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Ulf Hlobil
Concordia University
  1. Limits of Abductivism About Logic.Ulf Hlobil - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 103 (2):320-340.
    I argue against abductivism about logic, which is the view that rational theory choice in logic happens by abduction. Abduction cannot serve as a neutral arbiter in many foundational disputes in logic because, in order to use abduction, one must first identify the relevant data. Which data one deems relevant depends on what I call one's conception of logic. One's conception of logic is, however, not independent of one's views regarding many of the foundational disputes that one may hope to (...)
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  2. Inferring by Attaching Force.Ulf Hlobil - 2019 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 97 (4):701-714.
    The paper offers an account of inference. The account underwrites the idea that inference requires that the reasoner takes her premises to support her conclusion. I reject views according to which such ‘takings’ are intuitions or beliefs. I sketch an alternative view on which inferring consists in attaching what I call ‘inferential force’ to a structured collection of contents.
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  3. Against Boghossian, Wright and Broome on inference.Ulf Hlobil - 2014 - Philosophical Studies 167 (2):419-429.
    I argue that the accounts of inference recently presented (in this journal) by Paul Boghossian, John Broome, and Crispin Wright are unsatisfactory. I proceed in two steps: First, in Sects. 1 and 2, I argue that we should not accept what Boghossian calls the “Taking Condition on inference” as a condition of adequacy for accounts of inference. I present a different condition of adequacy and argue that it is superior to the one offered by Boghossian. More precisely, I point out (...)
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  4. The Laws of Thought and the Laws of Truth as Two Sides of One Coin.Ulf Hlobil - 2022 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 52 (1):313-343.
    Some think that logic concerns the “laws of truth”; others that logic concerns the “laws of thought.” This paper presents a way to reconcile both views by building a bridge between truth-maker theory, à la Fine, and normative bilateralism, à la Restall and Ripley. The paper suggests a novel way of understanding consequence in truth-maker theory and shows that this allows us to identify a common structure shared by truth-maker theory and normative bilateralism. We can thus transfer ideas from normative (...)
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  5. Faithfulness for naive validity.Ulf Hlobil - 2019 - Synthese 196 (11):4759-4774.
    Nontransitive responses to the validity Curry paradox face a dilemma that was recently formulated by Barrio, Rosenblatt and Tajer. It seems that, in the nontransitive logic ST enriched with a validity predicate, either you cannot prove that all derivable metarules preserve validity, or you can prove that instances of Cut that are not admissible in the logic preserve validity. I respond on behalf of the nontransitive approach. The paper argues, first, that we should reject the detachment principle for naive validity. (...)
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  6. Anti-Normativism Evaluated.Ulf Hlobil - 2015 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 23 (3):376-395.
    I argue that recent attempts to show that meaning and content are not normative fail. The two most important arguments anti-normativists have presented are what I call the ‘argument from constitution’ and the ‘argument from guidance’. Both of these arguments suffer from the same basic problem: they overlook the possibility of focusing on assessability by norms, rather than compliance with norms or guidance by norms. Moreover, I argue that the anti-normativists arguments fail even if we ignore this basic problem. Thus, (...)
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  7. What Determines Feelings of Belonging and Majoring in an Academic Field? Isolating Factors by Comparing Psychology and Philosophy.Heather Maranges, Maxine Iannuccilli, Katharina Nieswandt, Ulf Hlobil & Kristen Dunfield - 2023 - Current Research in Behavioral Sciences 4:100097.
    Feelings of belonging are integral in people’s choice of what career to pursue. Women and men are disproportionately represented across careers, starting with academic training. The present research focuses on two fields that are similar in their history and subject matter but feature inverse gender gaps—psychology (more women than men) and philosophy (more men than women)—to investigate how theorized explanations for academic gender gaps contribute to feelings of belonging. Specifically, we simultaneously model the relative contribution of theoretically relevant individual differences (...)
