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1. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 7
Øystein Linnebo Generality Explained
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What explains the truth of a universal generalization? Two types of explanation can be distinguished. While an ‘instance-based explanation’ proceeds via some or all instances of the generalization, a ‘generic explanation’ is independent of the instances, relying instead on completely general facts about the properties or operations involved in the generalization. This intuitive distinction is analyzed by means of a truthmaker semantics, which also sheds light on the correct logic of quantification. On the most natural version of the semantics, this analysis vindicates some claims made—without a proper defense—by Michael Dummett, Solomon Feferman, and others. Where instance-based explanations are freely available, classical logic is shown to be warranted. By contrast, intuitionistic logic (or slightly more) remains warranted regardless of what explanations are available.
2. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 7
Simon M. Huttegger Rethinking Convergence to the Truth
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The Bayesian theorem on convergence to the truth states that a rational inquirer believes with certainty that her degrees of belief capture the truth about a large swath of hypotheses with increasing evidence. This result has been criticized as showcasing a problematic kind of epistemic immodesty when applied to infinite hypotheses that can never be approximated by finite evidence. The central point at issue—that certain hypotheses may forever be beyond the reach of a finite investigation no matter how large one’s reservoir of evidence—cannot be captured adequately within standard probability theory. As an alternative, I propose a nonstandard probabilistic framework that, by using arbitrarily small and large numbers, makes room for the type of fine-grained conceptual distinctions appropriate for a deeper analysis of convergence to the truth. This framework allows for the right kind of modesty about attaining truth in the limit.
3. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 7
Call for Submissions: The Isaac Levi Prize
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4. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 6
Eleonora Cresto Ungrounded Payoffs: A Tale of Perfect Love and Hate
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I explore a game-theoretic analysis of social interactions in which each agent’s well-being depends crucially on the well-being of another agent. As a result of this, payoffs are interdependent and cannot be fixed, and hence the overall assessment of strategies becomes ungrounded. A paradigmatic example of this general phenomenon occurs when both players are ‘reflective altruists’, in a sense to be explained. I argue that ungroundedness cannot be captured by standard games with incomplete information, but that it requires the concept of an underspecified game; underspecified games have radically underdetermined matrices. Players locked in ungroundedness will be assumed to engage simultaneously in an implicit second-order game in which they try to coordinate their first-order matrices. If they fail to coordinate, their first-order interaction cannot be recast as a game in the first place.
5. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 6
Byron Simmons Should an Ontological Pluralist Be a Quantificational Pluralist?
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Ontological pluralism is the view that there are different fundamental ways of being. Recent defenders of this view—such as Kris McDaniel and Jason Turner—have taken these ways of being to be best captured by semantically primitive quantifier expressions ranging over different domains. They have thus endorsed, what I shall call, quantificational pluralism. I argue that this focus on quantification is a mistake. For, on this view, a quantificational structure—or a quantifier for short—will be whatever part or aspect of reality’s structure that a quantifier expression carves out and reflects. But if quantificational pluralism is true, then a quantifier should be more natural than its corresponding domain; and since it does not appear to be the case that a quantifier is more natural than its corresponding domain, quantificational pluralism does not appear to be true. Thus, I claim, an ontological pluralist should not be a quantificational pluralist.
6. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 6
New Books: Anthologies
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7. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 6
Call for Submissions: The Isaac Levi Prize
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8. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 5
Trevor Teitel How to Be a Spacetime Substantivalist
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The consensus among spacetime substantivalists is to respond to Leibniz’s classic shift arguments, and their contemporary incarnation in the form of the hole argument, by pruning the allegedly problematic metaphysical possibilities that generate these arguments. Some substantivalists do so by directly appealing to a modal doctrine akin to anti-haecceitism. Other substantivalists do so by appealing to an underlying hyperintensional doctrine that implies some such modal doctrine. My first aim in this paper is to pose a challenge for all extant forms of this consensus position. My second aim is to show what form substantivalism must take in order to uphold the consensus while addressing this challenge. The result is a novel “plenitudinous” substantivalist view, which predicts that certain modal facts about spacetime are vague or indeterminate. I then argue against this view on independent grounds, concluding that substantivalists should reject the consensus position. The paper also discusses the way forward for substantivalists in light of this conclusion.
