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Displaying: 1-20 of 46 documents


1. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 12
Lisa Miracchi Perception First
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I develop a new account of perception on which it is metaphysically and explanatorily prior to illusion, hallucination, and perceptual experience (understood as neutral between these possibilities). I argue that this view can rival the mainstream experience-first representationalist approach in explanatory power by using competences as a key theoretical tool: it can help to explain the nature of perception, how illusion and hallucination depend on it, and how cognitive science can help to explain in virtue of what we perceive. According to the Competence View, perception is a kind of target-oriented activity that manifests the agent’s perceptual competence. This characterization of perception helps to explain the role of the subject in perception, as well as how perception has accuracy conditions. Illusion and hallucination are explained as degenerate exercises of perceptual competences. Lastly, I show the Competence View provides a flexible and robust framework for investigation in cognitive science.
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2. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 12
Daniel Dohrn Nobody Bodily Knows Possibility
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Against modal rationalism, Manolo Martínez argues that elementary bodily mechanisms allow cognizers to know possibility. He presents an exemplary behavioral mechanism adapted to maximizing expected outcome in a random game. The bodily mechanism purportedly tracks probabilities and related possibilities. However, it is doubtful that cognizers like us can know metaphysical modalities purely by virtue of bodily mechanisms without using rational capacities. Firstly, Martínez’s mechanism is limited. But knowledge of probabilities arguably has to cover a variety of probabilistic outcomes. One may need an ability to calculate probabilities. Bodily mechanisms can realize such an ability, but this will presumably amount to instantiating rational capacities. Secondly, the purported connection between the items tracked by the bodily mechanism and genuine metaphysical possibilities is tenuous. There are points at which it may fail. Further, we would need to know by rational metaphysical considerations that the connection holds in order to bodily know possibilities.
3. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 12
Index to Volume CXIV
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4. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 11
Stephanie Collins Filling Collective Duty Gaps
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A collective duty gap arises when a group has caused harm that requires remedying but no (or not enough) member(s) did harm that can justify the imposition of individual remedial duties. Examples range from airplane crashes to climate change. How might collective duty gaps be filled? This paper starts by examining two promising proposals for filling them. Both proposals are found inadequate. Thus, while gap-filling duties can be defended against objections from unfairness and demandingness, we need a substantive justification for their existence. I argue that substantive justification can be found in the normative force of commitments individuals make to others with regard to ends. Along the way, I argue that gap-filling duties must be conceptualized differently in group agents, as compared to non-agent groups: in the former, gap-filling duties can be understood as duties to “take up the slack”; in the latter, this would be a category error.
5. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 11
H. K. Andersen Patterns, Information, and Causation
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This paper articulates an account of causation as a collection of information-theoretic relationships between patterns instantiated in the causal nexus. I draw on Dennett’s account of real patterns to characterize potential causal relata as patterns with specific identification criteria and noise tolerance levels, and actual causal relata as those patterns instantiated at some spatiotemporal location in the rich causal nexus as originally developed by Salmon. I develop a representation framework using phase space to precisely characterize causal relata, including their degree(s) of counterfactual robustness, causal profiles, causal connectivity, and privileged grain size. By doing so, I show how the philosophical notion of causation can be rendered in a format that is amenable for direct application of mathematical techniques from information theory such that the resulting informational measures are causal informational measures. This account provides a metaphysics of causation that supports interventionist semantics and causal modeling and discovery techniques.
book reviews
6. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 11
David Mark Kovacs Thomas Hofweber: Ontology and the Ambitions of Metaphysics
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7. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 10
Kit Fine Form
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We pose a puzzle for forms and show how it might be solved by appeal to the theory of arbitrary objects. We also discuss how the resulting account of forms relates to issues concerning structural universals and the nature of abstraction.
8. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 10
Rachael Wiseman What Am I and What Am I Doing?
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There is a deep connection between Anscombe’s argument that ‘I’ is not a referring expression and Intention’s account of practical knowledge and knowledge without observation. The assumption that the so-called “no-reference thesis” can be resisted while the account of action set out in her book INTENTION is embraced is based on a misunderstanding of the argument of “The First Person” and the status of its conclusion; removing that misunderstanding helps to illuminate the concept of practical knowledge and brings into view a novel account of the relation between self-consciousness, agency, and first-person thought.
9. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 10
Stephen Maitzen Substantial Change: Continuous, Consistent, Objective
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Since antiquity, philosophers have struggled to describe the instant of change in continuous time in a way that is both consistent with classical logic and also objective rather than arbitrary. A particularly important version of this problem arises, I argue, for substantial change, that is, any case in which a metaphysical substance comes into or goes out of existence. I then offer and defend an analysis of the instant of substantial change in continuous time that is consistent with classical logic and objective rather than arbitrary. My key assumption is that, necessarily, every substance ages at every instant at which it exists, from which I conclude that no substance has a first or a last instant of its existence if time is continuous. I also suggest that my solution offers some support for endurantism about substances.
book reviews
10. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 10
Ernest Sosa Duncan Pritchard: Epistemic Angst: Radical Skepticism and the Groundlessness of Our Believing
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11. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 10
New Books
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12. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 9
Jeffrey Sanford Russell Composition as Abstraction
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The existence of mereological sums can be derived from an abstraction principle in a way analogous to numbers. I draw lessons for the thesis that “composition is innocent” from neo-Fregeanism in the philosophy of mathematics.
13. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 9
Yannig Luthra Self-Trust and Knowledge of Action
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This paper argues that you have non-observational warrant for beliefs about the body in action. For example, if you mean to be drinking a cup of water, you can know independently of observation that you are moving your body in a way that is effective in enabling you to drink. The case I make centers on the claim that you have default warrant to trust your agency. You do well to trust your agency just in virtue of your status as an agent, and are not required to earn permission to trust your agency through making use of evidence about how well your agency works. You have non-observational warrant for beliefs about the functioning of your agency, including beliefs about your body in action, inasmuch as those beliefs reflect trust in your agency.
book reviews
14. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 9
Timothy Williamson Penelope Maddy: What Do Philosophers Do? Skepticism and the Practice of Philosophy
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15. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 9
Thomas Hofweber Amie L. Thomasson: Ontology Made Easy
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16. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 9
R. A. Briggs Richard Pettigrew: Accuracy and the Laws of Credence
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17. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 8
Sarah-Jane Leslie The Original Sin of Cognition: Fear, Prejudice, and Generalization
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Generic generalizations such as ‘mosquitoes carry the West Nile virus’ or ‘sharks attack bathers’ are often accepted by speakers despite the fact that very few members of the kinds in question have the predicated property. Previous work suggests that such low-prevalence generalizations may be accepted when the properties in question are dangerous, harmful, or appalling. This paper argues that the study of such generic generalizations sheds light on a particular class of prejudiced social beliefs, and points to new ways in which those beliefs might be undermined and combatted.
18. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 8
Joshua Shepherd The Experience of Acting and the Structure of Consciousness
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I offer an account of the experience of acting that demonstrates how agentive aspects of experience associated with the execution of intentions are richly integrated with perceptual aspects associated with parts of action taking place in the publicly observable world. On the view I elucidate, the experience of acting is often both an engagement with the world and a type of intimate acquaintance with it. In conscious action the agent consciously intervenes in the world and consciously experiences the world she is changing. In section one, I discuss extant accounts of the experience of acting, noting deficiencies. In sections two and three, I develop my own account, drawing on Casey O’Callaghan’s work on multi-modal perception. In the conclusion, I discuss ramifications for psychology and philosophy.
19. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 8
New Books
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20. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 114 > Issue: 7
Eddy Keming Chen Our Fundamental Physical Space: An Essay on the Metaphysics of the Wave Function
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The mathematical structure of realist quantum theories has given rise to a debate about how our ordinary 3-dimensional space is related to the 3N-dimensional configuration space on which the wave function is defined. Which of the two spaces is our (more) fundamental physical space? I review the debate between 3N-Fundamentalists and 3D-Fundamentalists and evaluate it based on three criteria. I argue that when we consider which view leads to a deeper understanding of the physical world, especially given the deeper topological explanation from the unordered configurations to the Symmetrization Postulate, we have strong reasons in favor of 3D-Fundamentalism. I conclude that our evidence favors the view that our fundamental physical space in a quantum world is 3-dimensional rather than 3N-dimensional. I outline lines of future research where the evidential balance can be restored or reversed. Finally, I draw lessons from this case study to the debate about theoretical equivalence.