The no-miracles argument for realism and the pessimistic meta-induction for anti-realism pull in opposite directions. Structural Realism---the position that the mathematical structure of mature science reflects reality---relieves this tension.
Steven French articulates and defends the bold claim that there are no objects in the world. He draws on metaphysics and philosophy of science to argue for structural realism--the position that we live in a world of structures--and defends a form of eliminativism about objects that sets laws and symmetry principles at the heart of ontology.
What is attention? How does attention shape consciousness? In an approach that engages with foundational topics in the philosophy of mind, the theory of action, psychology, and the neurosciences this book provides a unified and comprehensive answer to both questions. Sebastian Watzl shows that attention is a central structural feature of the mind. The first half of the book provides an account of the nature of attention. Attention is prioritizing, it consists in regulating priority structures. Attention is not another element (...) of the mind, but constituted by structures that organize, integrate, and coordinate the parts of our mind. Attention thus integrates the perceptual and intellectual, the cognitive and motivational, and the epistemic and practical. The second half of the book concerns the relationship between attention and consciousness. Watzl argues that attentional structure shapes consciousness into what is central and what is peripheral. The center-periphery structure of consciousness cannot be reduced to the structure of how the world appears to the subject. What it is like for us thus goes beyond the way the world appears to us. On this basis, a new view of consciousness is offered. In each conscious experience we actively take a stance on the world we appear to encounter. It is in this sense that our conscious experience is our subjective perspective. (shrink)
The central problem of social theory is 'structure and agency'. How do the objective features of society influence human agents? Determinism is not the answer, nor is conditioning as currently conceptualised. It accentuates the way structure and culture shape the social context in which individuals operate, but it neglects our personal capacity to define what we care about most and to establish a modus vivendi expressive of our concerns. Through inner dialogue, 'the internal conversation', individuals reflect upon their (...) social situation in the light of current concerns and projects. On the basis of a series of unique, in-depth interviews, Archer identifies three distinctive forms of internal conversation. These govern agents' responses to social conditioning, their individual patterns of social mobility and whether or not they contribute to social stability or change. Thus the internal conversation is seen as being the missing link between society and the individual, structure and agency. (shrink)
Structural realism is considered by many realists and antirealists alike as the most defensible form of scientific realism. There are now many forms of structural realism and an extensive literature about them. There are interesting connections with debates in metaphysics, philosophy of physics and philosophy of mathematics. This entry is intended to be a comprehensive survey of the field.
The Structures of the Life-World is the final focus of twenty-seven years of Alfred Schutz's labor, encompassing the fruits of his work between 1932 and his death in 1959. This book represents Schutz's seminal attempt to achieve a comprehensive grasp of the nature of social reality. Here he integrates his theory of relevance with his analysis of social structures. Thomas Luckmann, a former student of Schutz's, completed the manuscript for publication after Schutz's untimely death.
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)
Traditionally a scientific theory is viewed as based on universal laws of nature that serve as axioms for logical deduction. In analyzing the logical structure of evolutionary biology, Elisabeth Lloyd argues that the semantic account is more appropriate and powerful. This book will be of interest to biologists and philosophers alike.
William Jaworski shows how hylomorphism can be used to solve mind-body problems--the question of how thought, feeling, perception, and other mental phenomena fit into the physical world. Hylomorphism claims that structure is a basic ontological and explanatory principle, and is responsible for individuals being the kinds of things they are, and having the powers or capacities they have. From a hylomorphic perspective, mind-body problems are byproducts of a worldview that rejects structure, and which lacks a basic principle which (...) distinguishes the parts of the physical universe that can think, feel, and perceive from those that can't. Without such a principle, the existence of those powers in the physical world can start to look inexplicable and mysterious. But if mental phenomena are structural phenomena then they are uncontroversially part of the physical world. Hylomorphism thus provides an elegant way of solving mind-body problems. (shrink)
The objects we encounter in ordinary life and scientific practice - cars, trees, people, houses, molecules, galaxies, and the like - have long been a fruitful source of perplexity for metaphysicians. The Structure of Objects gives an original analysis of those material objects to which we take ourselves to be committed in our ordinary, scientifically informed discourse. Koslicki focuses on material objects in particular, or, as metaphysicians like to call them "concrete particulars", i.e., objects which occupy a single region (...) of space-time at each time at which they exist and which have a certain range of properties that go along with space-occupancy, such as weight, shape, color, texture, and temperature. The Structure of Objects focuses in particular on the question of how the parts of such objects, assuming that they have parts, are related to the wholes which they compose. (shrink)
The Structure of Emotions argues that emotion concepts should have a much more important role in the social and behavioural sciences than they now enjoy, and shows that certain influential psychological theories of emotions overlook the explanatory power of our emotion concepts. Professor Gordon also outlines a new account of the nature of commonsense (or ‘folk’) psychology in general.
