This paper defends Aristotle’s project of deriving the order of time from the order of change in Physics 4.11, against the objection that it contains a vicious circularity arising from the assumption that we cannot specify the direction of a change without invoking the temporal relations of its stages. It considers and rejects a solution to this objection proposed by Ursula Coope, and proposes an alternative solution. It also considers the related problem of how the temporal orders and directions (...) derived from individual changes can together constitute a single, globally consistent order and direction of time. (shrink)
I argue that the concept of direction of fit is best seen as picking out a certain inferential property of a psychological attitude. The property in question is one that believing shares with assuming and fantasizing and fails to share with desire. Unfortunately, the standard analysis of DOF obscures this fact because it conflates two very different properties of an attitude: that in virtue of which it displays a certain DOF, and that in virtue of which it displays certain (...) revision conditions. I claim that the latter corresponds with the aim of an attitude, not its DOF. In order to remedy this failure of the standard analysis, I offer an alternative account of DOF, which I refer to as the two-content analysis. (shrink)
In this paper, I show that we should understand the direction of fit of beliefs and desires in normative terms. After rehearsing a standard objection to Michael Smith’s analysis of direction of fit, I raise a similar problem for Lloyd Humberstone’s analysis. I go on to offer my own account, according to which the difference between beliefs and desires is determined by the normative relations such states stand in. I argue that beliefs are states which we have reason (...) to change in light of the world, whereas desires are states that give us reason to change the world. After doing this, I show how the view avoids various objections, including two from David Sobel and David Copp. The paper ends by briefly discussing the relevance of the view to the Humean theory of motivation. (shrink)
Appraisal theories of emotion generally presuppose that emotions are “directed at” various items. They also hold that emotions have motivational properties. However, although it coheres well with their views, they have yet to seriously develop the idea that the function of emotional direction is to guide those properties. I argue that this “guidance hypothesis” can open up a promising new field of research in emotion theory. But I also argue that before appraisal theorists can take full advantage of it, (...) they must drop their further assumption that to determine an emotion's direction, one need only retrace the process that caused it. Contrary to this “retracing view,” I argue for an “independence thesis”: directed emotions are produced by two functionally independent sub-processes. The first, “affect-causation,” functions in part to produce a state with certain motivational properties given certain representations. The second, “affect-direction,” has the function of optimally guiding those motivational properties by associating them with representations that may properly be quite dissimilar from the causal ones. By provisionally adopting the independence thesis and empirically testing the guidance hypothesis, I argue that appraisal theorists stand a good chance of significantly increasing the explanatory power of their theories. (shrink)
Is the common cause principle merely one of a set of useful heuristics for discovering causal relations, or is it rather a piece of heavy duty metaphysics, capable of grounding the direction of causation itself? Since the principle was introduced in Reichenbach’s groundbreaking work The Direction of Time (1956), there have been a series of attempts to pursue the latter program—to take the probabilistic relationships constitutive of the principle of the common cause and use them to ground the (...)direction of causation. These attempts have not all explicitly appealed to the principle as originally formulated; it has also appeared in the guise of independence conditions, counterfactual overdetermination, and, in the causal modelling literature, as the causal markov condition. In this paper, I identify a set of difficulties for grounding the asymmetry of causation on the principle and its descendents. The first difficulty, concerning what I call the vertical placement of causation, consists of a tension between considerations that drive towards the macroscopic scale, and considerations that drive towards the microscopic scale—the worry is that these considerations cannot both be comfortably accommodated. The second difficulty consists of a novel potential counterexample to the principle based on the familiar Einstein Podolsky Rosen (EPR) correlations in quantum mechanics. (shrink)
