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1. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 9
Ittay Nissan-Rozen The Value of Chance and the Satisfaction of Claims
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A new explanation for the fairness of lotteries is presented. The explanation draws on elements of John Broome's and Richard Bradley's accounts, but is distinct from both of them. I start with Broome's idea that the fairness of lotteries has something to do with satisfying claims in a way which is proportional to their strength. I present an intuitive explication of "the strength of a claim" and show that under this explication, the "personal good" for an individual gained by some proposition becoming true has a decreasing marginal contribution to the strength of the individual's claim for the proposition to be true. Then I use Bradley's account to deduce Broome's claim that fairness demands satisfying claims in a way which is proportional to their strength. Several implications of this account are discussed.
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2. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 9
J. T. M. Miller Natural Name Theory and Linguistic Kinds
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The natural name theory, recently discussed by Johnson (2018), is proposed as an explanation of pure quotation where the quoted term(s) refers to a linguistic object such as in the sentence ‘In the above, ‘bank’ is ambiguous’. After outlining the theory, I raise a problem for the natural name theory. I argue that positing a resemblance relation between the name and the linguistic object it names does not allow us to rule out cases where the natural name fails to resemble the linguistic object it names. I argue that to avoid this problem, we can combine the natural name theory with a type-realist metaphysics of language, and hold that the name is natural because the name is an instance of the kind that it names. I conclude by reflecting on the importance of the metaphysics of language for questions in the philosophy of language.
book reviews
3. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 9
Hille Paakkunainen Ralph Wedgwood: The Value of Rationality
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4. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 9
Kris McDaniel Karen Bennett: Making Things Up
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5. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 9
New Books
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6. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 8
Justin D’Ambrosio A New Perceptual Adverbialism
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In this paper, I develop and defend a new adverbial theory of perception. I first present a semantics for direct-object perceptual reports that treats their object-positions as supplying adverbial modifiers, and I show how this semantics definitively solves the many-property problem for adverbialism. My solution is distinctive in that it articulates adverbialism from within a well-established formal semantic framework and ties adverbialism to a plausible semantics for perceptual reports in English. I then go on to present adverbialism as a theory of the metaphysics of perception. The metaphysics I develop treats adverbial perception as a directed activity: it is an activity with success conditions. When perception is successful, the agent bears a relation to a concrete particular, but perception need not be successful; this allows perception to be fundamentally non-relational. The result is a novel formulation of adverbialism that eliminates the need for representational contents, but also treats successful and unsuccessful perceptual events as having a fundamental common factor.
7. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 8
Saul Smilansky A Hostage Situation
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Moral life sometimes involves life-and-death decisions, and philosophers often consider them by examining intuitions about ideal cases. Contemporary philosophical discourse on such matters has been dominated by Trolley-type cases, which typically present us with the need to make decisions on whether to sacrifice one person in order to save a larger number of similar others. Such cases lead to a distinct view of moral dilemmas and of moral life generally. The case I present here, “Hostage Situation,” is quite unlike them and should generate intuitions that differ greatly from those brought forth by standard Trolley-type cases. The implications are surprising and suggest that familiar and widely prevalent perceptions of the normative field are inadequate.
8. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 8
New Books
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9. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 7
Trevor Teitel Holes in Spacetime: Some Neglected Essentials
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The hole argument purports to show that all spacetime theories of a certain form are indeterministic, including General Relativity. The argument has sparked an industry of searching for a metaphysics of spacetime with the right modal implications to rescue determinism. In this paper, I first argue that certain prominent replies to the hole argument—namely, those that appeal to an essentialist doctrine about spacetime—fail to deliver the requisite modal implications. My argument involves showing that threats to determinism like the hole argument are more general than has heretofore been recognized. I then propose a novel essentialist doctrine about spacetime that successfully rescues determinism, what I call sufficiency metric essentialism. However, I ultimately argue that this doctrine is independently problematic, and teaches us that no essentialist doctrine about spacetime can succeed. I close by suggesting some lessons for future work on spacetime and the metaphysics of physics more broadly, and also drawing some morals for contemporary metaphysics, in particular about whether essence can be used to articulate a precise structuralist doctrine, and the relationship between essence and modality.
10. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 116 > Issue: 7
Benjamin Eva Principles of Indifference
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The principle of indifference (PI) states that in the absence of any relevant evidence, a rational agent will distribute their credence equally among all the possible outcomes under consideration. Despite its intuitive plausibility, PI famously falls prey to paradox, and so is widely rejected as a principle of ideal rationality. In this article, I present a novel rehabilitation of PI in terms of the epistemology of comparative confidence judgments. In particular, I consider two natural comparative reformulations of PI and argue that while one of them prescribes the adoption of patently irrational epistemic states, the other (which is only available when we drop the standard but controversial “Opinionation” assumption from the comparative confidence framework) provides a consistent formulation of PI that overcomes the most salient limitations of existing formulations.