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  8. A Nonmonotonic Sequent Calculus for Inferentialist Expressivists.Ulf Hlobil - 2016 - In Pavel Arazim & Michal Dančák (eds.), The Logica Yearbook 2015. College Publications. pp. 87-105.
    I am presenting a sequent calculus that extends a nonmonotonic consequence relation over an atomic language to a logically complex language. The system is in line with two guiding philosophical ideas: (i) logical inferentialism and (ii) logical expressivism. The extension defined by the sequent rules is conservative. The conditional tracks the consequence relation and negation tracks incoherence. Besides the ordinary propositional connectives, the sequent calculus introduces a new kind of modal operator that marks implications that hold monotonically. Transitivity fails, but (...)
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  9. The Cut‐Free Approach and the Admissibility‐Curry.Ulf Hlobil - 2018 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 7 (1):40-48.
    The perhaps most important criticism of the nontransitive approach to semantic paradoxes is that it cannot truthfully express exactly which metarules preserve validity. I argue that this criticism overlooks that the admissibility of metarules cannot be expressed in any logic that allows us to formulate validity-Curry sentences and that is formulated in a classical metalanguage. Hence, the criticism applies to all approaches that do their metatheory in classical logic. If we do the metatheory of nontransitive logics in a nontransitive logic, (...)
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  10. Goodness-Fixing Isn’t Good Enough: A Reply to McHugh and Way.Ulf Hlobil - 2019 - Mind 128 (512):1309-1318.
    According to McHugh and Way reasoning is a person-level attitude revision that is regulated by its constitutive aim of getting fitting attitudes. They claim that this account offers an explanation of what is wrong with reasoning in ways one believes to be bad and that this explanation is an alternative to an explanation that appeals to the so-called Taking Condition. I argue that their explanation is unsatisfying.
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  11. We cannot infer by accepting testimony.Ulf Hlobil - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (10):2589-2598.
    While we can judge and believe things by merely accepting testimony, we cannot make inferences by merely accepting testimony. A good theory of inference should explain this. The theories that are best suited to explain this fact seem to be theories that accept a so-called intuitional construal of Boghossian’s Taking Condition.
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  12. There Are Diachronic Norms of Rationality.Ulf Hlobil - 2015 - Thought: A Journal of Philosophy 4 (1):38-45.
    Some philosophers have recently argued that there are no diachronic norms of epistemic rationality, that is, that there are no norms regarding how you should change your attitudes over time. I argue that this is wrong on the grounds that there are norms governing reasoning.
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  13. The guise of good reason.Ulf Hlobil - 2021 - Philosophical Explorations 24 (2):204-224.
    The paper argues for a version of the Guise of the Good thesis, namely the claim that if someone acts as the result of practical reasoning, then she takes her premises to jointly provide a sufficient and undefeated reason for her action. I argue for this by showing, first, that it is an application of Boghossian's Taking Condition on inference to practical reasoning and, second, that the motivations for the Taking Condition for theoretical reasoning carry over to practical reasoning. I (...)
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  14. Having the Meaning of Life in View.Ulf Hlobil - 2022 - In Christian Kietzmann (ed.), Teleological Structures in Human Life: Essays for Anselm W. Müller. New York: Routledge.
    The paper aims to clarify the role of the meaning of life in Anselm Müller’s philosophy. Müller says that the ethically good life is the life of acting well, and acting well requires at least a rough conception of the meaning of life, or a conception of what makes a life go well. But why is such a conception required and what does it mean to have such a conception? I argue that such a conception cannot provide us with ultimate (...)
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  15. Social norms and unthinkable options.Ulf Hlobil - 2016 - Synthese 193 (8):2519–2537.
    We sometimes violate social norms in order to express our views and to trigger public debates. Many extant accounts of social norms don’t give us any insight into this phenomenon. Drawing on Cristina Bicchieri’s work, I am putting forward an empirical hypothesis that helps us to understand such norm violations. The hypothesis says, roughly, that we often adhere to norms because we are systematically blind to norm-violating options. I argue that this hypothesis is independently plausible and has interesting consequences. It (...)
