A recent experiment performed by S. Afshar [first reported by M. Chown, New Sci. 183:30, 2004] is analyzed. It was claimed that this experiment could be interpreted as a demonstration of a violation of the principle of complementarity in quantum mechanics. Instead, it is shown here that it can be understood in terms of classical wave optics and the standard interpretation of quantum mechanics. Its performance is quantified and it is concluded that the experiment is suboptimal in the sense that (...) it does not fully exhaust the limits imposed by quantum mechanics. (shrink)
We respond to criticism of our paper “Paradox in Wave-Particle Duality for Non-Perturbative Measurements”. We disagree with Steuernagel’s derivation of the visibility of the Afshar experiment. To calculate the fringe visibility, Steuernagel utilizes two different experimental situations, i.e. the wire grid in the pattern minima and in the pattern maxima. In our assessment, this procedure cannot lead to the correct result for the complementarity properties of a wave-particle in one particular experimental set-up.
Logic isn’t special. Its theories are continuous with science; its method continuous with scientific method. Logic isn’t a priori, nor are its truths analytic truths. Logical theories are revisable, and if they are revised, they are revised on the same grounds as scientific theories. These are the tenets of anti-exceptionalism about logic. The position is most famously defended by Quine, but has more recent advocates in Maddy, Priest, Russell, and Williamson. Although these authors agree on many methodological issues about logic, (...) they disagree about which logic anti-exceptionalism supports. Williamson uses an anti-exceptionalist argument to defend classical logic, while Priest claims that his anti-exceptionalism supports nonclassical logic. This paper argues that the disagreement is due to a difference in how the parties understand logical theories. Once we reject Williamson’s deflationary account of logical theories, the argument for classical logic is undercut. Instead an alternative account of logical theories is offered, on which logical pluralism is a plausible supplement to anti-exceptionalism. (shrink)
In some philosophical arguments an important role is played by the claim that certain situations differ from each other with respect to phenomenology. One class of such arguments are minimal pair arguments. These have been used to argue that there is cognitive phenomenology, that high-level properties are represented in perceptual experience, that understanding has phenomenology, and more. I argue that facts about our mental lives systematically block such arguments, reply to a range of objections, and apply my critique to some (...) examples from the literature. (shrink)
Logical pluralism has been in vogue since JC Beall and Greg Restall 2006 articulated and defended a new pluralist thesis. Recent criticisms such as Priest 2006a and Field 2009 have suggested that there is a relationship between their type of logical pluralism and the meaning-variance thesis for logic. This is the claim, often associated with Quine 1970, that a change of logic entails a change of meaning. Here we explore the connection between logical pluralism and meaning-variance, both in general and (...) for Beall and Restall's theory specifically. We argue that contrary to what Beall and Restall claim, their type of pluralism is wedded to meaning-variance. We then develop an alternative form of logical pluralism that circumvents at least some forms of meaning-variance. (shrink)
In this thesis I seek to advance our understanding of what intuitions are. I argue that intuitions are experiences of a certain kind. In particular, they are experiences with representational content, and with a certain phenomenal character. -/- In Chapter 1 I identify our target and provide some important reliminaries. Intuitions are mental states, but which ones? Giving examples helps: a person has an intuition when it seems to her that torturing the innocent is wrong, or that if something is (...) red it is coloured. We can also provide an initial characterisation of the state by saying that it has representational content, often causes belief, and appears to justify belief. In addition, there is something it is like to have an intuition: intuition has a certain phenomenal character. -/- Some argue that intuition does not explain anything which cannot be explained by other mental states. One version of this view takes intuition to reduce to belief. In Chapter 2 I argue that this entails that agents are rationally criticisable in situations where we know they are not, and that such views are therefore untenable. A parallel argument shows that the corresponding approach to perception fails. This suggests a similarity in nature: both intuition and perception are experiences. -/- Others take intuition to reduce to a disposition to have a belief. In Chapter 3 I consider a line of argument against such views, find it unsuccessful, and present two new arguments. One is likely to be dialectically ineffective. The other suffers no such weakness: it shows that the proposed reduction fails. As before, the argument also applies to perception, and suggests that intuition and perception are both experiences. -/- In the remainder of the thesis I develop an account of intuition as an experience. I distinguish between content-specific and attitude-specific phenomenology, and argue that intuition lacks the former (Chapter 4), but has the latter (Chapter 5). This allows us to say what intuition is: it is is an experience with representational content and with attitude-specific phenomenology of a certain kind. -/- In Chapter 6 I put this account of intuition to use. When a person has a perceptual or intuitional experience, I argue that simply having the experience is what makes the subject justified in believing what the experience represents. Moreover, what explains that intuition and perception can justify belief in this way is precisely their phenomenal character. (shrink)