Structural equations have become increasingly popular in recent years as tools for understanding causation. But standard structural equations approaches to causation face deep problems. The most philosophically interesting of these consists in their failure to incorporate a distinction between default states of an object or system, and deviations therefrom. Exploring this problem, and how to fix it, helps to illuminate the central role this distinction plays in our causal thinking.
The epistemic probability of A given B is the degree to which B evidentially supports A, or makes A plausible. This paper is a first step in answering the question of what determines the values of epistemic probabilities. I break this question into two parts: the structural question and the substantive question. Just as an object’s weight is determined by its mass and gravitational acceleration, some probabilities are determined by other, more basic ones. The structural question asks what probabilities are (...) not determined in this way—these are the basic probabilities which determine values for all other probabilities. The substantive question asks how the values of these basic probabilities are determined. I defend an answer to the structural question on which basic probabilities are the probabilities of atomic propositions conditional on potential direct explanations. I defend this against the view, implicit in orthodox mathematical treatments of probability, that basic probabilities are the unconditional probabilities of complete worlds. I then apply my answer to the structural question to clear up common confusions in expositions of Bayesianism and shed light on the “problem of the priors.”. (shrink)
Semantics in the Montagovian tradition combines two basic tenets. One tenet is that the semantic value of a sentence is an intension, a function from points of evaluations into truth-values. The other tenet is that the semantic value of a composite expression is the result of applying the function denoted by one component to arguments denoted by the other components. Many philosophers object to intensional semantics on the grounds that intensionally equivalent sentences do not substitute salva veritate into attitude ascriptions. (...) They propose instead that the semantic values of sentences must be structured propositions. In rejecting intensional semantics, philosophers who endorse structured propositions also usually reject functional compositionality, undermining both tenets of the Montagovian programme. I defend a semantic theory that incorporates both structured propositions and functional compositionality. I argue that this semantic theory can preserve many explanatory benefits of Montague semantics. Finally, I show how treating composition functional application can resolve core problems internal to a theory of structured propositions. (shrink)
According to the structured theory of propositions, if two sentences express the same proposition, then they have the same syntactic structure, with corresponding syntactic constituents expressing the same entities. A number of philosophers have recently focused attention on a powerful argument against this theory, based on a result by Bertrand Russell, which shows that the theory of structured propositions is inconsistent in higher order-logic. This paper explores a response to this argument, which involves restricting the scope of the claim (...) that propositions are structured, so that it does not hold for all propositions whatsoever, but only for those which are expressible using closed sentences of a given formal language. We call this restricted principle Closed Structure, and show that it is consistent in classical higher-order logic. As a schematic principle, the strength of Closed Structure is dependent on the chosen language. For its consistency to be philosophically significant, it also needs to be consistent in every extension of the language which the theorist of structured propositions is apt to accept. But, we go on to show, Closed Structure is in fact inconsistent in a very natural extension of the standard language of higher-order logic, which adds resources for plural talk of propositions. We conclude that this particular strategy of restricting the scope of the claim that propositions are structured is not a compelling response to the argument based on Russell’s result, though we note that for some applications, for instance to propositional attitudes, a restricted thesis in the vicinity may hold some promise. (shrink)
Sally Haslanger has recently argued that philosophical focus on implicit bias is overly individualist, since social inequalities are best explained in terms of social structures rather than the actions and attitudes of individuals. I argue that questions of individual responsibility and implicit bias, properly understood, do constitute an important part of addressing structural injustice, and I propose an alternative conception of social structure according to which implicit biases are themselves best understood as a special type of structure.
