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Displaying: 1-20 of 47 documents


1. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 111 > Issue: 12
Justin Tiehen A Priori Scrutability and That’s All
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At the heart of David Chalmers’s book Constructing the World is his defense of A Priori Scrutability, the thesis that there is a compact class of truths such that for any truth p, a Laplacean intellect could know a priori that if the truths in the class hold, then p. In this paper I develop an objection to Chalmers’s defense of A Priori Scrutability that focuses on his reliance on a so-called that’s-all truth. After reviewing preliminaries in section 1, my objection, which draws heavily on Theodore Sider’s discussion of border-sensitive properties, is developed in sections 2 and 3. Section 2 argues against Chalmers’s analysis of the distinction between positive and negative truths, while section 3 argues that the that’s-all sentence formulated by Chalmers is a falsehood rather than a truth. Section 4 offers a concluding discussion of my argument.
2. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 111 > Issue: 12
Gurpreet Rattan Epistemological Semantics beyond Irrationality and Conceptual Change
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Quine’s arguments in the final two sections of “Two Dogmas of Empiricism” bring semantic and epistemic concerns into spectacular collision. Many have thought that the arguments succeed in irreparably smashing a conception of a distinctively analytic and a priori philosophy to pieces. In Constructing the World, David Chalmers argues that much of this distinctively analytical and a priori conception of philosophy can be reconstructed, with Quine’s criticisms leaving little lasting damage. I agree with Chalmers that Quine’s arguments do not have the lasting damage some take them to have. However, I do not think that Chalmers has succeeded in explaining why. The core of Chalmers’s error lies in the rational dispositionalism that forms the metasemantics of his Carnapian intensionalism. Responding to Quine requires recognizing conceptions of both concepts and epistemic normativity that go beyond the opposition between irrationality and conceptual change that Chalmers brings to bear on Quine. I explain this expanded conception of concepts and epistemic normativity in terms of another fundamental aim of Constructing the World, namely that of providing an account of Fregean sense, or more generally of defending what Chalmers calls epistemological semantics.
comments and criticism
3. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 111 > Issue: 12
Gary Ebbs Conditionalization and Conceptual Change: Chalmers in Defense of a Dogma
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David Chalmers has recently argued that Bayesian conditionalization is a constraint on conceptual constancy, and that this constraint, together with “standard Bayesian considerations about evidence and updating,” is incompatible with the Quinean claim that every belief is rationally revisable. Chalmers’s argument presupposes that the sort of conceptual constancy that is relevant to Bayesian conditionalization is the same as the sort of conceptual constancy that is relevant to the claim that every belief is rationally revisable. To challenge this presupposition I explicate a sort of “conceptual role” constancy that a rational subject could take to be necessary and sufficient for a rule of Bayesian conditionalization to govern her belief updating, and show that a rational subject may simultaneously commit herself to updating her beliefs in accord with such a rule and accept the claim that every belief is rationally revisable. 
4. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 111 > Issue: 12
New Books
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5. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 111 > Issue: 12
Index to Volume CXI
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6. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 111 > Issue: 11
Anja Karnein Putting Fairness in Its Place: Why There Is a Duty to Take Up the Slack
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The view that agents are not obliged to do more than their initial fair shares when their fellow duty bearers fail to comply has prominent defenders, including Liam Murphy and David Miller. While Murphy thinks that asking agents to take up other agents’ slack would be unfair, Miller claims that slack-taking cannot be required because primary responsibility does not migrate from noncompliers to compliers. This paper argues, by contrast, that there are a number of circumstances in which there is a duty to take up the slack even though it is unfair and even though responsibility stays where it is. The central claim is that what agents owe to third parties is a separate issue from how they relate to fellow duty bearers. This proposal also runs counter to familiar defenses of slack-taking that weigh its unfairness against the moral importance of the interests at stake for third parties.
7. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 111 > Issue: 11
Robert Pasnau Veiled Disagreement
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A theory of how rationally to respond to disagreement requires a clear account of how to measure comparative reliability. Such an account faces a Generality Problem analogous to the well-known problem that besets reliabilist theories of knowledge. But whereas the problem for reliabilism has proved recalcitrant, I show that a solution in the case of disagreement is available. That solution is to measure reliability in the most fine-grained way possible, in light of all the circumstances of the present disagreement, but behind a veil that precludes taking into account which views are one's own. This resolves two of the leading obstacles to understanding what disagreement rationally requires: the objection from neglecting the evidence, and the objection from absurd disagreements. Appealing to the contractualist's veil of ignorance also sheds an interesting light on the very different ways in which disagreement gets resolved in epistemology versus political theory. The comparison raises troubling questions on both sides, because it seems doubtful that the political theorist's usual strategies are epistemically rational, and it seems doubtful that the epistemologist's usual strategies are sufficiently attuned to what we care about.
8. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 111 > Issue: 11
Alexander Hyun, Eric Sampson On Believing the Error Theory
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In his recent article entitled ‘Can We Believe the Error Theory?’ Bart Streumer argues that it is impossible to believe the error theory. This might sound like a problem for the error theory, but Streumer argues that it is not. He argues that the un-believability of the error theory offers a way for error theorists to respond to several objections commonly made against the view. In this paper, we respond to Streumer’s arguments. In particular, in §§ 2-4, we offer several objections to Streumer’s argument for the claim that we cannot believe the error theory. In § 5, we argue that even if Streumer establishes that we cannot believe the error theory, this conclusion is not as helpful for error theorists as he takes it to be.
book reviews
9. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 111 > Issue: 11
Don Garrett Spinoza’s Metaphysics: Substance and Thought by Yitzhak Y. Melamed
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10. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 111 > Issue: 11
New Books
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11. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 111 > Issue: 9/10
Wolfgang Mann, Achille C. Varzi Foreword
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12. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 111 > Issue: 9/10
C. S. I. Jenkins Serious Verbal Disputes: Ontology, Metaontology, and Analyticity
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This paper builds on some important recent work by Amie Thomasson, wherein she argues that recent disputes about the existence of ordinary objects have arisen due to eliminiativist metaphysicians’ misunderstandings. Some, she argues, are mistaken about how the language of quantification works, while others neglect the existence and significance of certain analytic entailments. Thomasson claims that once these misunderstandings are cleared away, it is trivially easy to answer existence questions about ordinary objects using everyday empirical methods of investigation. She reveals how two conflicting metaontologies can lead to different positions in the first-order debate. In this paper, I bring a third metaontological perspective to the table: one that enables us to maintain that ontological disputes about ordinary objects are not trivially easy to settle, even if we agree with Thomasson that they are merely verbal. These are serious verbal disputes.
13. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 111 > Issue: 9/10
Stephen Yablo Carnap’s Paradox and Easy Ontology
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14. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 111 > Issue: 9/10
Amie L. Thomasson Quizzical Ontology and Easy Ontology
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This paper examines what’s at stake in which form of metaontological deflationism we adopt. Stephen Yablo has argued for a ‘quizzicalist’ approach, holding that many ontological questions are ‘moot’ in the sense that there is simply nothing to settle them. Defenders of the ‘easy approach’ to ontology, by contrast, think not that these questions are unsettled, but that they are very easily settled by trivial inferences from uncontroversial premises—so obviously and easily settled that there is no point debating them. The views may differ in terms of how far the deflation extends—while easy ontology deflates debates about ordinary objects, Yablo doesn’t think his view does. But the crucial underlying difference lies in whether we think there are ontological presuppositions for introducing terminology.
15. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 111 > Issue: 9/10
Kristie Lyn Miller Defending Substantivism about Disputes in the Metaphysics of Composition
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16. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 111 > Issue: 9/10
Shamik Dasgupta The Possibility of Physicalism
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17. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 111 > Issue: 8
Kai Hauser, W. Hugh Woodin Strong Axioms of Infinity and the Debate About Realism
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One of the most distinctive and intriguing developments of modern set theory has been the realization that, despite widely divergent incentives for strengthening the standard axioms, there is essentially only one way of ascending the higher reaches of infinity. To the mathematical realist the unexpected convergence suggests that all these axiomatic extensions describe different aspects of the same underlying reality.
18. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 111 > Issue: 8
Matthew Braham, Martin van Hees The Impossibility of Pure Libertarianism
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book reviews
19. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 111 > Issue: 8
Fred Rush The Romantic Absolute: Being and Knowing in Early German Romantic Philosophy, 1795–1804 by Dalia Nassar
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20. The Journal of Philosophy: Volume > 111 > Issue: 8
New Books
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