In this paper, we present the results of two surveys that investigate subjects’ judgments about what can be known or justifiably believed about lottery outcomes on the basis of statistical evidence, testimonial evidence, and “mixed” evidence, while considering possible anchoring and priming effects. We discuss these results in light of seven distinct hypotheses that capture various claims made by philosophers about lay people’s lottery judgments. We conclude by summarizing the main findings, pointing to future research, and comparing our findings to (...) recent studies by Turri and Friedman. (shrink)
The notion of risk plays a central role in economics, finance, health, psychology, law and elsewhere, and is prevalent in managing challenges and resources in day-to-day life. In recent work, Duncan Pritchard (2015, 2016) has argued against the orthodox probabilistic conception of risk on which the risk of a hypothetical scenario is determined by how probable it is, and in favour of a modal conception on which the risk of a hypothetical scenario is determined by how modally close it is. (...) In this article, we use Pritchard’s discussion as a springboard for a more wide-ranging discussion of the notion of risk. We introduce three different conceptions of risk: the standard probabilistic conception, Pritchard’s modal conception, and a normalcy conception that is new (though it has some precursors in the psychological literature on risk perception). Ultimately, we argue that the modal conception is ill-suited to the roles that a notion of risk is required to play and explore the prospects for a form of pluralism about risk, embracing both the probabilistic and the normalcy conceptions. (shrink)
According to Crispin Wright, we have evidential justification for, or knowledge of, various propositions that we quotidianly accept only if we have antecedent justification for accepting general hinge propositions––called ‘cornerstones’––which cannot be evidentially supported. Wright contends that this doesn’t engender scepticism, for we are non-evidentially entitled to accept cornerstones. This paper focuses on the Leaching Worry––the concern that since the epistemic risk of accepting a cornerstone C without evidence for it is significantly high, the epistemic risk of accepting a proposition (...) P for which C is a cornerstone is also significantly high, to the effect that one cannot have evidential justification for, or knowledge that, P. We suggest that Wright’s original response to the Leaching Worry retains its strength if risk is construed in accordance with either of two non-orthodox (non-probabilistic) notions of risk, recently introduced by Duncan Pritchard (modal notion) and Philip Ebert, Martin Smith and Ian Durbach (normic notion). We concede, however, that Luca Moretti’s recent probabilistic version of the Leaching Worry isn't undercut by Wright's original response. We put forward two novel responses: revising the notion of significant epistemic risk originally adopted by Wright, or broadening the range of attitudes towards cornerstones that we are non-evidentially entitled to. (shrink)
The rosy dawn of my title refers to that optimistic time when the logical concept of a natural kind originated in Victorian England. The scholastic twilight refers to the present state of affairs. I devote more space to dawn than twilight, because one basic problem was there from the start, and by now those origins have been forgotten. Philosophers have learned many things about classification from the tradition of natural kinds. But now it is in disarray and is unlikely to (...) be put back together again. My argument is less founded on objections to the numerous theories now in circulation, than on the sheer proliferation of incompatible views. There no longer exists what Bertrand Russell called ‘the doctrine of natural kinds’—one doctrine. Instead we have a slew of distinct analyses directed at unrelated projects. (shrink)
How is a person's freedom related to his or her preferences? Liberal theorists of negative freedom have generally taken the view that the desire of a person to do or not do something is irrelevant to the question of whether he is free to do it. Supporters of the “pure negative” conception of freedom have advocated this view in its starkest form: they maintain that a person is unfree to Φ if and only if he is prevented from Φ-ing by (...) the conduct or dispositions of some other person. This definition of freedom is value-neutral in the sense that no reference is made to preferences over options or indeed to any other indicators of the values of options, either in the characterization of “Φ-ing” itself or in the characterization of the way in which Φ-ing can be constrained. (shrink)
In this important new study Ian Hacking continues the enquiry into the origins and development of certain characteristic modes of contemporary thought undertaken in such previous works as his best selling Emergence of Probability. Professor Hacking shows how by the late nineteenth century it became possible to think of statistical patterns as explanatory in themselves, and to regard the world as not necessarily deterministic in character. Combining detailed scientific historical research with characteristic philosophic breath and verve, The Taming of Chance (...) brings out the relations among philosophy, the physical sciences, mathematics and the development of social institutions, and provides a unique and authoritative analysis of the "probabilization" of the Western world. (shrink)
Classical logic has been attacked by adherents of rival, anti-realist logical systems: Ian Rumfitt comes to its defence. He considers the nature of logic, and how to arbitrate between different logics. He argues that classical logic may dispense with the principle of bivalence, and may thus be liberated from the dead hand of classical semantics.
