Tim Maudlin has influentially argued that Humeanism about laws of nature stands in conflict with quantum mechanics. Specifically Humeanism implies the principle Separability: the complete physical state of a world is determined by the intrinsic physical state of each space-time point. Maudlin argues Separability is violated by the entangled states posited by QM. We argue that Maudlin only establishes that a stronger principle, which we call Strong Separability, is in tension with QM. Separability is not in tension with QM. Moreover, (...) while the Humean requires Separability to capture the core tenets of her view, there's no Humean-specific motivation for accepting Strong Separability. We go on to give a Humean account of entangled states which satisfies Separability. The core idea is that certain quantum states depend upon the Humean mosaic in much the same way as the laws do. In fact, we offer a variant of the Best System account on which the systemization procedure that generates the laws also serves to ground these states. We show how this account works by applying it to the example of Bohmian Mechanics. The 3N-dimensional configuration space, the world particle in it and the wave function on it are part of the best system of the Humean mosaic, which consists of N particles moving in 3-dimensional space. We argue that this account is superior to the Humean account of Bohmian Mechanics defended by Loewer and Albert, which takes the 3N-dimensional space, and its inhabitants, as fundamental. (shrink)
This article introduces and motivates the notion of a “properly extensive” quantity by means of a puzzle about the reliability of certain canonical length measurements. An account of these measurements’ success, I argue, requires a modally robust connection between quantitative structure and mereology that is not mediated by the dynamics and is stronger than the constraints imposed by “mere additivity.” I outline what it means to say that length is not just extensive but properly so and then briefly sketch an (...) application of proper extensiveness to the project of providing a reductive ground for metric quantitative structure. (shrink)
According to substantivalism, spacetime points and regions are real entities whose existence is not dependent on matter. In this paper, I motivate and defend a version of substantivalism which takes the totality of spacetime as fundamental, and show how this position avoids certain problem cases, in particular the objection from static Leibniz shifts, and better conforms to how we think about space in physics. I argue that, even though the static Leibniz shifts do not show ordinary substantivalism is committed to (...) in-principle undetectable physical structure ), they do indicate something problematic about the modal profile of space-time and its constituents. While the problem is modal, the solution cannot be solely a matter of revising the substantivalist's modal claims. Rather, I argue, the substantivalist must revise her background ontology of space-time. I show how this can be done by developing substantivalist theory that rejects this picture in favor of an alternative ontology of space-time in the spirit of priority monism. (shrink)
Quantities are properties and relations which exhibit "quantitative structure". For physical quantities, this structure can impact the non-quantitative world in different ways. In this paper I introduce and motivate a novel distinction between quantities based on the way their quantitative structure constrains the possible mereological structure of their instances. Specifically, I identify a category of “properly extensive” quantities, which are a proper sub-class of the additive or extensive quantities. I present and motivate this distinction using two case studies of successful (...) physical measurements.. I argue that the best explanation for the success of the length measurement requires us to adopt a notion of proper extensiveness, which is distinct from mere additivity, which is exhibited by inertial mass. I further discuss the consequences of this distinction, sketching an application of proper extensiveness for the project of producing a non-mathematical and non-metrical reductive metaphysics of quantity. (shrink)
This collection deals with various problems related to "self-locating beliefs": the sorts of beliefs one expresses with indexicals and demonstratives, like "I" and "this." He includes such well-known essays as "Frege on Demonstratives," "The Problem of the Essential Indexical," and "The Prince and the Phone Booth.".
