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Displaying: 1-10 of 12008 documents


1. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 6
Simon Goldstein A Theory of Conditional Assertion
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According to one tradition, uttering an indicative conditional involves performing a special sort of speech act: a conditional assertion. We introduce a formal framework that models this speech act. Using this framework, we show that any theory of conditional assertion validates several inferences in the logic of conditionals, including the False Antecedent inference (that not A implies if A, then C). Next, we determine the space of truth-conditional semantics for conditionals consistent with conditional assertion. The truth value of any such conditional is settled whenever the antecedent is false, and whenever the antecedent is true and the consequent is false. Then, we consider the space of dynamic meanings consistent with the theory of conditional assertion. We develop a new family of dynamic conditional-assertion operators that combine a traditional test operator with an update operation.
2. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 6
Jacob Beck Perception is Analog: The Argument from Weber's Law
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In the 1980s, a number of philosophers argued that perception is analog. In the ensuing years, these arguments were forcefully criticized, leaving the thesis in doubt. This paper draws on Weber’s Law, a well-entrenched finding from psychophysics, to advance a new argument that perception is analog. This new argument is an adaptation of an argument that cognitive scientists have leveraged in support of the contention that primitive numerical representations are analog. But the argument here is extended to the representation of non-numerical magnitudes, such as luminance and distance, and shown to apply to perception and not just cognition. The relevant sense of ‘analog’ is also clarified, and two powerful objections are addressed. Finally, the question whether perception’s analog vehicles are located in conscious experience is explored and related to a well-known controversy within psychophysics.
3. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 6
New Books: Anthologies
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4. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 5
Sophie Horowitz The Truth Problem for Permissivism
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Epistemologists often assume that rationality bears an important connection to the truth. In this paper I examine the implications of this commitment for permissivism: if rationality is a guide to the truth, can it also allow some leeway in how we should respond to our evidence? I first discuss a particular strategy for connecting permissive rationality and the truth, developed in a recent paper by Miriam Schoenfield. I argue that this limited truth-connection is unsatisfying, and the version of permissivism that supports it faces serious challenges; so, for mainstream permissivism, the truth problem is still unsolved. I then discuss a strategy available to impermissivists, according to which rationality bears a quite strong connection to truth. I argue that this second strategy is successful.
5. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 5
Brad Armendt Causal Decision Theory and Decision Instability
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The problem of the man who met death in Damascus appeared in the infancy of the theory of rational choice known as causal decision theory. A straightforward, unadorned version of causal decision theory is presented here and applied, along with Brian Skyrms’s deliberation dynamics, to Death in Damascus and similar problems. Decision instability is a fascinating topic, but not a source of difficulty for causal decision theory. Andy Egan’s purported counterexample to causal decision theory, Murder Lesion, is considered; a simple response shows how Murder Lesion and similar examples fail to be counterexamples, and clarifies the use of the unadorned theory in problems of decision instability. I compare unadorned causal decision theory to previous treatments by Frank Arntzenius and by Jim Joyce, and recommend a well-founded heuristic that all three accounts can endorse. Whatever course deliberation takes, causal decision theory is consistently a good guide to rational action.
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6. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 5
Theron Pummer All or Nothing, but If Not All, Next Best or Nothing
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Suppose two children face a deadly threat. You can either do nothing, save one child by sacrificing your arms, or save both by sacrificing your arms. Here are two plausible claims: first, it is permissible to do nothing; second, it is wrong to save only one. Joe Horton argues that the combination of these two claims has the implausible implication that if you are not going to save both children, you ought to save neither. This is one instance of what he calls the ALL OR NOTHING PROBLEM. I here present CONDITIONAL PERMISSIONS as the solution. Although saving only one child is wrong, it can be conditionally permissible, that is, permissible given what you are not going to do. You ought to save both children or save neither, but if you are not going to save both, you ought to do the next best thing (save one) or save neither.
7. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 5
New Books: Anthologies
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8. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 4
Arvid Båve Acts and Alternative Analyses
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I show that the act-type theories of Soames and Hanks entail that every sentence with alternative analyses (including every atomic sentence with a polyadic predicate) is ambiguous, many of them massively so. I assume that act types directed toward distinct objects are themselves distinct, plus some standard semantic axioms, and infer that act-type theorists are committed to saying that ‘Mary loves John’ expresses both the act type of predicating [loving John] of Mary and that of predicating [being loved by Mary] of John. Since the two properties are distinct, so are the act types. Hence, the sentence expresses two propositions. I also discuss a non-standard “pluralist” act-type theory, as well as some retreat positions, which all come with considerable problems. Finally, I extrapolate to a general constraint on theories of structured propositions, and find that Jeffrey King’s theory has the same unacceptable consequence as the act-type theory.
9. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 4
Kentaro Fujimoto Predicativism about Classes
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Classes are the objects of the second sort of second-order set theory. They have sets as their members and behave like sets, but paradoxes tell us that many classes cannot be sets. Then, what are classes? Predicativism about classes suggests that classes are predicates of sets, and this article investigates the question from the predicativist point of view in light of recent developments in the use of classes in set theory. Predicativism has been considered too restrictive and unable to accommodate the use of classes in set theory. This diagnosis, however, is only true of a certain specific type of predicativism. In this article, we propose a new type of predicativism, which we call liberal predicativism, and argue that predicativism is still a highly viable option, and our liberal version provides a sufficiently versatile and workable nominalist concept of classes for set theory.
book reviews
10. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 4
Daniel Greco Sarah Moss: Probabilistic Knowledge
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