The Physical Intentionality Thesis claims that dispositions share the marks of psychological intentionality; therefore, intentionality is not exclusively a mental phenomenon. Beyond the standard five marks, Alexander Bird introduces two additional marks of intentionality that he argues dispositions do not satisfy: first, thoughts are extrinsic; second, the direction of causation is that objects cause thoughts, not vice versa. In response, this paper identifies two relevant conceptions of extrinsicness, arguing that dispositions show deep parallels to thoughts on both conceptions. Then, (...) it shows that Bird’s discussion of direction of causation overlooks complexities of dispositionality and intentionality that problematize apparent differences between thoughts and dispositions. The paper ends with a discussion of why we find these parallels between thoughts and dispositions. (shrink)
Two theses appear to be central to Reid’s view of the visual field. By sight, we do not originally perceive depth or linear distance from the eye. By sight, we originally perceive the position that points on the surface of objects have with regard to the centre of the eye. In different terms, by sight, we originally perceive the compass direction and degree of elevation of points on the surface of objects with reference to the centre of the eye. (...) I consider various problems about distance perception and perception of position with regard to the centre of the eye raised by Reid’s texts. These questions are relevant to Reid’s description of the geometry of visibles as the “intrinsic” geometry of the surface of the sphere. (shrink)
The problem of the direction of time is reconsidered in the light of a generalized version of the theory of abstract deterministic dynamical systems, thanks to which the mathematical model of time can be provided with an internal dynamics, solely depending on its algebraic structure. This result calls for a reinterpretation of the directional properties of physical time, which have been typically understood in a strictly topological sense, as well as for a reexamination of the theoretical meaning of the (...) widespread time-reversal invariance of classical physical processes. (shrink)
It seems that time has direction which points ahead from the past to the future. Traditionally, the main efforts to explain the arrow of time were carried out within the domain of physics, primarily utilizing statistical mechanics laws. Here, I attempt to explain how the forward direction of time is configured from the viewpoint of the mind. At first impression the concept of forward direction stems from the meeting of subjectivity with space and as such it is (...) applied to time. However, I show that the forward direction of time has a unique temporal sense not derived from space. Later I relate phenomenological explanations of the flow of time to the direction of time. (shrink)
The difference between cognitive and conative mental states, such as beliefs and desires, has sometimes been held to be that they have different “directions of fit” between the mind and the world – mind-to-world for beliefs and world-to-mind for desires (see Desire). Some philosophers have pursued the idea that if this thought can be given a plausible explanation it can be used to ground Hume's claim that “reason is the slave of the passions,” i.e., that no moral or other “practical” (...) belief, e.g., about what is best or right to do, can ever by itself be enough to motivate action. A desire or desire-like state is always required (see Reason and Passion; Hume, David). This issue will be discussed below. (shrink)
The final work of a distinguished physicist, this remarkable volume examines the emotive significance of time, the time order of mechanics, the time direction of thermodynamics and microstatistics, the time direction of macrostatistics, and the time of quantum physics. Coherent discussions include accounts of analytic methods of scientific philosophy in the investigation of probability, quantum mechanics, the theory of relativity, and causality. "[Reichenbach’s] best by a good deal."—Physics Today. 1971 ed.