A common argument against prostitution states that selling sex is harmful because it involves selling something deeply personal and emotional. More and more of us, however, believe that sexual encounters need not be deeply personal and emotional in order to be acceptable—we believe in the acceptability of casual sex. In this paper I argue that if casual sex is acceptable, then we have few or no reasons to reject prostitution. I do so by first examining nine influential arguments to the (...) contrary. These arguments purport to pin down the alleged additional harm brought about by prostitution by appealing to various aspects of its practice, such as its psychology, physiology, economics and social meaning. For each argument I explain why it is unconvincing. I then weight the costs against the benefits of prostitution, and argue that, in sum, prostitution is no more harmful than a long line of occupations that we commonly accept without hesitation. (shrink)
In bilateral systems for classical logic, assertion and denial occur as primitive signs on formulas. Such systems lend themselves to an inferentialist story about how truth-conditional content of connectives can be determined by inference rules. In particular, for classical logic there is a bilateral proof system which has a property that Carnap in 1943 called categoricity. We show that categorical systems can be given for any finite many-valued logic using $n$-sided sequent calculus. These systems are understood as a further development (...) of bilateralism—call it multilateralism. The overarching idea is that multilateral proof systems can incorporate the logic of a variety of denial speech acts. So against Frege we say that denial is not the negation of assertion and, with Mark Twain, that denial is more than a river in Egypt. (shrink)
The paper presents a revised view of quantum mechanics centered on the notion (“genuine fortuitousness”) that the click in a counter is a totally lawless event, which comes by itself. A crucial point is the distinction between events on the spacetime scene and the content of the symbolic algorism. A revised conception of matrix variables emerges, by which such a variable, as part of a whole, does not have a value, under any circumstance. This conception is at variance with that (...) of indeterminate variables. A matrix variable not having a value does not enter spacetime and is not a measurable quantity, but manifests itself by a click in a counter with the remarkable property of having an onset, a beginning, from which the click develops. The individual click with its immense complexity is unique and lawless, even beyond probability. The notion of probability only applies to clicks in low resolution, and the completeness of a probabilistic theory is thereby seen in a new perspective. The genuinely fortuitous click is not produced by the impact of a particle, nor caused by an event in the source prior to the click in the counter. Indeed, there are no particles on the spacetime scene. The theory is thereby liberated from notions, which go with particles having indeterminate variables, and which have given to quantum mechanics the image of an unfathomable theory. With no particle as intermediary, the connection between source and detector is non-local, as is the entire theory, which deals exclusively with distributions of clicks. The locality permeating quantum mechanics is a symbolic one. The wave function enters in the sole role of encoding the probability distributions of clicks. The quest to understand the occurrence of the click in terms of the evolution of the wave function loses its meaning. However, click distributions in low resolution can be analyzed in terms of the connection between click distributions for different sets of counters, as given by the wave function. With increasing resolution, the probabilities, and the wave function, gradually lose significance, whereby the onset remains beyond reach. Thus, the downward path from events on the spacetime scene does not extend beyond the onset. The notion that quantum mechanics deals with particles (or fields) is rooted in the historical evolution but appears unable to accomodate genuine fortuitousness. The latter concept is given its due place by fully accepting the abstract nature of the matrix variables. (shrink)
Rational addiction theories illustrate how absurd choice theories in economics get taken seriously as possibly true explanations and tools for welfare analysis despite being poorly interpreted, empirically unfalsifiable, and based on wildly inaccurate assumptions selectively justified by ad-hoc stories. The lack of transparency introduced by poorly anchored mathematical models, the psychological persuasiveness of stories, and the way the profession neglects relevant issues are suggested as explanations for how what we perhaps should see as displays of technical skill and ingenuity are (...) allowed to blur the lines between science and games. (shrink)
This report by the WHO Consultative Group on Equity and Universal Health Coverage addresses how countries can make fair progress towards the goal of universal coverage. It explains the relevant tradeoffs between different desirable ends and offers guidance on how to make these tradeoffs.
