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the isaac levi prize 2020
1. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 118 > Issue: 3
Andrew Bollhagen Hempel’s Raven Revisited
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The paper takes a novel approach to a classic problem—Hempel’s Raven Paradox. A standard approach to it supposes the solution to consist in bringing our inductive logic into “reflective equilibrium” with our intuitive judgements about which inductive inferences we should license. This approach leaves the intuitions as a kind of black box and takes it on faith that, whatever the structure of the intuitions inside that box might be, it is one for which we can construct an isomorphic formal edifice, a system of inductive logic. By popping open the box we can see whether that faith is misplaced. I aim, therefore, to characterize our pre-theoretical, intuitive understanding of generalizations like “ravens are black” and argue that, intuitively, we take them to mean, for instance: “ravens are black by some indeterminate yet characteristic means.” I motivate and explicate this formulation and bring it to bear on Hempel’s Problem.
2. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 118 > Issue: 3
Jacob Berger Quality-Space Functionalism about Color
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I motivate and defend a previously underdeveloped functionalist account of the metaphysics of color, a view that I call ‘quality-space functionalism’ about color. Although other theorists have proposed varieties of color functionalism, this view differs from such accounts insofar as it identifies and individuates colors by their relative locations within a particular kind of so-called ‘quality space’ that reflects creatures’ capacities to discriminate visually among stimuli. My arguments for this view of color are abductive: I propose that quality-space functionalism best captures our commonsense conception of color, fits with many experimental findings, coheres with the phenomenology of color experience, and avoids many issues for standard theories of color such as color physicalism and color relationalism.
book reviews
3. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 118 > Issue: 3
Anna Mahtani Scott Sturgeon: The Rational Mind
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4. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 118 > Issue: 2
Isaac Wilhelm The Counteridentical Account of Explanatory Identities
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Many explanations rely on identity facts. In this paper, I propose an account of how identity facts explain: roughly, the fact that A is identical to B explains another fact whenever that other fact depends, counterfactually, on A being identical to B. As I show, this account has many virtues. It avoids several problems facing accounts of explanatory identities, and when precisified using structural equations, it can be used to defend interventionist accounts of causation against an objection.
5. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 118 > Issue: 2
Daniel Muñoz The Rejection of Consequentializing
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Consequentialists say we may always promote the good. Deontologists object: not if that means killing one to save five. “Consequentializers” reply: this act is wrong, but it is not for the best, since killing is worse than letting die. I argue that this reply undercuts the “compellingness” of consequentialism, which comes from an outcome-based view of action that collapses the distinction between killing and letting die.
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6. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 118 > Issue: 2
Nathan Howard Primary Reasons as Normative Reasons
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I argue that Davidson’s conception of motivating reasons as belief-desire pairs suggests a model of normative reasons for action that is superior to the orthodox conception according to which normative reasons are propositions, facts, or the truth-makers of such facts.
7. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 118 > Issue: 2
Call for Submissions: The Isaac Levi Prize
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8. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 118 > Issue: 1
Jessica Keiser On Meaning without Use
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This paper defends the use-based metasemantic project against the problem of meaning without use, which allegedly shows the predictions of use-based metasemantic accounts to be indeterminate with respect to unusably long or complex expressions. This criticism is commonly taken to be decisive, prompting various retreats and contributing to the project’s eventual decline. Using metasemantic conventionalism as a case study, I argue the following: either such expressions do not belong to used languages or their meanings are uniquely determined by use. Thus, the alleged problem of meaning without use offers no challenge to the use-based metasemantic project generally, nor to conventionalism in particular.
9. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 118 > Issue: 1
Peter W. Evans A Sideways Look at Faithfulness for Quantum Correlations
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Despite attempts to apply causal modeling techniques to quantum systems, Wood and Spekkens argue that any causal model purporting to explain quantum correlations must be fine tuned; it must violate the assumption of faithfulness. This paper is an attempt to undermine the reasonableness of the assumption of faithfulness in the quantum context. Employing a symmetry relation between an entangled quantum system and a “sideways” quantum system consisting of a single photon passing sequentially through two polarizers, I argue that Wood and Spekkens’s analysis applies equally to this sideways system also. As a result, we must either reject a causal explanation in this single photon system, or the sideways system must be fine tuned. If the latter, a violation of faithfulness in the ordinary entangled system may be more tolerable than first thought. Thus, extending the classical “no fine-tuning” principle of parsimony to the quantum realm may be too hasty.
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10. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 118 > Issue: 1
Matthew Jope On the Alleged Instability of Externalist Anti-skepticism
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A certain brand of skeptical argument appeals to the thought that our inability to subjectively discriminate between competing hypotheses means that we are unwarranted in believing in either. Externalists respond by pointing out that such arguments depend on an internalist conception of warrant that we would do well to reject. This strategy has been criticized by Crispin Wright, who argues that if we pursue the implications of externalism sufficiently far we find that it is ultimately unstable or incoherent. I first rehearse the simple externalist anti-skeptical position. I then present Wright’s argument for the externalist instability, offering a clearer way of understanding its central claim. Finally, I show that the instability in fact arises due to hidden internalist assumptions about evidence and that rid of these assumptions the externalist position is stable after all.
book reviews
11. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 118 > Issue: 1
Mark Jago Theodore Sider: The Tools of Metaphysics and the Metaphysics of Science
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12. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 118 > Issue: 1
Call for Submissions: The Isaac Levi Prize
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