensions of bodily change. In doing so, we were able to identify two main themes: The felt “inner” body versus the visible “surface” body and the “old” body versus the “new” body. In different, though interconnected ways, these main themes encompass tensions between changes the women experienced as contributing to a more “normal” and active life, feeling more accepted, and changes that generated ambivalence. In particular, their skin became increasingly problematic because it did not “shrink” like the rest of the body. On the contrary, it became looser and looser. Moreover, badsmelling folds of skin that wobbled, sweated and chafed at the smallest movement, aprons of fat hanging in front of their stomachs, batwing arms, thick flabby thighs and sagging breasts were described as a huge contrast to the positive response they received to their changed body shape when they were out and about with their clothes on. At the same time, they expressed ambivalence with regards to removing the excess skin by means of plastic surgery. Through their own and other women`s experiences they learned removing the excess skin by means of surgery could be a double-edged sword. By illuminating the experiences of the ones undergoing such changes our article offers new insight in a scholarly debate predominated by medical research documenting the positive outcomes of weight loss surgery. (shrink)
Abstract Aristotle's account of Phantasia in De Anima 3.3 is notoriously difficult to decipher. At one point he describes Phantasia as a capacity for producing images, but then later in the same chapter it is clear Phantasia is supposed to explain appearances, such as why the sun appears to be a foot wide. Many commentators argue that images cannot explain appearances, and so they claim that Aristotle is using Phantasia in two different ways. In this paper I argue that images (...) actually explain perceptual appearances for Aristotle, and so Phantasia always refers to images. I take a new approach to interpreting DA 3.3, reading it alongside Plato's Theaetetus and Sophist . In the Theaetetus , Socrates explains how memory gives rise to perceptual appearance. I claim that Aristotle adopts Socrates' account of perceptual appearance, but what Socrates calls memory, Aristotle calls Phantasia. (shrink)
Appearance and Reality: An Introduction to the Philosophy of Physics addresses quantum mechanics and relativity and their philosophical implications, focusing on whether these theories of modern physics can help us know nature as it really is, or only as it appears to us. The author clearly explains the foundational concepts and principles of both quantum mechanics and relativity and then uses them to argue that we can know more than mere appearances, and that we can know to some extent (...) the way things really are. He argues that modern physics gives us reason to believe that we can know some things about the objective, real world, but he also acknowledges that we cannot know everything, which results in a position he calls "realistic realism." This book is not a survey of possible philosophical interpretations of modern physics, nor does it leap from a caricature of the physics to some wildly alarming metaphysics. Instead, it is careful with the physics and true to the evidence in arriving at its own realistic conclusions. It presents the physics without mathematics, and makes extensive use of diagrams and analogies to explain important ideas. Engaging and accessible, Appearance and Reality serves as an ideal introduction for anyone interested in the intersection of philosophy and physics, including students in philosophy of physics and philosophy of science courses. (shrink)
It is often held that it is conceptually impossible to distinguish between a pain and a pain experience. In this article I present an argument which concludes that people make this distinction. I have done a web-based statistical analysis which is at the core of this argument. It shows that the intensity of pain has a decisive effect on whether people say that they 'feel a pain'(lower intensities) or 'have a pain' (greater intensities). This 'intensity effect'can be best explained by (...) people's varying confidence about their pain, and indicates that 'feeling pain' can be identified as introspective report and 'having pain' as an objective statement — analogous to the traditional sense modalities. However, if people have the ability to make both introspective and objective statements about pain, then it seems indeed the case that they distinguish the appearance from the reality of pain. (shrink)
The Turing Test is routinely understood as a behaviourist test for machine intelligence. Diane Proudfoot has argued for an alternative interpretation. According to Proudfoot, Turing’s claim that intelligence is what he calls ‘an emotional concept’ indicates that he conceived of intelligence in response-dependence terms. As she puts it: ‘Turing’s criterion for “thinking” is…: x is intelligent if in the actual world, in an unrestricted computer-imitates-human game, x appears intelligent to an average interrogator’. The role of the famous test is thus (...) to provide the conditions in which to examine the average interrogator’s responses. I shall argue that Proudfoot’s analysis falls short. The philosophical literature contains two main models of response-dependence, what I shall call the transparency model and the reference-fixing model. Proudfoot resists the thought that Turing might have endorsed one of these models to the exclusion of the other. But the details of her own analysis indicate that she is, in fact, committed to the claim that Turing’s account of intelligence is grounded in a transparency model, rather than a reference-fixing one. By contrast, I shall argue that while Turing did indeed conceive of intelligence in response-dependence terms, his account is grounded in a reference-fixing model, rather than a transparency one. This is fortunate, because, as an account of intelligence, the transparency model is arguably problematic in a way that the reference-fixing model isn’t. (shrink)
We agree that autistics’ unusual overt behaviors don't necessarily mean reduced social motivation. But Jaswal & Akhtar maintain that, while autistics may appear socially uninterested, their social interest is in fact typical and indeed must be to avoid multiple poor outcomes. This problematic idealization of social typicality deflects attention from important differences in autistic cognition and interests, which should be valued.