The controversy over the old ideal of “value-free science” has cooled significantly over the past decade. Many philosophers of science now agree that even ethical and political values may play a substantial role in all aspects of scientific inquiry. Consequently, in the last few years, work in science and values has become more specific: Which values may influence science, and in which ways? Or, how do we distinguish illegitimate from illegitimate kinds of influence? In this paper, I argue that this (...) problem requires philosophers of science to take a new direction. I present two case studies in the influence of values on scientific inquiry: feminist values in archaeology and commercial values in pharmaceutical research. I offer a preliminary assessment of these cases, that the influence of values was legitimate in the feminist case, but not in the pharmaceutical case. I then turn to three major approaches to distinguish legitimate from illegitimate influences of values, including the distinction between epistemic and non-epistemic values and Heather Douglas’ distinction between direct and indirect roles for values. I argue that none of these three approaches gives an adequate analysis of the two cases. In the concluding section, I briefly sketch my own approach, which draws more heavily on ethics than the others, and is more promising as a solution to the current problem. This is the new direction in which I think science and values should move. (shrink)
Gaze direction signals another person’s focus of interest. Facial expressions convey information about their mental state. Appropriate responses to these signals should reflect their combined influence, yet current evidence suggests that gaze-cueing effects for objects near an observed face are not modulated by its emotional expression. Here, we extend the investigation of perceived gaze direction and emotional expression by considering their combined influence on affective judgments. While traditional response-time measures revealed equal gaze-cueing effects for happy and disgust faces, (...) affective evaluations critically depended on the combined product of gaze and emotion. Target objects looked at with a happy expression were liked more than objects looked at with a disgust expression. Objects not looked at were rated equally for both expressions. Our results demonstrate that facial expression does modulate the way that observers utilize gaze cues: Objects attended by others are evaluated according to the valence of their facial expression. C 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved. (shrink)
Direction of fit theories usually claim that beliefs are such that they “aim at truth” or “ought to fit” the world and desires are such that they “aim at realization” or the world “ought to fit” them. This essay argues that no theory of direction of fit is correct. The two directions of fit are supposed to be determinations of one and the same determinable two-place relation, differing only in the ordering of favored terms. But there is no (...) such determinable because of ineliminable asymmetries between the way that beliefs “aim at truth” and the way that desires “aim at realization.” This essay traces the ills of direction of fit theory to a misunderstanding of Anscombe and proposes a cure that distinguishes theoretical and practical thought by appeal to a distinction between thought in the form of a state and thought in the form of an event. (shrink)
Another individual’s gaze automatically shifts an observer’s attention to a location. This reflexive response occurs even when the gaze is presented subliminally over a short period. Another’s gaze also increases the preference level for items in the gaze direction; however, it was previously unclear if this effect occurs when the gaze is presented subliminally. This study showed that the preference levels for nonsense figures looked at by a subliminal gaze were significantly greater than those for items that were subliminally (...) looked away from. Targets that were looked at by a subliminal gaze were detected faster ; however, the participants were unable to detect the gaze direction. These results indicate that another individual’s gaze automatically increases the preference levels for items in the gaze direction without conscious awareness. (shrink)
Previous research on lexical development has aimed to identify the factors that enable accurate initial word-referent mappings based on the assumption that the accuracy of initial word-referent associations is critical for word learning. The present study challenges this assumption. Adult English speakers learned an artificial language within a cross-situational learning paradigm. Visual fixation data were used to assess the direction of visual attention. Participants whose longest fixations in the initial trials fell more often on distracter images performed significantly better (...) at test than participants whose longest fixations fell more often on referent images. Thus, inaccurate initial word-referent mappings may actually benefit learning. (shrink)
The personal identity relation is of great interest to philosophers, who often consider fictional scenarios to test what features seem to make persons persist through time. But often real examples of neuroscientific interest also provide important tests of personal identity. One such example is the case of Phineas Gage – or at least the story often told about Phineas Gage. Many cite Gage’s story as example of severed personal identity; Phineas underwent such a tremendous change that Gage “survived as a (...) different man.” I discuss a recent empirical finding about judgments about this hypothetical. It is not just the magnitude of the change that affects identity judgment; it is also the negative direction of the change. I present an experiment suggesting that direction of change also affects neuroethical judgments. I conclude we should consider carefully the way in which improvements and deteriorations affect attributions of personal identity. This is particularly important since a number of the most crucial neuroethical decisions involve varieties of cognitive enhancements or deteriorations. (shrink)