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  16. Expressing Validity: Towards a Self-Sufficient Inferentialism.Ulf Hlobil - 2020 - In Martin Blicha & Igor Sedlár (eds.), The Logica Yearbook 2019. London: College Publications. pp. 67-82.
    For semantic inferentialists, the basic semantic concept is validity. An inferentialist theory of meaning should offer an account of the meaning of "valid." If one tries to add a validity predicate to one's object language, however, one runs into problems like the v-Curry paradox. In previous work, I presented a validity predicate for a non-transitive logic that can adequately capture its own meta-inferences. Unfortunately, in that system, one cannot show of any inference that it is invalid. Here I extend the (...)
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  17. Minimally Nonstandard K3 and FDE.Rea Golan & Ulf Hlobil - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Logic 19 (5):182-213.
    Graham Priest has formulated the minimally inconsistent logic of paradox (MiLP), which is paraconsistent like Priest’s logic of paradox (LP), while staying closer to classical logic. We present logics that stand to (the propositional fragments of) strong Kleene logic (K3) and the logic of first-degree entailment (FDE) as MiLP stands to LP. That is, our logics share the paracomplete and the paraconsistent-cum-paracomplete nature of K3 and FDE, respectively, while keeping these features to a minimum in order to stay closer to (...)
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  18. Foot Without Achilles’ Heel.Ulf Hlobil & Katharina Nieswandt - 2019 - Philosophia 47 (5):1501-1515.
    It is often assumed that neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics postulates an obligation to be a good human being and that it derives further obligations from this idea. The paper argues that this assumption is false, at least for Philippa Foot’s view. Our argument blocks a widespread objection to Foot’s view, and it shows how virtue ethics in general can neutralize such worries.
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  19. Chains of Inferences and the New Paradigm in the Psychology of Reasoning.Ulf Hlobil - 2016 - Review of Philosophy and Psychology 7 (1):1-16.
    The new paradigm in the psychology of reasoning draws on Bayesian formal frameworks, and some advocates of the new paradigm think of these formal frameworks as providing a computational-level theory of rational human inference. I argue that Bayesian theories should not be seen as providing a computational-level theory of rational human inference, where by “Bayesian theories” I mean theories that claim that all rational credal states are probabilistically coherent and that rational adjustments of degrees of belief in the light of (...)
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  20. Teleo-Inferentialism.Ulf Hlobil - 2022 - Philosophiocal Topics 50 (1):185-211.
    The paper presents teleo-inferentialism, which is a novel meta-semantic theory that combines advantages of teleosemantics and normative inferentialism. Like normative inferentialism, teleo-inferentialism holds that contents are individuated by the norms that govern inferences in which they occur. This allows teleo-inferentialism to account for sophisticated concepts. Like teleosemantics, teleo-inferentialism explains conceptual norms in a naturalistically acceptable way by appeal to the broadly biological well-functioning of our innate capacities. As a test-case for teleo-inferentialism, I discuss how the view handles Kripkenstein-style meaning skepticism.
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  21. A truth-maker semantics for ST: refusing to climb the strict/tolerant hierarchy.Ulf Hlobil - 2022 - Synthese 200 (5):1-23.
    The paper presents a truth-maker semantics for Strict/Tolerant Logic (ST), which is the currently most popular logic among advocates of the non-transitive approach to paradoxes. Besides being interesting in itself, the truth-maker presentation of ST offers a new perspective on the recently discovered hierarchy of meta-inferences that, according to some, generalizes the idea behind ST. While fascinating from a mathematical perspective, there is no agreement on the philosophical significance of this hierarchy. I aim to show that there is no clear (...)