The aim of this paper is to revisit the phlogiston theory to see what can be learned from it about the relationship between scientific realism, approximate truth and successful reference. It is argued that phlogiston theory did to some extent correctly describe the causal or nomological structure of the world, and that some of its central terms can be regarded as referring. However, it is concluded that the issue of whether or not theoretical terms successfully refer is not the (...) key to formulating the appropriate form of scientific realism in response to arguments from theory change, and that the case of phlogiston theory is shown to be readily accommodated by ontic structural realism. (shrink)
We outline Ladyman's 'metaphysical' or 'ontic' form of structuralrealism and defend it against various objections. Cao, in particular, has questioned theview of ontology presupposed by this approach and we argue that by reconceptualisingobjects in structural terms it offers the best hope for the realist in thecontext of modern physics.
Social groups—like teams, committees, gender groups, and racial groups—play a central role in our lives and in philosophical inquiry. Here I develop and motivate a structuralist ontology of social groups centered on social structures (i.e., networks of relations that are constitutively dependent on social factors). The view delivers a picture that encompasses a diverse range of social groups, while maintaining important metaphysical and normative distinctions between groups of different kinds. It also meets the constraint that not every arbitrary collection of (...) people is a social group. In addition, the framework provides resources for developing a broader structuralist view in social ontology. (shrink)
Structural proof theory is a branch of logic that studies the general structure and properties of logical and mathematical proofs. This book is both a concise introduction to the central results and methods of structural proof theory, and a work of research that will be of interest to specialists. The book is designed to be used by students of philosophy, mathematics and computer science. The book contains a wealth of results on proof-theoretical systems, including extensions of such systems from (...) logic to mathematics, and on the connection between the two main forms of structural proof theory - natural deduction and sequent calculus. The authors emphasize the computational content of logical results. A special feature of the volume is a computerized system for developing proofs interactively, downloadable from the web and regularly updated. (shrink)
Dans cet ouvrage publié en 1942, complété en 1945 par la Phénoménologie de la perception, « s’affirme pour la première fois une philosophie existentielle où le mode d’être ultime du pour-soi ne s’avère pas être, en dépit des intentions et des descriptions contraires, celui d’une conscience-témoin » (A. de Waelhens, préface). La structure du comportement se place au niveau de l’expérience non pas naturelle mais scientifique et s’efforce de prouver que cette expérience, c’est-à-dire l’ensemble des faits qui constituent le (...) comportement, n’est pas compréhensible dans les perspectives ontologiques que la science adopte spontanément. (shrink)
There is good reason to believe that scientific realism requires a commitment to the objective modal structure of the physical world. Causality, equilibrium, laws of nature, and probability all feature prominently in scientific theory and explanation, and each one is a modal notion. If we are committed to the content of our best scientific theories, we must accept the modal nature of the physical world. But what does the scientific realist’s commitment to physical modality require? We consider whether scientific (...) realism is compatible with Humeanism about the laws of nature, and we conclude that it is not. We specifically identify three major problems for the best-systems account of lawhood: its central concept of strength cannot be formulated non-circularly, it cannot offer a satisfactory account of the laws of the special sciences, and it can offer no explanation of the success of inductive inference. In addition, Humeanism fails to be naturalistically motivated. For these reasons, we conclude that the scientific realist must embrace natural necessity. (shrink)
This paper sets out a moderate version of metaphysical structural realism that stands in contrast to both the epistemic structural realism of Worrall and the—radical—ontic structural realism of French and Ladyman. According to moderate structural realism, objects and relations (structure) are on the same ontological footing, with the objects being characterized only by the relations in which they stand. We show how this position fares well as regards philosophical arguments, avoiding the objections against the other two versions of structural (...) realism. In particular, we set out how this position can be applied to space-time, providing for a convincing understanding of space-time points in the standard tensor formulation of general relativity as well as in the fibre bundle formulation. (shrink)
SummaryThe main argument for scientific realism is that our present theories in science are so successful empirically that they can't have got that way by chance ‐ instead they must somehow have latched onto the blueprint of the universe. The main argument against scientific realism is that there have been enormously successful theories which were once accepted but are now regarded as false. The central question addressed in this paper is whether there is some reasonable way to have the best (...) of both worlds: to give the argument from scientific revolutions its full weight and yet still adopt some sort of realist attitude towards presently accepted theories in physics and elsewhere. I argue that there is such a way ‐ through structural realism, a position adopted by Poincare, and here elaborated and defended. (shrink)