Kant's concept of autonomy and the Kantian notion of autonomy are often conflated in bioethics. However, the contemporary Kantian notion has very little at all to do with Kant's original. In order to further bioethics discourse on autonomy, I critically distinguish the contemporary Kantian notion from Kant's original concept of moral autonomy. I then evaluate the practical relevance of both concepts of autonomy for use in bioethics. I argue that it is not appropriate to appeal to either concept toward assessing (...) which patients we ought to respect as autonomous. Finally, I sketch criteria for what I take to be a more promising concept of autonomy for patients. (shrink)
According to a certain kind of naïve or folk understanding of physical matter, everyday ‘solid’ objects are composed of a homogeneous, gap-less substance, with sharply defined boundaries, which wholly fills the space they occupy. A further claim is that our perceptual experience of the environment represents or indicates that the objects around us conform to this sort of conception of physical matter. Were this further claim correct, it would mean that the way that the world appears to us in experience (...) conflicts with the deliverances of our best current scientific theories in the following respect: perceptual experience would be intrinsically misleading concerning the structure of physical matter. I argue against this further claim. Experience in itself is not committed to, nor does it provide evidence for, any such conception of the nature of physical matter. The naïve/folk conception of matter in question cannot simply be ‘read-off’ from perceptual appearances. (shrink)
This article studies the impact of a robot’s appearance on interactions involving four children with autism. This work is part of the Aurora project with the overall aim to support interaction skills in children with autism, using robots as ‘interactive toys’ that can encourage and mediate interactions. We follow an approach commonly adopted in assistive robotics and work with a small group of children with autism. This article investigates which robot appearances are suitable to encourage interactions between a robot (...) and children with autism. The children’s levels of interaction with and response to different appearances of two types of robots are compared: a small humanoid doll, and a life-sized ‘Theatrical Robot’. The small humanoid robot appeared either as a human-like ‘pretty doll’ or as a ‘robot’ with plain features. The Theatrical Robot was presented either as an ordinary human, or with plain clothing and a featureless, masked face. The results of these trials clearly indicate the children’s preference in their initial response for interaction with a plain, featureless robot over the interaction with a human-like robot. In the case of the life-size Theatrical Robot, the response of children towards the plain/robotic robot was notably more social and pro-active. Implications of these results for our work on using robots as assistive technology for children with autism and their possible use in autism research are discussed. (shrink)
In book 10 of the Republic we find a new argument for the division of the soul. The argument’s structure is similar to the arguments in book 4 but, unlike those arguments, it centres on a purely cognitive conflict: believing and disbelieving the same thing, at the same time. The argument presents two interpretive difficulties. First, it assumes that a conflict between a belief and an appearance—e.g. disbelieving that a stick partially immersed in water is, as it appears, bent—entails (...) a conflict between beliefs. Prima facie, there is only one belief, the belief that contradicts the appearance. Second, it is unclear what parts of the soul Plato intends to divide between: some argue that it is, as in book 4, a partition between a rational and a non-rational part; others argue that it is a new partition between a higher and a lower subdivision of the rational part. This paper offers solutions to both difficulties through an analysis of what Plato means by φαινόμενα, ‘appearances’, and δόξαι, ‘beliefs’. It is argued, first, that the relevant appearances are entirely sensory but nonetheless sufficiently belief-like to (a) warrant being called δόξαι and (b) oppose, by themselves, our beliefs; there is no need for a third mental state, a belief that assents to the appearance. A second claim concerns a central line in the argument, 602e4–6, that has served as the primary evidence that the partition is within the rational part of the soul. Those who wish to avoid this conclusion generally resort to alternative, and less natural, translations of 602e4–6. It is argued that this is unnecessary: once we have correctly understood sensory appearances, we see that the standard translation of 602e4–6 in fact entails a division between a rational and a non-rational part of the soul. (shrink)
Keith DeRose presents, develops, and defends original solutions to two of the stickiest problems in epistemology: skeptical hypotheses and the lottery problem. He deploys a powerful version of contextualism, the view that the epistemic standards for the attribution of knowledge vary with context.