When a person has an intuition, it seems to her that things are certain ways; to many it seems that torturing the innocent for fun is wrong, for example. When a person has an intuition, there is also something particular it is like to be her: intuitions have a characteristic phenomenal character. This article asks how the phenomenal character of intuition is related to two core core questions in the philosophy of intuition, namely: Is intuition a source of justification and (...) knowledge? and What are intuitions?. (shrink)
In his article “Category Independent Aesthetic Experience: The Case of Wine” in this journal, David Sackris presents arguments against Kendall Walton’s view in the famous article “Categories of Art.”David Sackris, “Category Independent Aesthetic Experience: The Case of Wine,” The Journal of Value Inquiry, 47 (2013), pp. 111–120; Kendall Walton, “Categories of Art,” in Steven M. Cahn and Aaron Meskin (Eds) Aesthetics: A Comprehensive Anthology. (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007), pp. 521–537. [First published in The Philosophical Review, 79 (1970), pp. 334–367.] He claims, (...) with support in an argument about the immediate qualities of great wines, that for some kinds of aesthetic appreciation specific category knowledge is not necessary. We welcome the idea that wine appreciation is an aesthetic practice, and more importantly the view that the features of wine appreciation might shed light on, or even transform our understanding of aesthetic experience more generally. The article also draws welcom .. (shrink)
Nonclassical theories of truth have in common that they reject principles of classical logic to accommodate an unrestricted truth predicate. However, different nonclassical strategies give up different classical principles. The paper discusses one criterion we might use in theory choice when considering nonclassical rivals: the maxim of minimal mutilation.
Non-medical egg freezing is egg freezing for the sake of delaying parenthood. The label ‘non-medical’ can be confusing, since the extraction and freezing of eggs is undeniably a medical procedure. The point is that whereas ‘medical egg freezing’ is done in order to retain capacity to procreate despite a potentially threatening medical condition, ‘non-medical egg freezing’ is done for the sake of getting more time to find a suitable partner and/or to establish a career before embarking on parenthood. One type (...) of argument against NMEF is the individualisation argument, according to which NMEF is problematic in virtue of being an individual solution to a social problem. The underlying problem that ought to be targeted, it is argued, is the patriarchal structures in the labour market, which disprivilege women and make it excessively difficult to combine a work and parenthood. In “Arguments on thin ice”, Thomas Søbirk Petersen helpfully distinguishes between three variants of the individualisation argument: the non-address view, the distraction view and the further oppression view.1 Petersen argues, moreover, that none of these is convincing, and therefore that the rejection of NMEF is unwarranted. According to the non-address view, the reason NMEF ought to be rejected is that “it cannot address the social causes that make it so difficult to balance career and family”2 or that it “does not substantially alter the social structures that have constructed inequalities”3 between women and men. Petersen …. (shrink)