The _Mozi_ is a key philosophical work written by a major social and political thinker of the fifth century B.C.E. It is one of the few texts to survive the Warring States period and is crucial to understanding the origins of Chinese philosophy and two other foundational works, the _Mengzi_ and the _Xunzi_. Ian Johnston provides an English translation of the entire _Mozi_, as well as the first bilingual edition in any European language to be published in the West. His (...) careful translation reasserts the significance of the text's central doctrines, and his annotations and contextual explanations add vivid historical and interpretive dimensions. Part 1 of the _Mozi_ is called the "Epitomes" and contains seven short essays on the elements of Mohist doctrine. Part 2, the "Core Doctrines," establishes the ten central tenets of Mo Zi's ethical, social, and political philosophy, while articulating his opposition to Confucianism. Part 3, the "Canons and Explanations," comprises observations on logic, language, disputation, ethics, science, and other matters, written particularly in defense of Mohism. Part 4, the "Dialogues," presents lively conversations between Master Mo and various disciples, philosophical opponents, and potential patrons. Part 5, the "Defense Chapters," details the principles and practices of defensive warfare, a subject on which Master Mo was an acknowledged authority. Now available to English-speaking readers of all backgrounds, the Mozi is a rich and varied text, and this bilingual edition provides an excellent tool for learning classical Chinese. (shrink)
In this paper we argue that ill persons are particularly vulnerable to epistemic injustice in the sense articulated by Fricker. Ill persons are vulnerable to testimonial injustice through the presumptive attribution of characteristics like cognitive unreliability and emotional instability that downgrade the credibility of their testimonies. Ill persons are also vulnerable to hermeneutical injustice because many aspects of the experience of illness are difficult to understand and communicate and this often owes to gaps in collective hermeneutical resources. We then argue (...) that epistemic injustice arises in part owing to the epistemic privilege enjoyed by the practitioners and institutions of contemporary healthcare services—the former owing to their training, expertise, and third-person psychology, and the latter owing to their implicit privileging of certain styles of articulating and evidencing testimonies in ways that marginalise ill persons. We suggest that a phenomenological toolkit may be part of an effort to ameliorate epistemic injustice. (shrink)
In days past, epistemologists expended a good deal of effort trying to analyze the basing relation—the relation between a belief and its basis. No satisfying account was offered, and the project was largely abandoned. Younger epistemologists, however, have begun to yearn for an adequate theory of basing. I aim to deliver one. After establishing some data and arguing that traditional accounts of basing are unsatisfying, I introduce a novel theory of the basing relation: the dispositional theory. It begins with the (...) pedestrian observation that beliefs stand or fall with their bases. The theory I offer is an elucidation and refinement of this thought. (shrink)
One of Ian Hacking's earliest publications, this book showcases his early ideas on the central concepts and questions surrounding statistical reasoning. He explores the basic principles of statistical reasoning and tests them, both at a philosophical level and in terms of their practical consequences for statisticians. Presented in a fresh twenty-first-century series livery, and including a specially commissioned preface written by Jan-Willem Romeijn, illuminating its enduring importance and relevance to philosophical enquiry, Hacking's influential and original work has been revived for (...) a new generation of readers. (shrink)
The analytical notion of ‘scientific style of reasoning’, introduced by Ian Hacking in the middle of the 1980s, has become widespread in the literature of the history and philosophy of science. However, scholars have rarely made explicit the philosophical assumptions and the research objectives underlying the notion of style: what are its philosophical roots? How does the notion of style fit into the area of research of historical epistemology? What does a comparison between Hacking’s project on styles of thinking and (...) other similar projects suggest? My aim in this paper is to answer these questions. Hacking has denied that his project of styles of thinking falls into the field of historical epistemology. I shall challenge his remark by tracing out the connections of the notion of style with historical epistemology and, more in general, with a tradition of thought born in France in the beginning of twentieth-century. (shrink)
From the time of its clearest origins with Pascal, the theory of probabilities seemed to offer means by which the study of human affairs might be reduced to the same kind of mathematical discipline that was already being achieved in the study of nature. Condorcet is to a great extent merely representative of the philosophers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries who were led on by the prospect of developing moral and political sciences on the pattern of the natural sciences, (...) specifically physics. The development of economics and the social sciences, from the eighteenth century onwards, may be said in part to have fulfilled and in a manner to have perpetuated these ambitions. In so far as the new sciences have been susceptible of mathematical treatment, this has not been confined to the calculus of probabilities. But there is a temptation at every stage to ascribe fundamental significance and universal applicability to each latest mathematical device that is strikingly useful or illuminating on its first introduction. It is the theory of games that enjoys this position at present, and shapes the common contemporary conception of the very same problems that preoccupied Condorcet. (shrink)
Introduction -- Evidence from children -- Evidence form infants and non-human animals -- Evidence from neuroimaging and neuropsychology -- Evidence from adults -- The cognitive basis of mindreading -- Elaborating and applying the theory.