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9. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 5
Caleb Perl Formulating Moral Error Theory
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This paper shows how to formulate moral error theories given a contextualist semantics like the one that Angelika Kratzer pioneered, answering the concerns that Christine Tiefensee developed.
10. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 5
New Books
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11. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 5
Call for Submissions: The Isaac Levi Prize
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12. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 4
Helen E. Longino What's Social about Social Epistemology?
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A thin conception of the social pervades much philosophical writing in social epistemology. A thicker form of sociality is to be found in scientific practice, as represented in much recent history and philosophy of science. Typical social epistemology problems, such as disagreement and testimony, take on a different aspect when viewed from the perspective of scientific practice. Here interaction among researchers is central to their knowledge making activities and disagreement and testimony are resources, not problems. Whereas much of the disagreement and testimony literature assumes some conception of evidence, or that it is obvious what evidence is, a focus on scientific practice reveals that determining what counts as evidence and for what is determined through the discursive interactions among researchers. This paper concludes with questions about the assumptions about knowledge, cognitive agents, and the right starting point for epistemological reflection that shape the mainstream social epistemological approaches.
13. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 4
David Boylan, Ginger Schultheis The Qualitative Thesis
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The Qualitative Thesis says that if you leave open P, then you are sure of if P, then Q just in case you are sure of the corresponding material conditional. We argue the Qualitative Thesis provides compelling reasons to accept a thesis that we call Conditional Locality, which says, roughly, the interpretation of an indicative conditional depends, in part, on the conditional’s local embedding environment. In the first part of the paper, we present an argument—due to Ben Holguín—showing that, without Conditional Locality, the Qualitative Thesis is in tension with a margin for error principle on rational sureness. We show Conditional Locality reconciles the Qualitative Thesis with the margin for error principle. In the second part, we argue the full range of data supports what we call the Strong Qualitative Thesis. Without Conditional Locality, the Strong Qualitative Thesis has unacceptable consequences. But with Conditional Locality, it is tenable.
14. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 4
New Books
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15. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 4
Call for Submissions: The Isaac Levi Prize
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the isaac levi prize 2021
16. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 3
Daniel Hoek Questions in Action
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Choices confront us with questions. How we act depends on our answers to those questions. So the way our beliefs guide our choices is not just a function of their informational content, but also depends systematically on the questions those beliefs address. This paper gives a precise account of the interplay between choices, questions and beliefs, and harnesses this account to obtain a principled approach to the problem of deduction. The result is a novel theory of belief-guided action that explains and predicts the decisions of agents who, like ourselves, fail to be logically omniscient: that is, of agents whose beliefs may not be deductively closed, or even consistent.
17. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 3
Andrew J. Latham, Hannah Tierney Defusing Existential and Universal Threats to Compatibilism: A Strawsonian Dilemma for Manipulation Arguments
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Many manipulation arguments against compatibilism rely on the claim that manipulation is relevantly similar to determinism. But we argue that manipulation is nothing like determinism in one relevant respect. Determinism is a "universal" phenomenon: its scope includes every feature of the universe. But manipulation arguments feature cases where an agent is the only manipulated individual in her universe. Call manipulation whose scope includes at least one but not all agents "existential manipulation." Our responsibility practices are impacted in different ways by universal and existential phenomena. And this is a relevant difference, especially on Strawsonian approaches to moral responsibility, which take facts about our responsibility practices to be deeply connected to the nature of responsibility itself. We argue that Strawsonian accounts of moral responsibility are immune to manipulation arguments, and no attempt to modify the scope of manipulation or determinism featured in these arguments will help incompatibilists secure their desired conclusion.
book reviews
18. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 3
Andreja Novakovic Dean Moyar: Hegel’s Value: Justice as the Living Good
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19. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 3
Call for Submissions: The Isaac Levi Prize
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20. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 119 > Issue: 3
New Books
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