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  22. Virtues for the Imperfect.Katharina Nieswandt & Ulf Hlobil - 2018 - Journal of Value Inquiry 53 (4):605-625.
    We suggest a new neo-Aristotelian account of right action: An action A is right for an agent S in a situation C just in case it is possible for A in C to result from a good practical inference. A practical inference is good if people must have a disposition to make such practical inferences where a society is to flourish. One advantage of this account is that it applies to non-ideal agents. It thus blocks the right-but-not-virtuous objection to virtue (...)
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  23. Do the Virtues Make You Happy?Katharina Nieswandt & Ulf Hlobil - 2019 - Philosophical Inquiries 7 (2):181-202.
    We answer the title question with a qualified “No.” We arrive at this answer by spelling out what the proper place of the concept 'happiness' is in a neo-Aristotelian virtue ethics: (1) Happiness in the sense of personal well-being has only a loose relation to virtue; it doesn't deserve any prominent place in virtue ethics. (2) Happiness in the sense of flourishing is impossible without virtue, but that doesn't imply that individual actions should aim at flourishing. (3) Instead, flourishing sets (...)
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  24. A handbook for social change: Cristina Bicchieri: Norms in the wild: how to diagnose, measure, and change social norms. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2016, 264 pp, $ 29.95 PB. [REVIEW]Ulf Hlobil - 2017 - Metascience 26 (3):459-462.
    “Philosophy isn’t useful for changing the world,” parents of philosophy students and Karl Marx tell us (at least about non-Marxist philosophy). Cristina Bicchieri’s new book Norms in the Wild provides an impressive antidote against this worry. It stands to change of social practices as Che Guevara’s Guerrilla Warfare stands to political revolutions. Bicchieri combines hands-on advice on how to change social practices with compelling theoretical analyses of social norms. She draws heavily on her influential earlier work on norms, but the (...)
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  25. Choosing Your Nonmonotonic Logic: A Shopper’s Guide.Ulf Hlobil - 2018 - In Pavel Arazim & Tomáš Lávička (eds.), The Logica Yearbook 2017. London: College Publications. pp. 109-123.
    The paper presents an exhaustive menu of nonmonotonic logics. The options are individuated in terms of the principles they reject. I locate, e.g., cumulative logics and relevance logics on this menu. I highlight some frequently neglected options, and I argue that these neglected options are particularly attractive for inferentialists.
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  26. Resolutions Against Uniqueness.Kenji Lota & Ulf Hlobil - 2023 - Erkenntnis 88 (3):1013–1033.
    The paper presents a new argument for epistemic permissivism. The version of permissivism that we defend is a moderate version that applies only to explicit doxastic attitudes. Drawing on Yalcin’s framework for modeling such attitudes, we argue that two fully rational subjects who share all their evidence, prior beliefs, and epistemic standards may still differ in the explicit doxastic attitudes that they adopt. This can happen because two such subjects may be sensitive to different questions. Thus, differing intellectual interests can (...)
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  27. Why you cannot make people better by telling them what is good.Ulf Hlobil - 2020 - European Journal of Philosophy 28 (4):986-996.
    So-called optimists about moral testimony argue, against pessimists, that, ceteris paribus, we ought to accept and act in accordance with trustworthy, pure moral testimony. I argue that even if we grant this, we need to explain why moral testimony cannot make us more virtuous. I offer an explanation that appeals to the fact that we cannot share inferential abilities via testimony. This explanation is compatible with the core commitments of optimism, but it also allows us to see what is right (...)
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  28. Regel und Witz. Wittgensteinsche Perspektiven auf Mathematik, Sprache und Moral. [REVIEW]Ulf Hlobil - 2010 - Zeitschrift für Philosophische Forschung 64 (3):416-419.
    Review of Timo-Peter Ertz's "Regel und Witz. Wittgensteinsche Perspektiven auf Mathematik, Sprache und Moral," Berlin & New York: de Gruyter, 2008.