The idea of direction of fit has been found appealing by many philosophers. Anscombe’s famous examples have persuaded many of us that there must be some deep difference between belief and desire that is captured by the metaphor of direction of fit. Most of the aim of the paper is to try to get clear on which intuitions Anscombe’s example taps into. My view is that there is more than one intuition in play here, and I will try (...) to show that various distinctions and points are confused in the literature on direction of fit. But I also want to argue that once the proper distinctions are made, it’s not clear that the notion of direction of fit can do any of the philosophically significant work that it was supposed to do. I first argue that the best way to unpack the notion of direction of fit would indeed be by means of the constitutive relation between truth and belief. In particular, the notion of direction of fit is best understood as different ideals, or formal ends, guiding the inference, from what I call “prima-facie” attitudes to what I call “all-out” attitudes respectively in the theoretical and practical realm. However, I’ll argue that there’s no non-circular way of making this distinction. But even if no definition of “belief” and “desire” come out of the distinction between directions of fit, it does elucidate the different natures of practical and theoretical enquiry. However, understood this way, the notion of direction of fit does not seem to capture the distinction illustrated by Anscombe’s example. I try to argue in the last section that Anscombe’s compelling example is best explained not by a distinction between directions of fit, but by a distinction between two different inferential mistakes: one from general to general or particular to general, and the other from general to particular. There’s an important asymmetry between practical and theoretical endeavours in this neighbourhood. However, noticing this asymmetry will also fail to deliver the philosophical payoffs that the notion of direction of fit was supposed to have. (shrink)
Those working within the tradition of Humean psychology tend to mark a clear distinction between beliefs and desires. One prominent way of elucidating this distinction is to describe them as having different “directions of fit” with respect to the world. After first giving a brief overview of the various attempts to carry out this strategy along with their flaws, I argue that the direction of fit metaphor is misleading and ought to be abandoned. It fails to take into account (...) the actual complexity of the roles played by belief and desire and forces us to look for a single, fundamental contrast between these two that is unlikely to be found. (shrink)
An important argument for the belief-desire thesis is based on the idea that an agent can be motivated to act only if her mental states include one which aims at changing the world, that is, one with a “world-to-mind”, or “telic”, direction of fit. Some cognitivists accept this claim, but argue that some beliefs, notably moral ones, have not only a “mind-to-world”, or “thetic”, direction of fit, but also a telic one. The paper first argues that this cognitivist (...) reply is deficient, for only the “dominant” direction of fit of an attitude is responsible for its character and function. Further, it seems that the dominant direction of fit of an attitude is determined by its psychological mode, and so all beliefs seem to have a dominant thetic direction of fit, and to be motivationally inert. The main part of this paper, however, is devoted to explaining how it is that attitudes, like moral attitudes, can truly have two directions of fit in a way which enables them to be both cognitive and motivational. Reflection on the nature of beliefs suggests that the claim that the dominant direction of fit of an attitude is determined by its psychological mode should be qualified. The reasons beliefs provide draw their authority for the agent – their demanding nature – from the objects represented by these beliefs, and so, it is the beliefs’ content which determine their dominant direction of fit, as far as their role in practical reasoning is concerned. Thus, in the sense relevant to practical reasoning a belief with a normative content does have a dominant telic direction of fit. At the same time, in the sense relevant to its satisfaction conditions a moral belief has a dominant thetic direction of fit, which underlies its classification as a cognitive attitude. Cognitivists, then, can have it both ways. (shrink)
It is argued that the main problem with "the problem of the direction of time" is to figure out what the problem is or is supposed to be. Towards this end, an attempt is made to disentangle and to classify some of the many issues which have been discussed under the label of 'the direction of time'. Secondly, some technical apparatus is introduced in the hope of producing a sharper formulation of the issues than they have received in (...) the philosophical literature. Finally, some tentative suggestions about the central issues are offered. In particular, it is suggested that entropy and irreversibility are much less crucial to the central issues than most philosophers would have us believe. This suggestion is not made because of any firm conviction of its correctness but rather because it helps to focus the discussion on some basic but long neglected assumptions which underlie traditional approaches. (shrink)
While experience tells us that time flows from the past to the present and into the future, a number of philosophical and physical objections exist to this commonsense view of dynamic time. In an attempt to make sense of this conundrum, philosophers and physicists are forced to confront fascinating questions, such as: Can effects precede causes? Can one travel in time? Can the expansion of the Universe or the process of measurement in quantum mechanics define a direction in time? (...) In this book, researchers from both physics and philosophy attempt to answer these issues in an interesting, yet rigorous way. This fascinating book will be of interest to physicists and philosophers of science and educated general readers interested in the direction of time. (shrink)
The aim of this essay is to introduce philosophers of science to some recent philosophical discussions of the nature and origin of the direction of time. The essay is organized around books by Hans Reichenbach, Paul Horwich, and Huw Price. I outline their major arguments and treat certain critical points in detail. I speculate at the end about the ways in which the subject may continue to develop and in which it may connect with other areas of philosophy.