This paper reviews the literature on health and female homosexuality in Brazil and, along the way, outlines an alternative approach to reviewing academic literature. Rather than summarising the contents of previously published papers, we relate to these publications primarily as partakers in the creation of knowledge. Inspired by Actor-Network Theory, we apply ethnographic methods to understand the papers as study participants endowed with action. We also draw on the notions of inscription and intertextuality to trace the complex relationship between the (...) findings in the articles and the realities outside of them. We claim that ‘evidence’ is the product of translational processes in which original events, such as experiments, blood tests and interviews, are changed into textual entities. In addition, text production is seen as an absorption of everything else surrounding its creation. When events are turned into articles, the text incorporates the political environment to which original events once belonged. We thus observe a political text inscribed into the written evidence of sexually transmitted infections, and the practice of publishing about scientific vulnerabilities emerges as political action. In contrast with traditional ways of reviewing literature in medical scholarship, this article offers a reminder that although there is a connection between textual evidence and the reality outside publications, these dimensions are not neutrally interchangeable. (shrink)
In discussion about basic theoretical approaches in a non-Cartesian psychology several candidates for a key concept were proposed, such as action, activity, relation, dialogue and discourse. None of these concepts, however, sufficiently grounds psychological theories of individual psychology in social practice. To accomplish this we need to conceptualize subjects as participants in structures of ongoing social practice. In this paper I argue why and address issues of subjectivity as encountered by persons in their participation in complex structures of social practice. (...) I introduce the concept of personal conduct of life and life-trajectory as elaborations of my theory. And I discuss this theoretical approach and show what is at stake in developing it by comparing it to similar approaches in the current literature on the person, self, and identity. (shrink)
The paper is a contribution to current debates about conspiracy theories within philosophy and cultural studies. Wittgenstein’s understanding of language is invoked to analyse the epistemological effects of designating particular questions and explanations as a ‘conspiracy theory’. It is demonstrated how such a designation relegates these questions and explanations beyond the realm of meaningful discourse. In addition, Agamben’s concept of sovereignty is applied to explore the political effects of using the concept of conspiracy theory. The exceptional epistemological status assigned to (...) alleged conspiracy theories within our prevalent paradigms of knowledge and truth is compared to the exceptional legal status assigned to individuals accused of terrorism under the War on Terror. The paper concludes by discussing the relation between conspiracy theory and ‘the paranoid style’ in contemporary politics. (shrink)
Anti-exceptionalism about logic is the Quinean view that logical theories have no special epistemological status, in particular, they are not self-evident or justified a priori. Instead, logical theories are continuous with scientific theories, and knowledge about logic is as hard-earned as knowledge of physics, economics, and chemistry. Once we reject apriorism about logic, however, we need an alternative account of how logical theories are justified and revised. A number of authors have recently argued that logical theories are justified by abductive (...) argument. This paper explores one crucial question about the abductive strategy: what counts as evidence for a logical theory? I develop three accounts of evidential confirmation that an anti-exceptionalist can accept: intuitions about validity, the Quine-Williamson account, and indispensability arguments. I argue, against the received view, that none of the evidential sources support classical logic. (shrink)
I argue against Barbara Montero's claim that Conservation of Energy has nothing to do with physicalism. I reject her reconstruction of the argument for physicalism from CoE, and offer an alternative reconstruction that better captures the intuitions of those who believe that there is a conflict between interactionist dualism and CoE.