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  29. When Structural Principles Hold Merely Locally.Ulf Hlobil - 2017 - In Pavel Arazim & Tomáš Lávička (eds.), The Logica Yearbook 2016. London: College Publications. pp. 53-67.
    In substructural logics, structural principles may hold in some fragments of a consequence relation without holding globally. I look at this phenomenon in my preferred substructural logic, in which Weakening and Cut fail but which is supra-intuitionistic. I introduce object language operators that keep track of the admissibility of Weakening and of intuitionistic implications. I end with some ideas about local transitivity.
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  30. On Anscombe’s Philosophical Method.Ulf Hlobil & Katharina Nieswandt - 2016 - Klēsis Revue Philosophique 35:180-198.
    While many of Elizabeth Anscombe’s philosophical views are well-known (e.g. her views on practical knowledge or consequentialism), little has been written on her philosophical method, i.e., on her way of doing philosophy. This is unfortunate, for two reasons: First, the failure to understand Anscombe’s method is a major stumbling block for many of her readers. Second, and more importantly, we can still learn a lot from Anscombe’s way of doing philosophy: Her view differs considerably from current alternatives in metaphilosophy. Here (...)
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  31. Impaired facial emotion recognition in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy associated with hippocampal sclerosis (MTLE-HS): Side and age at onset matters.Ulf Hlobil, Chaturbhuj Rathore, Aley Alexander, Sankara Sarma & Kurupath Radhakrishnan - 2008 - Epilepsy Research 80 (2-3):150–157.
    To define the determinants of impaired facial emotion recognition (FER) in patients with mesial temporal lobe epilepsy associated with hippocampal sclerosis (MTLE-HS), we examined 76 patients with unilateral MTLE-HS, 36 prior to antero-mesial temporal lobectomy (AMTL) and 40 after AMTL, and 28 healthy control subjects with a FER test consisting of 60 items (20 each for anger, fear, and happiness). Mean percentages of the accurate responses were calculated for different subgroups: right vs. left MTLE-HS, early (age at onset <6 years) (...)
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  32.  32
    McKinsey's "Consequences of Reference Failure". [REVIEW]Ulf Hlobil - 2020 - Notre Dame Philosophical Reviews 2020:N/A.
  33.  33
    On Anscombe's Philosophical Method [reprint from Klesis Revue Philosophique].Ulf Hlobil & Katharina Nieswandt - 2019 - In John Haldane (ed.), The Life and Philosophy of Elizabeth Anscombe. Exeter: Imprint Academic. pp. 42-61.
    While many of Elizabeth Anscombe’s philosophical views are well-known (e.g. her views on practical knowledge or consequentialism), little has been written on her philosophical method, i.e., on her way of doing philosophy. This is unfortunate, for two reasons: First, the failure to understand Anscombe’s method is a major stumbling block for many of her readers. Second, and more importantly, we can still learn a lot from Anscombe’s way of doing philosophy: Her view differs considerably from current alternatives in metaphilosophy. Here (...)
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  34. G. E. M. Anscombe: Aufsätze.Ulf Hlobil & Katharina Nieswandt (eds.) - 2014 - Suhrkamp.
    Die Wittgenstein-Schülerin Elizabeth Anscombe zählt zu den einflussreichsten Philosophinnen des 20. Jahrhunderts. Mit der Monographie Absicht begründete sie die analytische Handlungstheorie, viele ihrer Abhandlungen gelten als Klassiker, aber nur wenige liegen bislang in deutscher Übersetzung vor. Der vorliegende Band füllt diese Lücke: Er versammelt zwölf von Anscombes wichtigsten Aufsätzen, die thematisch von der praktischen Philosophie über die Metaphysik und die Philosophie des Geistes bis hin zu Aristoteles- und Wittgenstein-Interpretationen reichen, also das ganze Spektrum ihres Denkens repräsentieren. Die Anmerkungen und Erläuterungen (...)
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