Results for 'Michael J. Raven'

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  1. Fundamentality Without Foundations.Michael J. Raven - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (3):607-626.
    A commonly held view is that a central aim of metaphysics is to give a fundamental account of reality which refers only to the fundamental entities. But a puzzle arises. It is at least a working hypothesis for those pursuing the aim that, first, there must be fundamental entities. But, second, it also seems possible that the world has no foundation, with each entity depending on others. These two claims are inconsistent with the widely held third claim that the fundamental (...)
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  2. A Puzzle for Social Essences.Michael J. Raven - 2022 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 8 (1):128-148.
    The social world contains institutions, groups, objects, and more. This essay explores a puzzle about the essences of social items. There is widespread consensus against social essences because of problematic presuppositions often made about them. But it is argued that essence can be freed from these presuppositions and their problems. Even so, a puzzle still arises. In a Platonic spirit, essences in general seem detached from the world. In an Aristotelian spirit, social essences in particular seem embedded in the world. (...)
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  3. Explaining essences.Michael J. Raven - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1043-1064.
    This paper explores the prospects of combining two views. The first view is metaphysical rationalism : all things have an explanation. The second view is metaphysical essentialism: there are real essences. The exploration is motivated by a conflict between the views. Metaphysical essentialism posits facts about essences. Metaphysical rationalism demands explanations for all facts. But facts about essences appear to resist explanation. I consider two solutions to the conflict. Exemption solutions attempt to exempt facts about essences from the demand for (...)
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  4. Sceptical Theism and Evidential Arguments From Evil.Michael J. Almeida & Graham Oppy - 2003 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (4):496 – 516.
    Sceptical theists--e.g., William Alston and Michael Bergmann--have claimed that considerations concerning human cognitive limitations are alone sufficient to undermine evidential arguments from evil. We argue that, if the considerations deployed by sceptical theists are sufficient to undermine evidential arguments from evil, then those considerations are also sufficient to undermine inferences that play a crucial role in ordinary moral reasoning. If cogent, our argument suffices to discredit sceptical theist responses to evidential arguments from evil.
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  5. Can Knowledge Really Be Non-Factive?Michael J. Shaffer - 2021 - Logos and Episteme: An International Journal of Epistemology 12 (2):215-226.
    This paper contains a critical examination of the prospects for analyses of knowledge that weaken the factivity condition such that knowledge implies approximate truth.
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  6. The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics.Michael J. Loux & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.) - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
    The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics offers the most authoritative and compelling guide to this diverse and fertile field of philosophy. Twenty-four of the world's most distinguished specialists provide brand-new essays about 'what there is': what kinds of things there are, and what relations hold among entities falling under various categories. They give the latest word on such topics as identity, modality, time, causation, persons and minds, freedom, and vagueness. The Handbook's unrivaled breadth and depth make it the definitive reference work (...)
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  7. Unification and the Myth of Purely Reductive Understanding.Michael J. Shaffer - 2020 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 27:142-168.
    In this paper significant challenges are raised with respect to the view that explanation essentially involves unification. These objections are raised specifically with respect to the well-known versions of unificationism developed and defended by Michael Friedman and Philip Kitcher. The objections involve the explanatory regress argument and the concepts of reduction and scientific understanding. Essentially, the contention made here is that these versions of unificationism wrongly assume that reduction secures understanding.
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  8. Van Fraassen’s Best of a Bad Lot Objection, IBE and Rationality.Michael J. Shaffer - 2021 - Logique Et Analyse 255:267-273.
    Van Fraassen’s (1989) infamous best of a bad lot objection is widely taken to be the most serious problem that afflicts theories of inference to the best explanation (IBE), for it alleges to show that we should not accept the conclusion of any case of such reasoning as it actually proceeds. Moreover, this is supposed to be the case irrespective of the details of the particular criteria used to select best explanations. The best of a bad lot objection is predicated (...)
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  9. The Availability Heuristic and Inference to the Best Explanation.Michael J. Shaffer - 2019 - Logos and Episteme 10 (4):409-432.
    This paper shows how the availability heuristic can be used to justify inference to the best explanation in such a way that van Fraassen's infamous "best of a bad lot" objection can be adroitly avoided. With this end in mind, a dynamic and contextual version of the erotetic model of explanation sufficient to ground this response is presented and defended.
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  10. Approximate Truth, Quasi-Factivity, and Evidence.Michael J. Shaffer - 2015 - Acta Analytica 30 (3):249-266.