Faultless disagreement and faultless retraction have been taken to motivate relativism for predicates of personal taste, like ‘tasty’. Less attention has been devoted to the question of what aspect of their meaning underlies this relativist behavior. This paper illustrates these same phenomena with a new category of expressions: appearance predicates, like ‘tastes vegan’ and ‘looks blue’. Appearance predicates and predicates of personal taste both fall into the broader category of experiential predicates. Approaching predicates of personal taste from this (...) angle suggests that their relativist behavior is due to their experience-sensitivity, rather than their evaluative meaning. Furthermore, appearance predicates hold interest beyond what they can teach us about predicates of personal taste. Examination of a variety of uses of appearance predicates reveals that they give rise to relativist behavior for a variety of reasons—including some that apply also to other types of expressions, such as epistemic modals and comparative terms. This paper thus serves both to probe the source of relativist behavior in discourse about personal taste, as well as to map out this kind of behavior in the rich and under-explored discourse about appearances. (shrink)
Quantum gravity is understood as a theory that, in some sense, unifies general relativity (GR) and quantum theory, and is supposed to replace GR at extremely small distances (high-energies). It may be that quantum gravity represents the breakdown of spacetime geometry described by GR. The relationship between quantum gravity and spacetime has been deemed ``emergence'', and the aim of this thesis is to investigate and explicate this relation. After finding traditional philosophical accounts of emergence to be inappropriate, I develop a (...) new conception of emergence by considering physical case studies including condensed matter physics, hydrodynamics, critical phenomena and quantum field theory understood as effective field theory. This new conception of emergence is unconcerned with the ideas of reduction and derivation (i.e. it holds that we may have emergence with reduction or without it). Instead, a low-energy theory (or model) is understood as emergent from a high-energy theory if it is novel and autonomous compared to the high-energy theory, and the low-energy physics is dependent in a particular, minimal sense on the high-energy physics (this dependence is revealed by the techniques of effective field theory and the renormalisation group). While novelty is construed in a broad sense, the autonomy comes essentially from the underdetermination of the high-energy theory by the low-energy theory, which reflects the minimal way in which the emergent, low-energy theory depends on the high-energy one. It results from the scaling behaviour of the theories and the limiting relations between them, and is demonstrated by the renormalisation group and effective field theory techniques, the idea of universality, and the phenomenon of symmetry-breaking. These ideas are important in exploring the relationship between quantum gravity and GR, where GR is understood as an effective, low-energy theory of quantum gravity. Without experimental data or a theory of quantum gravity, we rely on principles and techniques from other areas of physics to guide the way. As well as considering the idea of emergence appropriate to treating GR as an effective field theory, I investigate the emergence of spacetime (and other aspects of GR) in several concrete approaches to quantum gravity, including examples of the condensed matter approaches, the ``discrete approaches'' (causal set theory, causal dynamical triangulations, quantum causal histories and quantum graphity) and loop quantum gravity. (shrink)
Ascriptions of rationality are related to our practices of praising and criticizing. This seems to provide motivation for normative accounts of rationality, more specifically for the view that rationality is a matter of responding to normative reasons. However, rational agents are sometimes guided by false beliefs. This is problematic for those reasons-based accounts of rationality that are also committed to the widespread thesis that normative reasons are facts. The critical aim of the paper is to present objections to recent proposed (...) solutions to this problem, according to which the responses of deceived agents would be rationalized by facts about how things appear to them. My positive aim is to argue that accounts of reasons in terms of apparent reasons manage to capture the intuitions that seem to favor a normative account of rationality. (shrink)
Hans Vaihinger, in the late nineteenth century, posed a now famous trilemma for Immanuel Kant's theory of affection: If things-in-themselves are the affecting objects, then one must apply the categories beyond the conditions of their application . If one holds that appearances are the affecting objects, then one must hold that these appearances which are the effects of affection are themselves the causes of affection. If one holds that things-in-themselves affect the noumenal self in parallel with appearances affecting the empirical (...) self, then that which is a representation for the noumenal self must serve as a causally efficacious thing-in-itself for the empirical self's production of an empirical representation of the very same object. (shrink)
The one-world interpretation of Kant's idealism holds that appearances and things in themselves are, in some sense, the same things. Yet this reading faces a number of problems, all arising from the different features Kant seems to assign to appearances and things in themselves. I propose a new way of understanding the appearance/thing in itself distinction via an Aristotelian notion that I call, following Kit Fine, a ‘qua-object.’ Understanding appearances and things in themselves as qua-objects provides a clear sense (...) in which they can be the same things while differing in many of their features. (shrink)