give a proof of the existence of nonlocal influences acting on correlated spin-1/2 particles in the singlet state which does not require any particular interpretation of quantum mechanics (QM). (Except Stapp holds that the proof fails under a many-worlds interpretation of QM—a claim we analyse in 1.2.) Recently, in responding to Redhead's (, pp. 90-6) criticism that the Stapp 1 proof fails under an indeterministic interpretation of QM, Stapp  (henceforth Stapp 2), has revised the logical structure of his proof (...) including its crucial locality assumption. Our main aim is to show that this revision is a step in the wrong direction because it faces two difficulties which undermine the resulting proof's significance (3.1) and validity (3. 2). We also clarify and extend the Stapp 1 proof (1. 1) with the aid of Lewis' analysis of counterfactuals (1. 2) and causal dependence (2. 2 and 2. 3). In so doing, we are able to identify two new defects in the Stapp 1 proof (1. 3 and 2. 1) in addition to corroborating Redhead's criticism (2. 2). Also, the additional assumptions which save the Stapp 1 proof's validity are detailed (2. 3) and some new difficulties for the determinist are pointed out by exploiting a slightly extended version of the proof (2. 4). In providing this full analysis of the Stapp 1 proof, we also construct the necessary framework within which to provide a critique of Stapp 2's proof (3). *Portions of this paper were presented by R. K. Clifton to the 1988 British Society for the Philosophy of Science Conference at the University of Southampton. R. K. Clifton wishes to thank the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, and the Governing Body of Peterhouse at Cambridge University for support during this work. (shrink)
Learning a novel environment involves integrating first-person perceptual and motoric experiences with developing knowledge about the overall structure of the surroundings. The present experiments provide insights into the parallel development of these egocentric and allocentric memories by intentionally conflicting body- and world-centered frames of reference during learning, and measuring outcomes via online and offline measures. Results of two experiments demonstrate faster learning and increased memory flexibility following route perspective reading (Experiment 1) and virtual navigation (Experiment 2) when participants begin exploring (...) the environment on a northward (vs. any other direction) allocentric heading. We suggest that learning advantages due to aligning body-centered (left/right/forward/back) with world-centered (NSEW) reference frames are indicative of three features of spatial memory development and representation. First, memories for egocentric and allocentric information develop in parallel during novel environment learning. Second, cognitive maps have a preferred orientation relative to world-centered coordinates. Finally, this preferred orientation corresponds to traditional orientation of physical maps (i.e., north is upward), suggesting strong associations between daily perceptual and motor experiences and the manner in which we preferentially represent spatial knowledge. (shrink)
This paper searches for an explicit expression of the so-called problem of the direction of time. I argue that the traditional version of the problem is an artifact of a mistaken view in the foundations of statistical mechanics, and that to the degree it is a problem, it is really one general to all the special sciences. I then search the residue of the traditional problem for any remaining difficulty particular to time's arrow and find that there is a (...) special puzzle for some types of scientific realist. (shrink)
This paper defends the view that the asymmetry of causation can be explained in terms of probabilistic relationships between event types. Papineau first explores three different versions of the "fork asymmetry", namely David Lewis' asymmetry of overdetermination, the screening-off property of common causes, and Spirtes', Glymour's and Scheines' analysis of probabilistic graphs. He then argues that this fork asymmetry is both a genuine phenomenon and a satisfactory metaphysical reduction of causal asymmetry. In his final section he shows how this reduction (...) can account for the relevance of causal direction to human agency, and in particular for the fact that we can manipulate causes to influence their effects, but not vice versa. (shrink)
The paper criticizes the attempt to account for the direction of causation in terms of objective statistical asymmetries, such as those of the fork asymmetry. Following Ramsey, I argue that the most plausible way to account for causal asymmetry is to regard it as "put in by hand", that is as a feature that agents project onto the world. Its temporal orientation stems from that of ourselves as agents. The crucial statistical asymmetry is an anthropocentric one, namely that we (...) take our actions to be statistically independent of everything except (what we come to call) their effects. I argue that this account explains the intuitive plausibility of Reichenbach's principle of the common cause. (shrink)