Since it was first published, Quantum Field Theory in a Nutshell has quickly established itself as the most accessible and comprehensive introduction to this profound and deeply fascinating area of theoretical physics. Now in this fully revised and expanded edition, A. Zee covers the latest advances while providing a solid conceptual foundation for students to build on, making this the most up-to-date and modern textbook on quantum field theory available. -/- This expanded edition features several additional chapters, as well as (...) an entirely new section describing recent developments in quantum field theory such as gravitational waves, the helicity spinor formalism, on-shell gluon scattering, recursion relations for amplitudes with complex momenta, and the hidden connection between Yang-Mills theory and Einstein gravity. Zee also provides added exercises, explanations, and examples, as well as detailed appendices, solutions to selected exercises, and suggestions for further reading. (shrink)
Fearful Symmetry brings the incredible discoveries of contemporary physics within everyone's grasp. A. Zee, a distinguished physicist and skillful expositor, tells the exciting story of how today's theoretical physicists are following Einstein in their search for the beauty and simplicity of Nature. Animated by a sense of reverence and whimsy, the book describes the majestic sweep and accomplishments of twentieth-century physics. In the end, we stand in awe before the grand vision of modern physics--one of the greatest chapters in the (...) intellectual history of humankind. (shrink)
The founder of modern linguistics, Ferdinand de Saussure inaugurated semiology, structuralism, and deconstruction and made possible the work of Jacques Derrida, Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, and Jacques Lacan, thus enabling the development of French feminism, gender studies, New Historicism, and postcolonialism. Based on Saussure's lectures, _Course in General Linguistics_ traces the rise and fall of the historical linguistics in which Saussure was trained, the synchronic or structural linguistics with which he replaced it, and the new look of diachronic linguistics that (...) followed this change. Most important, Saussure presents the principles of a new linguistic science that includes the invention of semiology, or the theory of the "signifier," the "signified," and the "sign" that they combine to produce. This is the first critical edition of _Course in General Linguistics_ to appear in English and restores Wade Baskin's original translation of 1959, in which the terms "signifier" and "signified" are introduced into English in this precise way. Baskin renders Saussure clearly and accessibly, allowing readers to experience his shift of the theory of reference from mimesis to performance and his expansion of poetics to include all media, including the life sciences and environmentalism. An introduction situates Saussure within the history of ideas and describes the history of scholarship that made _Course in General Linguistics_ legendary. New endnotes enlarge Saussure's contexts to include literary criticism, cultural studies, and philosophy. (shrink)
This anthology of essays on the work of David Kaplan, a leading contemporary philosopher of language, sprang from a conference, "Themes from Kaplan," organized by the Center for the Study of Language and Information at Stanford University.
Following his recently expanded _The Problem of the Essential Indexical and Other Essays,_ John Perry develops a reflexive-referential' account of indexicals, demonstratives and proper names. On these issues the philosophy of language in the twentieth century was shaped by two competing traditions, descriptivist and referentialist. Oddly, the classic referentialist texts of the 1970s by Kripke, Donnellan, Kaplan and others were seemingly refuted almost a century earlier by co-reference and no-reference problems raised by Russell and Frege. Perry's theory, borrowing (...) ideas from both traditions as well as from Burks and Reichenbach, diagnoses the problems as stemming from a fixation on a certain kind of content, coined referential or fully incremental. Referentialist tradition is portrayed as holding that indexicals contribute content that involves individuals without identifying conditions on them; descriptivist tradition is portrayed as holding that referential content does not explain all of the identifying conditions conveyed by names and indexicals. Perry reveals a coherent and structured family of contents — from reflexive contents that place conditions on their actual utterance to fully incremental contents that place conditions only on the objects of reference — reconciling the legitimate insights of both traditions. (shrink)
Critics of skeptical theism often claim that if it (skeptical theism) is true, then we are in the dark about whether (or for all we know) there is a morally justifying for God to radically deceive us. From here, it is argued that radical skepticism follows: if we are truly in the dark about whether there is a morally justifying reason for God to radically deceive us, then we cannot know anything. In this article, I show that skeptical theism does (...) not entail that we are in the dark about whether (or for all we know) there is a morally justifying reason for God to deceive us. And hence arguments against skeptical theism that make use of this assumption fail. (shrink)