The model-theoretic analysis of the concept of logical consequence has come under heavy criticism in the last couple of decades. The present work looks at an alternative approach to logical consequence where the notion of inference takes center stage. Formally, the model-theoretic framework is exchanged for a proof-theoretic framework. It is argued that contrary to the traditional view, proof-theoretic semantics is not revisionary, and should rather be seen as a formal semantics that can supplement model-theory. Specifically, there are formal resources (...) to provide a proof-theoretic semantics for both intuitionistic and classical logic. We develop a new perspective on proof-theoretic harmony for logical constants which incorporates elements from the substructural era of proof-theory. We show that there is a semantic lacuna in the traditional accounts of harmony. A new theory of how inference rules determine the semantic content of logical constants is developed. The theory weds proof-theoretic and model-theoretic semantics by showing how proof-theoretic rules can induce truth-conditional clauses in Boolean and many-valued settings. It is argued that such a new approach to how rules determine meaning will ultimately assist our understanding of the apriori nature of logic. (shrink)
ABSTRACTWe consider whether and under what conditions it is morally illicit to profit from poverty. We argue that when profit counterfactually depends on poverty, the agent making the profit is morally obliged to relinquish it. Finally, we argue that the people to whom the profit should be redirected are those on whom it counterfactually depends.
In the Global Burden of Disease study, disease burden is measured as disability-adjusted life years. The paramount assumption of the DALY is that it makes sense to aggregate years lived with disability and years of life lost. However, this is not smooth sailing. Whereas morbidity is something that happens to an individual, loss of life itself occurs when that individual’s life has ended. YLLs quantify something that involves no experience and does not take place among living individuals. This casts doubt (...) on whether the YLL is an individual burden at all. If not, then YLDs and YLLs are incommensurable. There are at least three responses to this problem, only one of which is tenable: a counterfactual account of harm. Taking this strategy necessitates a re-examination of how we count YLLs, particularly at the beginning of life. (shrink)
In this paper it is argued that we should not give money to beggars. Rather than spending our welfare budget on the people whom we happen to pass by on the street, we should spend it on those who are genuinely poor and who can be helped the most with each pound that we give. A pound given to a beggar in a Western country, it is argued, is a pound spent on someone who is relatively well off. That pound, (...) if spent better, could have rescued the life of a starving child in another part of the world. (shrink)
I agree with Scott A Anderson1 and Rosalind J McDougall2 that many prostitutes suffer significant harms, and that these harms must be taken seriously. Having a background in public outreach for sex workers, I share this concern wholeheartedly.In the article to which Anderson and McDougall respond,3 I ask why prostitutes are harmed: are prostitutes harmed because prostitution itself is harmful or because of contingent ways in which prostitutes are socially and legally treated? This is an important question, since if the (...) latter is the case, then the widespread moral and legal campaign against prostitution, rather than being a legitimate response to something harmful, is itself the source of much suffering and distress. In my article, I argue at length that it is indeed our social and legal treatment of prostitutes that is the dominant source of harm.Neither Anderson nor McDougall seems to take issue with my rebuttal of the nine most central arguments in favour of the view that prostitution itself is harmful. They do, however, raise a number of more general issues, and I shall now address these.A worry raised by Anderson is that in defending the view that prostitution itself is not harmful, I am ‘abstracting away from key facts about the context in which prostitution takes place’, and as such, I ‘fail to recognize how contextual, historical and social’ prostitution really is. I think this is a good objection — so good, in fact, that I raise and discuss it in the article. I formulate the objection as follows: "[The objection] states that my argument is utopian: that prostitution is a complex practice deeply entrenched in a long line of other social and psychological issues, such as gender inequality, poverty, power hierarchies and exploitation, and that … ". (shrink)
In ‘Is prostitution harmful?’ I argue that if casual sex is acceptable, then so is prostitution.1 Anna Westin, in ‘The harms of prostitution: critiquing Moen's argument of no-harm’, raises four objections to my view.2 Let me reply to these in turn.Westin's first objection is that it is ‘fundamentally problematic [to] categorise sexual ethics into merely two types’, the type that accepts casual sex and the type that does not. The reason why, she explains, is that this ‘incompletely frames the contemporary (...) discourse in sexual ethics’. She points to the views of Linda McDowell, Roger Scruton, Raja Halwani and the Roman Catholic Church to illustrate the breadth of contemporary ethical theorising about sex.Westin is right that I do not provide an account of contemporary sexual ethics. Neither …. (shrink)