argues that the success of the backward causation hypothesis in quantum mechanics would provide strong support for a version of Reichenbach's account of the direction of causal processes, which takes the direction of causation to rest on the fork asymmetry. He also criticises my perspectival account of the direction of causation, which takes causal asymmetry to be a projection of our own temporal asymmetry as agents. In this reply I take issue with Dowe's argument at three main (...) points: his claim that the backward causation hypothesis in QM is incompatible with my perspectival approach to the direction of causation; his defence of the fork asymmetry approach against a general criticism of mine based on the time-symmetry of microphysics; and his application of his preferred account of the direction of causal processes to the relevant cases in QM. (shrink)
Many phenomena in the world display a striking time-asymmetry: the forwards transition frequencies are approximately invariant while the backwards ones are not. I argue in this paper that theories of such phenomena will entail that time has a direction, and that quantum mechanics in particular entails that the future is objectively different from the past.
I argue that in the many worlds interpretation of quantum mechanics time has no fundamental direction. I further discuss a way to recover thermodynamics in this interpretation using decoherence theory (Zurek and Paz 1994). Albert's proposal to recover thermodynamics from the collapse theory of Ghirardi et al. (1986) is also considered.
Individual health savings accounts are an important part of the current basic medical insurance system for urban workers in China. Since 1998 when the system of personal medical insurance accounts was first implemented, there has been considerable controversy over its function and significance within different social communities. This paper analyzes the main problems in the practical implementation of individual medical insurance accounts and discusses the social and cultural foundations for the establishment of family health savings accounts from the perspective of (...) Chinese Confucian familism. Accordingly, it addresses the direction of the reform and the development of the current system of individual health insurance accounts in China. (shrink)
The impression is frequently given that the static description of the 4-dimensional world given by a tenseless theory of time adequately accounts for the world and that a tensed theory of time has nothing to offer. In fact, the tenseless theory of time leaves us incapable of specifying the direction of time, whereas a tensed theory of time enables us to do so. Thus, the tensed theory enjoys a considerable advantage over the tenseless view.
Whittaker studied Dirac's equation, using prequantum mathematics, and found oscillating vectors corresponding to Schrödinger'sZitterbewegung. An extension of his study, without added assumptions or speculation, reveals the speedc associated at any instant with a direction that can be defined by specification of the Dirac spinor. This direction is hidden from quantum theory because that theory violates the physical principle that coherent amplitudes of the same kind must be added before quadratic quantities are formed from them. Two-component equations are formed (...) from Dirac's four-component equation and are found to contain information not explicit in Dirac's equation. (shrink)
The frequencies with which photons pass through half-silvered mirrors in the forward direction of time is always approximately 1/2, whereas the frequencies with which photons pass through mirrors in the backward direction in time can be highly time-dependent. I argue that whether one should infer from this time-asymmetric phenomenon that time has an objective direction will depend on one's interpretation of quantum mechanics.
Dowe (1996) argues that the success of the backward causation hypothesis in quantum mechanics would provide strong support for a version of Reichenbach's account of the direction of causal processes, which takes the direction of causation to rest on the fork asymmetry. He also criticises my perspectival account of the direction of causation, which takes causal asymmetry to be a projection of our own temporal asymmetry as agents. In this reply I take issue with Dowe's argument at (...) three main points: his claim that the backward causation hypothesis in QM is incompatible with my perspectival approach to the direction of causation; his defence of the fork asymmetry approach against a general criticism of mine based on the time-symmetry of microphysics; and his application of his preferred account of the direction of causal processes to the relevant cases in QM. (shrink)