A collection of twelve essays by John Perry and two essays he co-authored, this book deals with various problems related to "self-locating beliefs": the sorts of beliefs one expresses with indexicals and demonstratives, like "I" and "this." Postscripts have been added to a number of the essays discussing criticisms by authors such as Gareth Evans and Robert Stalnaker. Included with such well-known essays as "Frege on Demonstratives," "The Problem of the Essential Indexical," "From Worlds to Situations," and "The Prince (...) and the Phone Booth" are a number of important essays that have been less accessible and that discuss important aspects of Perry's views, referred to as "Critical Referentialism," on the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind. (shrink)
Much of the discussion surrounding the ethics of abortion has centered around the notion of personhood. This is because many philosophers hold that the morality of abortion is contingent on whether the fetus is a person - though, of course, some famous philosophers have rejected this thesis (e.g. Judith Thomson and Don Marquis). In this article, I construct a novel argument for the immorality of abortion based on the notion of impairment. This argument does not assume that the fetus is (...) a person - indeed, I concede (for the sake of argument) that the fetus is not a person - and hence the morality of abortion is not contingent on whether the fetus is a person. I finish by answering a plethora of objections to my argument, concluding that none of them are successful. (shrink)
The texts in this volume offer critical assessments of a number of leading figures in contemporary intellectual life, who are in different ways thinkers at the intersection of history and politics. They include Roberto Unger, advocate of plasticity; the historians of antiquity and of revolution, Geoffrey de Ste. Croix and Isaac Deutscher; the philosophers of liberalism, Norberto Bobbio and Isaiah Berlin; the sociologists of power, Michael Mann and W.G. Runciman; the exponents of national identity, Andreas Hillgruber and Fernand Braudel; the (...) ironists of science, Max Weber and Ernest Gellner; Carlo Ginzburg, explorer of cultural continuity, and Marshall Berman, herald of modernity. A concluding chapter looks at the idea of the end of history, recently advanced by Francis Fukuyama, in its successive versions from the nineteenth century to the present, and considers the situation of socialism today in the light of it. (shrink)
This article is a response to Stephen Law's article ‘The evil-god challenge’. In his article, Law argues that if belief in evil-god is unreasonable, then belief in good-god is unreasonable; that the antecedent is true; and hence so is the consequent. In this article, I show that Law's affirmation of the antecedent is predicated on the problem of good (i.e. the problem of whether an all-evil, all-powerful, and all-knowing God would allow there to be as much good in the world (...) as there is), and argue that the problem of good fails. Thus, the antecedent is unmotivated, which renders the consequent unmotivated. Law's challenge for good-god theists is to show that good-god theism is not rendered unreasonable by the problem of evil in the same way that evil-god theism is rendered unreasonable by the problem of good. Insofar as the problem of good does not render belief in evil-god unreasonable, Law's challenge has been answered: since it is not unreasonable to believe in evil-god (at least for the reasons that Law gives) it is not unreasonable to believe in good-god. Finally, I show that – my criticism aside – the evil-god challenge turns out to be more complicated and controversial than it initially appears, for it relies on the (previously unacknowledged) contentious assumption that sceptical theism is false. (shrink)
To understand H.L.A. Hart's general theory of law, it is helpful to distinguish between substantive and methodological legal positivism. Substantive legal positivism is the view that there is no necessary connection between morality and the content of law. Methodological legal positivism is the view that legal theory can and should offer a normatively neutral description of a particular social phenomenon, namely law. Methodological positivism holds, we might say, not that there is no necessary connection between morality and law, but rather (...) that there is no connection, necessary or otherwise, between morality and legal theory. The respective claims of substantive and methodological positivism are, at least on the surface, logically independent. Hobbes and Bentham employed normative methodologies to defend versions of substantive positivism, and in modern times Michael Moore has developed what can be regarded as a variant of methodological positivism to defend a theory of natural law. (shrink)
Skeptical theism is a popular response to arguments from evil. Many hold that it undermines a key inference often used by such arguments. However, the case for skeptical theism is often kept at an intuitive level: no one has offered an explicit argument for the truth of skeptical theism. In this article, I aim to remedy this situation: I construct an explicit, rigorous argument for the truth of skeptical theism.
In my article "Even if the fetus is not a person, abortion is immoral: The impairment argument" (this journal), I defended what I called “The impairment argument” which purports to show that abortion is immoral. Bruce Blackshaw (2019) has argued that my argument fails on three accounts. In this article, I respond to his criticisms.