Philosophers have lately seized upon Sperling's partial report technique and subsequent work on iconic memory in support of controversial claims about perceptual experience, in particular that phenomenology overflows cognitive access. Drawing on mounting evidence concerning postdictive perception, I offer an interpretation of Sperling's data in terms of cue-sensitive experience which fails to support any such claims. Arguments for overflow based on change-detection paradigms (e.g. Landman et al., 2003; Sligte et al., 2008) cannot be blocked in this way. However, such paradigms (...) are fundamentally different from Sperling's and, for rather different reasons, equally fail to establish controversial claims about perceptual experience. (shrink)
Most contemporary theorists regard the traditional thesis that perception is essentially conscious as just another armchair edict to be abandoned in the wake of empirical discovery. Here I reconsider this dramatic departure from tradition. My aim is not to recapture our prelapsarian confidence that perception is inevitably conscious (though much I say might be recruited to that cause). Instead, I want to problematize the now ubiquitous belief in unconscious perception. The paper divides into two parts. Part One is more purely (...) philosophical. It explains how standard arguments for unconscious perception rely on contentious background assumptions concerning the relation between ordinary perception and the explanatory constructs of scientific psychology. Part Two, in contrast, offers detailed engagement with relevant empirical work. It exposes how, even setting aside the concerns identified in Part One, a dilemma confronts the believer in unconscious perception. This dilemma arises because ordinary perception is an individual-level state or occurrence, yet criteria sufficiently stringent to guarantee that a putatively perceptual state is unconscious vitiate the grounds for its attribution to the individual. The dilemma foments a hypothesis, namely that the conditions for genuine, individual-level perception are sufficient conditions for perceptual consciousness. The viability of this hypothesis should unnerve anyone who thinks unconscious perception is simply an empirical given. (shrink)
Block () highlights two experimental studies of neglect patients which, he contends, provide ‘dramatic evidence’ for unconscious seeing. In Block's hands this is the highly non-trivial thesis that seeing of the same fundamental kind as ordinary conscious seeing can occur outside of phenomenal consciousness. Block's case for it provides an excellent opportunity to consider a large body of research on clinical syndromes widely held to evidence unconscious perception. I begin by considering in detail the two studies of neglect to which (...) Block appeals. I show why their interpretation as evidence of unconscious seeing faces a series of local difficulties. I then explain how, even bracketing these issues, a long-standing but overlooked problem concerning our criterion for consciousness problematizes the appeal to both studies. I explain why this problem is especially pressing for Block given his view that phenomenal consciousness overflows access consciousness. I further show that it is epidemic—not only affecting all report-based studies of unconscious seeing in neglect, but also analogous studies of the condition most often alleged to show unconscious seeing, namely blindsight. (shrink)