An increasing amount of twenty-first century metaphysics is couched in explicitly hyperintensional terms. A prerequisite of hyperintensional metaphysics is that reality itself be hyperintensional: at the metaphysical level, propositions, properties, operators, and other elements of the type hierarchy, must be more fine-grained than functions from possible worlds to extensions. In this paper I develop, in the setting of type theory, a general framework for reasoning about the granularity of propositions and properties. The theory takes as primitive the notion of a (...) substitution on a proposition (property, etc.) and, among other things, uses this idea to elucidate a number of theoretically important distinctions. A class of structures are identified which can be used to model a wide range of positions about the granularity of reality; certain of these structures are seen to receive a natural treatment in the category of M-sets. (shrink)
Ontic Structural Realism is a version of realism about science according to which by positing the existence of structures, understood as basic components of reality, one can resolve central difficulties faced by standard versions of scientific realism. Structures are invoked to respond to two important challenges: one posed by the pessimist meta-induction and the other by the underdetermination of metaphysics by physics, which arises in non-relativistic quantum mechanics. We argue that difficulties in the proper understanding of what a structure (...) is undermines the realist component of the view. Given the difficulties, either realism should be dropped or additional metaphysical components not fully endorsed by science should be incorporated. (shrink)
Structural realism as developed by John Worrall and others can claim philosophical roots as far back as the late 19th century, though the discussion at that time does not unambiguously favor the contemporary form, or even its realism. After a critical examination of some aspects of the historical background some severe critical challenges to both Worrall's and Ladyman's versions are highlighted, and an alternative empiricist structuralism proposed. Support for this empiricist version is provided in part by the different way in (...) which we can do justice to Worrall's original demands and in part by the viewpoint it provides (in contrast to e.g. Michael Friedman's) on the stability maintained through scientific theory change. Planck against the heretics 1.1 Poincaré on the meaning of Maxwell's equations 1.2 Two responses: reification and structuralism On the road to structuralism 2.1 The microscope 2.2 Mathematization of the world picture 2.3 The 18th–20th century The new structural realism 3.1 From scientific realism to structuralism 3.2 The Ladyman variant: objectivity and invariance 3.3 How is structural realism supported? An empiricist structuralism 4.1 Royal succession in science 4.2 Defence of the empiricist version 4.3 Structure: an empiricist view. (shrink)
This paper argues that ontic structural realism (OSR) faces a dilemma: either it remains on the general level of realism with respect to the structure of a given theory, but then it is, like epistemic structural realism, only a partial realism; or it is a complete realism, but then it has to answer the question how the structure of a given theory is implemented, instantiated or realized and thus has to argue for a particular interpretation of the theory (...) in question. This claim is illustrated by examining how OSR fares with respect to the three main candidates for an ontology of quantum mechanics, namely many worlds-type interpretations, collapse-type interpretations and hidden variable-type interpretations. The result is that OSR as such is not sufficient to answer the question of what the world is like if quantum mechanics is correct. (shrink)
In 1988, J. Ivlev proposed some (non-normal) modal systems which are semantically characterized by four-valued non-deterministic matrices in the sense of A. Avron and I. Lev. Swap structures are multialgebras (a.k.a. hyperalgebras) of a special kind, which were introduced in 2016 by W. Carnielli and M. Coniglio in order to give a non-deterministic semantical account for several paraconsistent logics known as logics of formal inconsistency, which are not algebraizable by means of the standard techniques. Each swap structure induces naturally (...) a non-deterministic matrix. The aim of this paper is to obtain a swap structures semantics for some Ivlev-like modal systems proposed in 2015 by M. Coniglio, L. Fariñas del Cerro and N. Peron. Completeness results will be stated by means of the notion of Lindenbaum–Tarski swap structures, which constitute a natural generalization to multialgebras of the concept of Lindenbaum–Tarski algebras. (shrink)
We are used to talking about the “structure” posited by a given theory of physics, such as the spacetime structure of relativity. What is “structure”? What does the mathematical structure used to formulate a theory tell us about the physical world according to the theory? What if there are different mathematical formulations of a given theory? Do different formulations posit different structures, or are they merely notational variants? I consider the case of Lagrangian and Hamiltonian classical (...) mechanics. I argue that, contrary to standard wisdom, these are not genuinely equivalent theories: they differ in statespace structure. I suggest that we should be realists about statespace structure. (shrink)
Structural realism is sometimes said to undermine the theory underdetermination (TUD) argument against realism, since, in usual TUD scenarios, the supposed underdetermination concerns the object-like theoretical content but not the structural content. The paper explores the possibility of structural TUD by considering some special cases from modern physics, but also questions the validity of the TUD argument itself. The upshot is that cases of structural TUD cannot be excluded, but that TUD is perhaps not such a terribly serious anti-realistic argument.