Arguments from evil purport to show that some fact about evil makes it (at least) probable that God does not exist. Skeptical theism is held to undermine many versions of the argument from evil: it is thought to undermine a crucial inference that such arguments often rely on. Skeptical objections to skeptical theism claim that it (skeptical theism) entails an excessive amount of skepticism, and therefore should be rejected. In this article, I show that skeptical objections to skeptical theism have (...) a very limited scope: only those who reject certain (apparently) popular epistemological theories will be threatened by them. (shrink)
Joona Räsänen, in his article ‘Ectogenesis, abortion and a right to the death of the fetus’, has argued for the view that parents have a right to the death of the fetus. In this article, I will explicate the three arguments Räsänen defends, and show that two of them have false or unmotivated premises and hence fail, and that the support he offers for his third argument is inconsistent with other views he expresses in his article. Therefore, I conclude that (...) there is no right to the death of the fetus—or, if there is one, Räsänen has not shown it. (shrink)
De facto objections to theism purport to show that theism is false, whereas de jure objections to theism claim that, whether or not theism is true, belief in God is irrational. Divine hiddenness – the fact that there are people who non-resistantly lack belief in God – is sometimes used as an argument against theism. In this article I will show that accepting the argument from divine hiddenness carries a high cost: it eliminates all de jure objections to theism. So (...) atheists can either have de jure objections to theism or the objection from divine hiddenness, but they cannot have both. (shrink)
'I never can catch myself at any time without a perception, and never can observe any thing but the perception.' These famous words of David Hume, on his inability to perceive the self, set the stage for JeeLoo Liu and John Perry's collection of essays on self-awareness and self-knowledge. This volume connects recent scientific studies on consciousness with the traditional issues about the self explored by Descartes, Locke and Hume. Experts in the field offer contrasting perspectives on matters such (...) as the relation between consciousness and self-awareness, the notion of personhood and the epistemic access to one's own thoughts, desires or attitudes. The volume will be of interest to philosophers, psychologists, neuroscientists, cognitive scientists and others working on the central topics of consciousness and the self. (shrink)
The subject’s perspective objection (SPO) is an objection against externalist theories of justification, warrant, and knowledge. In this article, I show that externalists can accommodate the SPO while remaining externalist. So, even if the SPO is successful, it does not motivate internalism, and the primary motivation for internalism has been lost. After this, I provide an explanation for why so many people find cases that motivate the SPO convincing.
Perry Hendricks’ original impairment argument for the immorality of abortion is based on the impairment principle (TIP): if impairing an organism to some degree is immoral, then ceteris paribus, impairing it to a higher degree is also immoral. Since abortion impairs a fetus to a higher degree than fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) and giving a fetus FAS is immoral, it follows that abortion is immoral. Critics have argued that the ceteris paribus is not met for FAS and abortion, and (...) so we proposed the Modified Impairment Principle (MIP) to avoid these difficulties. Dustin Crummett has responded, arguing that MIP is open to various counterexamples which show it to be false. He also shows that MIP can generate moral dilemmas. Here, we propose a modification to MIP that resolves the issues Crummett raises. Additionally, Alex Gillham has criticized our appropriation of Don Marquis’ ‘future like ours’ reasoning about the wrongness of impairment. We show that his objections have minimal implications for our argument. (shrink)
The “Embryo Rescue Case” (ERC) refers to a thought experiment that is used to argue against the view that embryos have a right to life (i.e. are persons). I will argue that cognitive science undermines the intuition elicited by the ERC; I will show that whether or not embryos have a right to life, our mental tools will make it very difficult to believe that embryos have said right. This suggests that the intuition elicited by the ERC is not truth (...) indicative. The upshot of this is that we have an undercutting defeater for our intuition that embryos do not have a right to life. (shrink)
Trent Dougherty has argued that commonsense epistemology and skeptical theism are incompatible. In this paper, I explicate Dougherty’s argument, and show that (at least) one popular form of skeptical theism is compatible with commonsense epistemology.