Many people find themselves dissatisfied with recent linguistic philosophy, and yet know that language has always mattered deeply to philosophy and must in some sense continue to do so. Ian Hacking considers here some dozen case studies in the history of philosophy to show the different ways in which language has been important, and the consequences for the development of the subject. There are chapters on, among others, Hobbes, Berkeley, Russell, Ayer, Wittgenstein, Chomsky, Feyerabend and Davidson. Dr Hacking ends by (...) speculating about the directions in which philosophy and the study of language seem likely to go. The book will provide students with a stimulating, broad survey of problems in the theory of meaning and the development of philosophy, particularly in this century. The topics treated in the philosophy of language are among the central, current concerns of philosophers, and the historical framework makes it possible to introduce concretely and intelligibly all the main theoretical issues. (shrink)
A growing number of authors defend putative examples of knowledge from falsehood (KFF), inferential knowledge based in a critical or essential way on false premises, and they argue that KFF has important implications for many areas of epistemology (whether evidence can be false, the Gettier debate, defeasibility theories of knowledge, etc.). I argue, however, that there is no KFF, because in any supposed example either the falsehood does not contribute to the knowledge or the subject lacks knowledge. In particular, I (...) show that if the subject actually has knowledge in putative KFF cases, then there is always a veridical evidential path meeting the basing conditions that accounts for her knowledge; if there is no such path, then the subject is in a type of Gettier case. All the recent arguments that rely on KFF are therefore based on a mistake. (shrink)
Philosophers have long struggled to understand our perceptual experience of temporal properties such as succession, persistence and change. Indeed, strikingly, a number have felt compelled to deny that we enjoy such experience. Philosophical puzzlement arises as a consequence of assuming that, if one experiences succession or temporal structure at all, then one experiences it at a moment. The two leading types of theory of temporal awareness—specious present theories and memory theories—are best understood as attempts to explain how temporal awareness is (...) possible within the constraints of this principle. I argue that the principle is false. Neither theory of temporal awareness can be made workable unless it is rejected. Our experience of temporal phenomena cannot be understood if we attempt to break experience down into instantaneous slices. In order to understand the perception of temporal properties we must look beyond the instant. (shrink)
A familiar and enduring controversy surrounds the question of whether our phenomenal experience “overflows” availability to cognition: do we consciously see more than we can remember and report? Both sides to this debate have long sought to move beyond naïve appeals to introspection by providing empirical evidence for or against overflow. Recently, two notable studies—Bronfman, Brezis, Jacobson, and Usher and Vandenbroucke, Sligte, Fahrenfort, Ambroziak, and Lamme —have purported to provide compelling evidence in favor of overflow. Here I explain why the (...) data from both studies are wholly consistent with a “no overflow” interpretation. Importantly, when framed purely in representational or informational terms, this “no overflow” interpretation agrees with the interpretations respectively offered by both Bronfman et al. and Vandenbroucke et al.. The difference only emerges when additional assumptions are made concerning which representations correspond to elements in consc.. (shrink)
I reject both (a) inevitabilism about the historical development of the sciences and (b) what Ian Hacking calls the "put up or shut up" argument against those who make contingentist claims. Each position is guilty of a lack of humility about our epistemic capacities.
How do we know when one person or society is 'freer' than another? Can freedom be measured? Is more freedom better than less? This book provides the first full-length treatment of these fundamental yet neglected issues, throwing new light both on the notion of freedom and on contemporary liberalism.