Rejecting structural contraction has been proposed as a strategy for escaping semantic paradoxes. The challenge for its advocates has been to make intuitive sense of how contraction might fail. I offer a way of doing so, based on a “naive” interpretation of the relation between structure and logical vocabulary in a sequent proof system. The naive interpretation of structure motivates the most common way of blaming Curry-style paradoxes on illicit contraction. By contrast, the naive interpretation will not as (...) easily motivate one recent noncontractive approach to the Liar paradox. (shrink)
The paper explores a structural account of propositional justification in terms of the notion of being in a position to know and negation. Combined with a non-normal logic for being in a position to know, the account allows for the derivation of plausible principles of justification. The account is neutral on whether justification is grounded in internally individuated mental states, and likewise on whether it is grounded in facts that are already accessible by introspection or reflection alone. To this extent, (...) it is compatible both with internalism and with externalism about justification. Even so, the account allows for the proof of principles that are commonly conceived to depend on an internalist conception of justification. The account likewise coheres both with epistemic contextualism and with its rejection, and is compatible both with the knowledge-first approach and with its rejection. Despite its neutrality on these issues, the account makes propositional justification luminous and so is controversial. However, it proves quite resilient in the light of recent anti-luminosity arguments. (shrink)
This collection of papers (including three completely new ones) by one of the foremost philosophers in epistemology transcends two of the most widely misunderstood positions in philosophy--foundationalism and coherentism. Audi proposes a distinctively moderate, internalist foundationalism that incorporates some of the virtues of both coherentism and reliabilism. He develops important distinctions between positive and negative epistemic dependence, substantively and conceptually naturalistic theories, dispositional beliefs and dispositions to believe, episodically and structurally inferential beliefs, first and second order internalism, and rebutting as (...) opposed to refuting skepticism. These contrasts are applied not only to rational belief, but to rational action and the rationality of desires and intentions. The overall position is a pluralist, moderately rationalistic, internalist theory of justification and a partly externalist conception of knowledge. However, by virtue of offering a theory of rationality as well as an account of knowledge and justified belief, it will interest philosophers of ethics, science, and the social sciences and teachers and students of epistemology. (shrink)
It is argued that a number of important, and seemingly disparate, types of representation are species of a single relation, here called structural representation, that can be described in detail and studied in a way that is of considerable philosophical interest. A structural representation depends on the existence of a common structure between a representation and that which it represents, and it is important because it allows us to reason directly about the representation in order to draw conclusions about (...) the phenomenon that it depicts. The present goal is to give a general and precise account of structural representation, then to use that account to illuminate several problems of current philosophical interest — including some that do not initially seem to involve representation at all. In particular, it is argued that ontological reductions (like that of the natural numbers to sets), compositional accounts of semantics, several important sorts of mental representation, and (perhaps) possible worlds semantics for intensional logics are all species of structural representation and are fruitfully studied in the framework developed here. (shrink)
In this book, the author develops a new form of structural realism and deals with the problem of representation. The work combines two distinguished developments of the Semantic View of Theories, namely Structural Realism, a flourishing theory from contemporary philosophy of science, and Ronald Giere and colleagues’ Cognitive Models of Science approach. Readers will see how replacing the model-theoretic structures that are at issue in SR with connectionist networks and activations patterns helps us to deal with the problem of representation. (...) The author suggests that cognitive structures are not only the precise formal tools for regimenting the structure of scientific theories but also the tools that the biological brain uses to capture the essential features of its environment. Therefore, replacing model-theoretic structures with cognitive structures allows us to account for the theories-reality relationship on the basis of the most reliable theories of neurology. This is how a new form of SR, called Cognitive Structural Realism is introduced through this book, which articulates and defends CSR, and shows how two diverging branches of SVT can be reconciled. This ground-breaking work will particularly appeal to people who work in the philosophy of science, philosophy of mind and cognitive sciences. (shrink)