Lougheed argues that a possible solution to the problem of divine hiddenness is that God hides in order to increase the axiological value of the world. In a world where God exists, the goods associated with theism necessarily obtain. But Lougheed also claims that in such a world it’s possible to experience the goods of atheism, even if they don’t actually obtain. This is what makes a world with a hidden God more valuable than a world where God is unhidden, (...) and also more valuable than an atheistic world with no God. We show that Lougheed never considers the comparison between a world where God hides and an atheistic world. We argue that it’s possible for a person to experience theistic goods in a world where God does not exist, a possibility Lougheed never considers. If this is right it undermines his axiological solution to divine hiddenness. We conclude by showing how our discussion of the axiology of theism connects to the existential question of whether God exists; that is, we show that the axiological question is dependent on the existential question. (shrink)
Perry Hendricks’ impairment argument for the immorality of abortion is based on two premises: first, impairing a fetus with fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) is immoral, and second, if impairing an organism to some degree is immoral, then ceteris paribus, impairing it to a higher degree is also immoral. He calls this the impairment principle (TIP). Since abortion impairs a fetus to a higher degree than FAS, it follows from these two premises that abortion is immoral. Critics have focussed on (...) the ceteris paribus clause of TIP, which requires that the relevant details surrounding each impairment be sufficiently similar. In this article, we show that the ceteris paribus clause is superfluous, and by replacing it with a more restrictive condition, the impairment argument is considerably strengthened. (shrink)
After reviewing the use of isolation in US prisons and public restrooms to confine transgender people in solitary cells and single‐occupancy bathrooms, I propose an explanatory theory of eliminative space. I argue that prisons and toilets are eliminative spaces: that is, spaces of waste management that use layers of isolation to sanctify social or individual waste, at the outer and inner limits of society. As such, they function according to an eliminative logic. Eliminative logic, as I develop it, involves three (...) distinct but interrelated mechanisms: 1) purification of the social center, through 2) iterative segregation, presuming and enforcing 3) the reduced relationality of marginal persons. By evaluating the historical development and contemporary function of prisons and restrooms, I demonstrate that both seek to protect the gender binary through waves of segregation by sex, race, disability, and gender identity. I further argue that both assume the thin relationality of, in this case, transgender people, who are conceived of as impervious to the effects of isolation and thus always already isolable. I conclude that, if we are to counter the violence of these isolation practices, we not only need to think holistically about eliminative spaces and logic, but also to richly reconceptualize relationality. (shrink)
The self-notion is an essential constituent of any self-belief or self-knowledge. But what is the self-notion? In this paper, I tie together several themes from the philosophy of John Perry to explain how he answers this question. The self-notion is not just any notion that happens to be about the person in whose mind that notion appears, because it's possible to have ways of thinking about oneself that one doesn't realize are about oneself. Characterizing the self-notion properly (and hence (...) self-belief and self-knowledge) requires understanding the role of that notion in tracking agent-relative information and motivating normally self-effecting ways of acting. [Note: the file here is an uncorrected proof. Please see the final book, now called _Identity, Language, and Mind_, for citation purposes.]. (shrink)
Critical Pragmatics develops three ideas: language is a way of doing things with words; meanings of phrases and contents of utterances derive ultimately from human intentions; and language combines with other factors to allow humans to achieve communicative goals. In this book, Kepa Korta and John Perry explain why critical pragmatics provides a coherent picture of how parts of language study fit together within the broader picture of human thought and action. They focus on issues about singular reference, that (...) is, talk about particular things, places or people, which have played a central role in the philosophy of language for more than a century. They argue that attention to the 'reflexive' or 'utterance-bound' contents of utterances sheds new light on these old problems. Their important study proposes a new approach to pragmatics and should be of wide interest to philosophers of language and linguists. (shrink)
This article addresses a stated need within the food justice movement scholarship to increase the attention paid to the political socialization of hired farm hands in industrial agriculture. In Canada, tackling the problem of farm worker equity has particular social and political contours related to the Canadian horticultural industry’s reliance on a state-managed migrant agricultural labour program designed to fill the sector’s labour market demands. As Canada’s Seasonal Agricultural Worker Program produces relations of ‘unfree labour’, engaging migrant farm workers in (...) social movement initiatives can be particularly challenging. Critical educational interventions designed to encourage migrant farm workers’ contribution to contemporary social movements in Canada must therefore confront the socio-cultural obstacles that constrict migrant farm workers’ opportunities to participate as full members of their communities. In this article, I argue that social justice oriented approaches to community-based arts can provide a means for increasing the social movement contributions of farm workers employed through managed labour migration schema such as Canada’s SAWP. (shrink)
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