Do economists accept absurd and unsupported claims about reality, and if so, why? We define four types of claims commonly made in economics that require different types of evidence, and show examples of each from the rational addiction literature. Claims about real world causal mechanisms and welfare effects seem poorly supported. A survey mailed to all researchers with peer-reviewed work on rational addiction theory provides some evidence that criteria for evaluating claims of pure theory and statistical prediction are better understood (...) than those needed for claims of causality or welfare analysis. We suggest that unsupported claims about real world causality or welfare may be accepted in parts of economics provided they derive from a formally correct model consistent with certain types of data. The rational addiction literature illustrates that this can lead to absurd and unjustified claims being made and accepted in even highly-ranked journals. (shrink)
The philosophical discussion about logical constants has only recently moved into the substructural era. While philosophers have spent a lot of time discussing the meaning of logical constants in the context of classical versus intuitionistic logic, very little has been said about the introduction of substruc-tural connectives. Linear logic, affine logic and other substructural logics offer a more ﬁne-grained perspective on basic connectives such as conjunction and disjunction, a perspective which I believe will also shed light on debates in the (...) philosophy of logic. In what follows I will look at one particularly interesting instance of this: The development of the position known as logical inferentialism in view of substructural connectives. I claim that sensitivity to structural properties is an interesting challenge to logical inferentialism, and that it ultimately requires revision of core notions in the inferentialist litera-ture. Speciﬁcally, I want to argue that current deﬁnitions of proof theoretic harmony give rise to problematic nonconservativeness as a result of their insensitivity to substructurality. These nonconservativeness results are undesirable because they make it impossible to consistently add logical constants that are of independent philosophical interest. (shrink)
In this paper I seek to answer two interrelated questions about pleasures and pains: (i) The question of unity: Do all pleasures share a single quality that accounts for why these, and only these, are pleasures, and do all pains share a single quality that accounts for why these, and only these, are pains? (ii) The question of commensurability: Are all pleasures and pains rankable on a single, quantitative hedonic scale? I argue that our intuitions draw us in opposing directions: (...) On the one hand, pleasures and pains seem unified and commensurable; on the other hand, they do not. I further argue that neither intuition can be abandoned, and examine three different paths to reconciliation. The first two are response theory and split experience theory. Both of these, I argue, are unsuccessful. A third path, however—which I label “dimensionalism” —succeeds. Dimensionalism is the theory that pleasure and pain have the ontological status as opposite sides of a hedonic dimension along which experiences vary. This view has earlier been suggested by C. D. Broad, Karl Duncker, Shelly Kagan, and John Searle, but it has not been worked out in detail. In this paper I work out the dimensionalist view in some detail, defend it, and explain how it solves the problem of the unity and commensurability of pleasures and pains. (shrink)
In this paper I argue that there is only one intrinsic value. I start by examining three aspects of values that are often taken to count against this suggestion: that values seem heterogeneous, that values are sometimes incommensurable, and that we sometimes experience so-called “rational regret” after having forsaken a smaller value for a greater one. These aspects, I argue, are in fact compatible with both monism and pluralism about intrinsic value. I then examine a fourth aspect: That a very (...) large amount of any one value can always outweigh a very small amount of any other. I argue that this aspect, which I call the nominal notable-commensuration principle, is compatible only with monism. (shrink)
La cobertura universal de salud está en el centro de la acción actual para fortalecer los sistemas de salud y mejorar el nivel y la distribución de la salud y los servicios de salud. Este documento es el informe fi nal del Grupo Consultivo de la OMS sobre la Equidad y Cobertura Universal de Salud. Aquí se abordan los temas clave de la justicia (fairness) y la equidad que surgen en el camino hacia la cobertura universal de salud. Por lo (...) tanto, el informe es pertinente para cada agente que infl uye en ese camino y en particular para los gobiernos, ya que se encargan de supervisar y guiar el progreso hacia la cobertura universal de salud. (shrink)