In contrast to individualistic explanations of social injustice that appeal to implicit attitudes, structural explanations are unintuitive: they appeal to entities that lack clear ontological status, and the explanatory mechanism is similarly unclear. This makes structural explanations unappealing. The present work proposes a structural explanation of one type of injustice that happens in conversations, discursive injustice. This proposal meets two goals. First, it satisfactorily accounts for the specific features of this particular kind of injustice; and second, it articulates a structural (...) explanation that overcomes their unattractiveness. The main idea is that discursive injustice is not the result of biased interlocutors, but of problematic discursive norms. (shrink)
This paper centers around the notion that internal, mental representations are grounded in structural similarity, i.e., that they are so-called S-representations. We show how S-representations may be causally relevant and argue that they are distinct from mere detectors. First, using the neomechanist theory of explanation and the interventionist account of causal relevance, we provide a precise interpretation of the claim that in S-representations, structural similarity serves as a “fuel of success”, i.e., a relation that is exploitable for the representation using (...) system. Then, we discuss crucial differences between S-representations and indicators or detectors, showing that—contrary to claims made in the literature—there is an important theoretical distinction to be drawn between the two. (shrink)
An ongoing philosophical discussion concerns how various types of mental states fall within broad representational genera—for example, whether perceptual states are “iconic” or “sentential,” “analog” or “digital,” and so on. Here, I examine the grounds for making much more specific claims about how mental states are structured from constituent parts. For example, the state I am in when I perceive the shape of a mountain ridge may have as constituent parts my representations of the shapes of each peak and saddle (...) of the ridge. More specific structural claims of this sort are a guide to how mental states fall within broader representational kinds. Moreover, these claims have significant implications of their own about semantic, functional, and epistemic features of our mental lives. But what are the conditions on a mental state's having one type of constituent structure rather than another? Drawing on explanatory strategies in vision science, I argue that, other things being equal, the constituent structure of a mental state determines what I call its distributional properties—namely, how mental states of that type can, cannot, or must co‐occur with other mental states in a given system. Distributional properties depend critically on and are informative about the underlying structures of mental states, they abstract in important ways from aspects of how mental states are processed, and they can yield significant insights into the variegation of psychological capacities. (shrink)
The paper spells out five different accounts of the relationship between objects and relations three of which are versions of ontic structural realism. We argue that the distinction between objects and properties, including relations, is merely a conceptual one by contrast to an ontological one: properties, including relations, are modes, that is the concrete, particular ways in which objects exist. We then set out moderate OSR as the view according to which irreducible relations are central ways in which the fundamental (...) physical objects exist. Physical structures thus consist in objects for whom it is essential that they are related in certain ways. There hence are objects, but they do not possess an intrinsic identity. This view can also admit intrinsic properties as ways in which objects exist provided that these do not amount to identity conditions for the objects. Finally, we indicate how this view can take objective modality into account. (shrink)
Scalar implicatures depend on alternatives in order to avoid the symmetry problem. I argue for a structure-sensitive characterization of these alternatives: the alternatives for a structure are all those structures that are at most as complex as the original one. There have been claims in the literature that complexity is irrelevant for implicatures and that the relevant condition is the semantic notion of monotonicity. I provide new data that pose a challenge to the use of monotonicity and that (...) support the structure-sensitive definition. I show that what appeared to be a problem for the complexity approach is overcome once an appropriate notion of complexity is adopted, and that upon closer inspection, the argument in favor of monotonicity turns out to be an argument against it and in favor of the complexity approach. (shrink)