    The main question addressed in this paper is whether some false sentences can constitute evidence for the truth of other propositions. In this paper it is argued that there are good reasons to suspect that at least some false propositions can constitute evidence for the truth of certain other contingent propositions. The paper also introduces a novel condition concerning propositions that constitute evidence that explains a ubiquitous evidential practice and it contains a defense of a particular condition concerning the possession (...)
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  11. Explaining Evidence Denial as Motivated Pragmatically Rational Epistemic Irrationality.Michael J. Shaffer - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (4):563-579.
    This paper introduces a model for evidence denial that explains this behavior as a manifestation of rationality and it is based on the contention that social values (measurable as utilities) often underwrite these sorts of responses. Moreover, it is contended that the value associated with group membership in particular can override epistemic reason when the expected utility of a belief or belief system is great. However, it is also true that it appears to be the case that it is still (...)
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  12. The Importance of Knowledge Ascriptions.Michael J. Hannon - 2015 - Philosophy Compass 10 (12):856-866.
    Knowledge ascriptions of the form ‘S knows that p’ are a central area of research in philosophy. But why do humans think and talk about knowledge? What are knowledge ascriptions for? This article surveys a variety of proposals about the role of knowledge ascriptions and attempts to provide a unified account of these seemingly distinct views.
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  13. Supervenience and Property-Identical Divine-Command Theory.Michael J. Almeida - 2004 - Religious Studies 40 (3):323-333.
    Property-identical divine-command theory (PDCT) is the view that being obligatory is identical to being commanded by God in just the way that being water is identical to being H2O. If these identity statements are true, then they express necessary a posteriori truths. PDCT has been defended in Robert M. Adams (1987) and William Alston (1990). More recently Mark C. Murphy (2002) has argued that property-identical divine-command theory is inconsistent with two well-known and well-received theses: the free-command thesis and the supervenience (...)
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  14. The Logical Problem of Evil Regained.Michael J. Almeida - 2012 - Midwest Studies in Philosophy 36 (1):163-176.
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  15.  60
    Cognitive Biases and the Predictable Perils of the Patient‐Centric Free‐Market Model of Medicine.Michael J. Shaffer - 2022 - Metaphilosophy 53 (4):446-456.
    This paper addresses the recent rise of the use of alternative medicine in Western countries and it offers a novel explanation of that phenomenon in terms of cognitive and economic factors related to the free-market and patient-centric approach to medicine that is currently in place in those countries, in contrast to some alternative explanations of this phenomenon. Moreover, the paper addresses this troubling trend in terms of the serious harms associated with the use of alternative medical modalities. The explanatory theory (...)
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  16. The Constitutive A Priori and Epistemic Justification.Michael J. Shaffer - 2011 - In Michael J. Shaffer & Michael Veber (eds.), What Place for the A Priori? Open Court. pp. 193.
    In this paper I argue that Michael Friedman's conception of the contitutive a priori faces two serious problems. These two problems show that the view collapses into a form of conventionalism.
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  17.  62
    An Argument for the Safety Condition on Knowledge.Michael J. Shaffer - 2017 - Logos and Episteme 8 (4):517-520.
    This paper introduces a new argument for the safety condition on knowledge. It is based on the contention that the rejection of safety entails the rejection of the factivity condition on knowledge. But, since we should maintain factivity, we should endorse safery.
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  18.  64
    Not-Exact-Truths, Pragmatic Encroachment, and the Epistemic Norm of Practical Reasoning.Michael J. Shaffer - 2012 - Logos and Episteme 3 (2):239-259.
    Recently a number of variously motivated epistemologists have argued that knowledge is closely tied to practical matters. On the one hand, radical pragmatic encroachment is the view that facts about whether an agent has knowledge depend on practical factors and this is coupled to the view that there is an important connection between knowledge and action. On the other hand, one can argue for the less radical thesis only that there is an important connection between knowledge and practical reasoning. So, (...)
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  19.  36
    Further Reflections on Quasi-Factivism: A Reply to Baumann.Michael J. Shaffer - 2022 - Logos and Episteme 13 (2):207-215.
    This paper is a response to Baumann's comments on "Can Knowledge Really be Non-fative?" In this paper Baumann's suggestions for how those who deny the factivty of knowledge might deal with the argument from inconsistency and explosion are addressed.
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  20. Reichenbach, Russell and the Metaphysics of Induction.Michael J. Shaffer - 2019 - Argumenta 8:161-181.