We have two aims in this paper. The first is to provide the reader with a critical guide to recent work on relativity and persistence by Balashov, Gilmore and others. Much of this work investigates whether endurantism can be sustained in the context of relativity. Several arguments have been advanced that aim to show that it cannot. We find these unpersuasive, and will add our own criticisms to those we review. Our second aim, which complements the first, is to demarcate (...) the most defensible form of relativistic endurantism. A recurring theme of this paper is that even those philosophers who do worry about relativity have not taken it seriously enough. (shrink)
It is often said that one person or society is `freer' than another, or that people have a right to equal freedom, or that freedom should be increased or even maximized. Such quantitative claims about freedom are of great importance to us, forming an essential part of our political discourse and theorizing. Yet their meaning has been surprisingly neglected by political philosophers until now. Ian Carter provides the first systematic account of the nature and importance of our judgements about degrees (...) of freedom. He begins with an analysis of the normative assumptions behind the claim that individuals are entitled to a measure of freedom, and then goes on to ask whether it is indeed conceptually possible to measure freedom. Adopting a coherentist approach, the author argues for a conception of freedom that not only reflects commonly held intuitions about who is freer than who but is also compatible with a liberal or freedom-based theory of justice. (shrink)
How must experience of time be structured in time? In particular, does the following principle, which I will call inheritance, hold: for any temporal property apparently presented in perceptual experience, experience itself has that same temporal property. For instance, if I hear Paul McCartney singing ‘Hey Jude’, must my auditory experience of the ‘Hey’ itself precede my auditory experience of the ‘Jude’, or can the temporal order of these experiences come apart from the order the words are experienced as having? (...) A number of recent authors (Phillips Experience and Time, ‘The Temporal Structure of Experience’, Soteriou ‘Perceiving Events’, Hoerl ‘“A Succession of Feelings, in and of Itself, is Not a Feeling of Succession”’, Rashbrook) claim, to paraphrase Martin (399), that inheritance best characterises how our temporal experience seems to initial reflective intuition. For this reason, Phillips takes the principle to form part of our naïve view of temporal experience. An opposing group of theorists object that inheritance is subject to empirical counter-example. This article surveys such challenges. Section 2 considers Grush's case against inheritance based on postdiction. Section 3 examines Watzl's anti-inheritance argument based on silencing effects. Finally, Section 4 explores a number of alleged counter-examples proposed by Lee (‘Temporal Experience and the Temporal Structure of Experience’). Section 1 provides essential background to the debate. (shrink)
In the first part of chapter 2 of book II of the Physics Aristotle addresses the issue of the difference between mathematics and physics. In the course of his discussion he says some things about astronomy and the ‘ ‘ more physical branches of mathematics”. In this paper I discuss historical issues concerning the text, translation, and interpretation of the passage, focusing on two cruxes, the first reference to astronomy at 193b25–26 and the reference to the more physical branches at 194a7–8. In (...) section I, I criticize Ross’s interpretation of the passage and point out that his alteration of has no warrant in the Greek manuscripts. In the next three sections I treat three other interpretations, all of which depart from Ross's: in section II that of Simplicius, which I commend; in section III that of Thomas Aquinas, which is importantly influenced by a mistranslation of, and in section IV that of Ibn Rushd, which is based on an Arabic text corresponding to that printed by Ross. In the concluding section of the paper I describe the modern history of the Greek text of our passage and translations of it from the early twelfth century until the appearance of Ross's text in 1936. (shrink)
A survey of Euclid's Elements, this text provides an understanding of the classical Greek conception of mathematics and its similarities to modern views as well as its differences. It focuses on philosophical, foundational, and logical questions — rather than strictly historical and mathematical issues — and features several helpful appendixes.
This article offers two arguments for the conclusion that we should refuse on moral grounds to establish a human presence on the surface of Mars. The first argument appeals to a principle constraining the use of invasive or destructive techniques of scientific investigation. The second appeals to a principle governing appropriate human behavior in wilderness. These arguments are prefaced by two preliminary sections. The first preliminary section argues that authors working in space ethics have good reason to shift their focus (...) away from theory-based arguments in favor of arguments that develop in terms of pretheoretic beliefs. The second argues that of the popular justifications for sending humans to Mars only appeals to scientific curiosity can survive reflective scrutiny. (shrink)
It is obvious both that some changes are too small for us to perceive and that we can perceive constant motion. Yet according to Fara, these two facts are in conflict, and one must be rejected. I show that conflict arises only from accepting a `zoëtrope conception' of change experience, according to which change experience is analysed in terms of a series of very short-lived sensory atoms, each lacking in dynamic content. On pain of denying the phenomenologically obvious, we must (...) reject the zoëtrope conception. I offer an alternative account, according to which the dynamic content of our experience at short timescales is metaphysically dependent on the content of experience over longer timescales. Moreover, at short timescales such content is purely determinable. (shrink)
Bringing together important writings not easily available elsewhere, this volume provides a convenient and stimulating overview of recent work in the philosophy of science. The contributors include Paul Feyerabend, Ian Hacking, T.S. Kuhn, Imre Lakatos, Laurens Laudan, Karl Popper, Hilary Putnam, and Dudley Shapere. In addition, Hacking provides an introductory essay and a selective bibliography.
He concludes with an assessment of democracy's strengths and limitations as the font of political legitimacy. The book offers a lucid and accessible introduction to urgent ongoing conversations about the sources of political allegiance.