Structures for Semantics offers an advanced course in logical and mathematical techniques and structures that are used in semantics, in relation to their semantic applications. The book helps students with a background in semantics to develop their skills of formalization and it makes research in semantics accessible. Workers in other disciplines will use it to discover more about the role of formal modelling in current semantic research, and about semantics itself. Following a chapter on logic and set theory there are (...) three parts of chapters: two pairs of chapters on partial order and equivalence relations in relation to semantic analyses of tense, partial information and vagueness; two chapters on methods for creating ordered structures in relation to intervals, events, and the semantics of change; two chapters on lattices and Boolean algebras in relation to types for noun phrases and verbs, and the semantics of plurals and mass nouns. For upper-level undergraduate students and graduate students in semantics: theoretical linguists, logicians, philosophers of language, computer scientists interested in natural language semantics. (shrink)
This paper is structured around the three elements of the title. Section 2 claims that (a) structures need objects and (b) scientific structuralism should focus on in re structures. Therefore, pure structuralism is undermined. Section 3 discusses whether the world has `excess structure' over the structure of appearances. The main point is that the claim that only structure can be known is false. Finally, Section 4 argues directly against ontic structural realism that it lacks the resources to (...) accommodate causation within its structuralist slogan. (shrink)
Normative theorists like to divide normative theories into classes. One special point of focus has been to place utilitarianism into a larger class of theories which do not necessarily share its view about what is alone of impersonal intrinsic value, namely, individual human well-being, but do share another structural feature, roughly its demand that each person seek to maximize the realization of what is of impersonal intrinsic value. The larger class is distinguished from its complement in two apparently different ways. (...) Let us look briefly at these two ways. (shrink)
Unlike those with type 1 blindsight, people who have type 2 blindsight have some sort of consciousness of the stimuli in their blind field. What is the nature of that consciousness? Is it visual experience? I address these questions by considering whether we can establish the existence of any structural—necessary—features of visual experience. I argue that it is very difficult to establish the existence of any such features. In particular, I investigate whether it is possible to visually, or more generally (...) perceptually, experience form or movement at a distance from our body, without experiencing colour. The traditional answer, advocated by Aristotle, and some other philosophers, up to and including the present day, is that it is not and hence colour is a structural feature of visual experience. I argue that there is no good reason to think that this is impossible, and provide evidence from four cases—sensory substitution, achomatopsia, phantom contours and amodal completion—in favour of the idea that it is possible. If it is possible then one important reason for rejecting the idea that people with type 2 blindsight do not have visual experiences is undermined. I suggest further experiments that could be done to help settle the matter. (shrink)
Why do speakers of all languages use different grammatical structures under different communicative circumstances to express the same idea? In this comprehensive study, Professor Lambrecht explores the relationship between the structure of sentences and the linguistic and extra-linguistic contexts in which they are used. His analysis is based on the observation that the structure of a sentence reflects a speaker's assumptions about the hearer's state of knowledge and consciousness at the time of the utterance. This relationship between speaker (...) assumptions and formal sentence structure is governed by rules and conventions of grammar, in a component called 'information structure'. Four independent but interrelated categories are analysed: presupposition and assertion, identifiability and activation, topic, and focus. (shrink)
In this paper I challenge and adjudicate between the two positions that have come to prominence in the scientific realism debate: deployment realism and structural realism. I discuss a set of cases from the history of celestial mechanics, including some of the most important successes in the history of science. To the surprise of the deployment realist, these are novel predictive successes toward which theoretical constituents that are now seen to be patently false were genuinely deployed. Exploring the implications for (...) structural realism, I show that the need to accommodate these cases forces our notion of “structure” toward a dramatic depletion of logical content, threatening to render it explanatorily vacuous: the better structuralism fares against these historical examples, in terms of retention, the worse it fares in content and explanatory strength. I conclude by considering recent restrictions that serve to make “structure” more specific. I show however that these refinements will not suffice: the better structuralism fares in specificity and explanatory strength, the worse it fares against history. In light of these case studies, both deployment realism and structural realism are significantly threatened by the very historical challenge they were introduced to answer. (shrink)