    Hans Reichenbach’s pragmatic treatment of the problem of induction in his later works on inductive inference was, and still is, of great interest. However, it has been dismissed as a pseudo-solution and it has been regarded as problematically obscure. This is, in large part, due to the difficulty in understanding exactly what Reichenbach’s solution is supposed to amount to, especially as it appears to offer no response to the inductive skeptic. For entirely different reasons, the significance of Bertrand Russell’s classic (...)
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  21. Epistemic Paradox and the Logic of Acceptance.Michael J. Shaffer - 2013 - Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 25:337-353.
    Paradoxes have played an important role both in philosophy and in mathematics and paradox resolution is an important topic in both fields. Paradox resolution is deeply important because if such resolution cannot be achieved, we are threatened with the charge of debilitating irrationality. This is supposed to be the case for the following reason. Paradoxes consist of jointly contradictory sets of statements that are individually plausible or believable. These facts about paradoxes then give rise to a deeply troubling epistemic problem. (...)
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  22. Folk Judgments About Conditional Excluded Middle.Michael J. Shaffer & James Beebe - 2019 - In Andrew Aberdein & Matthew Inglis (eds.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 251-276.
    In this chapter we consider three philosophical perspectives (including those of Stalnaker and Lewis) on the question of whether and how the principle of conditional excluded middle should figure in the logic and semantics of counterfactuals. We articulate and defend a third view that is patterned after belief revision theories offered in other areas of logic and philosophy. Unlike Lewis’ view, the belief revision perspective does not reject conditional excluded middle, and unlike Stalnaker’s, it does not embrace supervaluationism. We adduce (...)
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  23.  93
    Epistemic Luck and Knowledge.Michael J. Shaffer - 2022 - Acta Analytica 37 (1):1-6.
    This is an editorial introduction to a special issue of Acta Analytica on epistemic luck.
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  24.  73
    Safety, Evidence, and Epistemic Luck.Michael J. Shaffer - 2022 - Acta Analytica 37 (1):121-134.
    This paper critically explores Timothy Williamson’s view of evidence, and it does so in light of the problem of epistemic luck. Williamson’s view of evidence is, of course, a crucially important aspect of his novel and influential “knowledge-first” epistemological project. Notoriously, one crucial thesis of this project is that one’s evidence is equivalent to what one knows. This has come to be known as the E = K thesis. This paper specifically addresses Williamson’s knowledge-first epistemology and the E = K (...)
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  25. Bayesian Confirmation of Theories That Incorporate Idealizations.Michael J. Shaffer - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (1):36-52.
    Following Nancy Cartwright and others, I suggest that most (if not all) theories incorporate, or depend on, one or more idealizing assumptions. I then argue that such theories ought to be regimented as counterfactuals, the antecedents of which are simplifying assumptions. If this account of the logic form of theories is granted, then a serious problem arises for Bayesians concerning the prior probabilities of theories that have counterfactual form. If no such probabilities can be assigned, the the posterior probabilities will (...)
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  26.  22
    The Paradox of Epistemic Obligation Avoided.Michael J. Shaffer - 2022 - The Reasoner 16:49-50.
    This short paper offers a skeptical solution to Åqvist's paradox of epistemic obligation. The solution is based on the contention that in SDL/KDT logics the externalist features of knowledge, about which we cannot have obligations, are obscured.
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  27. The Role of Imagination in Perception.Michael J. Pendlebury - 1996 - South African Journal of Philosophy 15 (4):133-138.
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  28. Weight in Greek Atomism.Michael J. Augustin - 2015 - Philosophia 45 (1):76-99.
    The testimonia concerning weight in early Greek atomism appear to contradict one another. Some reports assert that the atoms do have weight, while others outright deny weight as a property of the atoms. A common solution to this apparent contradiction divides the testimonia into two groups. The first group describes the atoms within a κόσμος, where they have weight; the second group describes the atoms outside of a κόσμος, where they are weightless. A key testimonium for proponents of this solution (...)
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  29. Foley’s Threshold View of Belief and the Safety Condition on Knowledge.Michael J. Shaffer - 2018 - Metaphilosophy 49 (4):589-594.
    This paper introduces a new argument against Richard Foley’s threshold view of belief. His view is based on the Lockean Thesis (LT) and the Rational Threshold Thesis (RTT). The argument introduced here shows that the views derived from the LT and the RTT violate the safety condition on knowledge in way that threatens the LT and/or the RTT.
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  30. E Does Not Equal K.Michael J. Shaffer - 2013 - The Reasoner 7:30-31.
    This paper challenges Williamson's "E = K" thesis on the basis of evidential practice. The main point is that most evidence is only approximately true and so cannot be known if knowledge is factive.
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  31.  49
    Deontic Logic, Weakening and Decisions Concerning Disjunctive Obligations.Michael J. Shaffer - 2022 - Logos and Episteme 13 (1):93-102.
    This paper introduces two new paradoxes for standard deontic logic (SDL). They are importantly related to, but distinct from Ross' paradox. These two new paradoxes for SDL are the simple weakening paradox and the complex weakening paradox. Both of these paradoxes arise in virtue of the underlaying logic of SDL and are consequences of the fact that SDL incorporates the principle known as weakening. These two paradoxes then show that SDL has counter-intuitive implications related to disjunctive obligations that arise in (...)
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  32.  66
    Moorean Sentences and the Norm of Assertion.Michael J. Shaffer - 2012 - Logos and Episteme 3 (4):653-658.
    In this paper Timothy Williamson’s argument that the knowledge norm of assertion is the best explanation of the unassertability of Morrean sentences is challenged and an alternative account of the norm of assertion is defended.
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  33. Doxastic Voluntarism, Epistemic Deontology and Belief-Contravening Commitments.Michael J. Shaffer - 2013 - American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (1):73-82.
    Defenders of doxastic voluntarism accept that we can voluntarily commit ourselves to propositions, including belief-contravening propositions. Thus, defenders of doxastic voluntarism allow that we can choose to believe propositions that are negatively implicated by our evidence. In this paper it is argued that the conjunction of epistemic deontology and doxastic voluntarism as it applies to ordinary cases of belief-contravening propositional commitments is incompatible with evidentialism. In this paper ED and DV will be assumed and this negative result will be used (...)
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  34. Grounding Reichenbach’s Pragmatic Vindication of Induction.Michael J. Shaffer - 2017 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 11 (1):43-55.
    This paper has three interdependent aims. The first is to make Reichenbach’s views on induction and probabilities clearer, especially as they pertain to his pragmatic justification of induction. The second aim is to show how his view of pragmatic justification arises out of his commitment to extensional empiricism and moots the possibility of a non-pragmatic justification of induction. Finally, and most importantly, a formal decision-theoretic account of Reichenbach’s pragmatic justification is offered in terms both of the minimax principle and the (...)
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  35. Reification as an Ontological Concept.Michael J. Thompson - forthcoming - Metodo.
    In this paper, I outline the ways that reification as a pathology of what I call “cybernetic society” shapes the fundamental structures of the self and our shared social reality. Whereas the classical theory of reification was a diagnostic attempt to understand the failure of class consciousness, I believe we must push this thesis further to show how is fundamentally an ontological and not a merely cognitive or epistemic concern. By this I mean that it is a pathology of consciousness (...)
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  36. Knowledge of Abstract Objects in Physics and Mathematics.Michael J. Shaffer - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (4):397-409.
    In this paper a parallel is drawn between the problem of epistemic access to abstract objects in mathematics and the problem of epistemic access to idealized systems in the physical sciences. On this basis it is argued that some recent and more traditional approaches to solving these problems are problematic.
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  37.  50
    Three Problematic Theories of Conditional Acceptance.Michael J. Shaffer - 2011 - Logos and Episteme 2 (1):117-125.
    In this paper it is argued that three of the most prominent theories of conditional acceptance face very serious problems. David Lewis' concept of imaging, the Ramsey test and Jonathan Bennett's recent hybrid view all face viscious regresses, or they either employ unanalyzed components or depend upon an implausibly strong version of doxastic voluntarism.
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  38. Rescuing the Assertability of Measurement Reports.Michael J. Shaffer - 2019 - Acta Analytica 34 (1):39-51.
    It is wholly uncontroversial that measurements-or, more properly, propositions that are measurement reports-are often paradigmatically good cases of propositions that serve the function of evidence. In normal cases it is also obvious that stating such a report is an utterly pedestrian case of successful assertion. So, for example, there is nothing controversial about the following claims: (1) that a proposition to the effect that a particular thermometer reads 104C when properly used to determine the temperature of a particular patient is (...)
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  39. Idealization, Counterfactuals and the Correspondence Principle.Michael J. Shaffer - 2008 - In Jerzy Brzezinski, Andrzej Klawiter, Theo A. F. Kuipers, Krzysztof Lastowski, Katarzyna Paprzycka & Piotr Przybysz (eds.), The Courage of Doing Philosophy: Essays Presented to Leszek Nowak. Rodopi.
    In a recent revision (chapter 4 of Nowakowa and Nowak 2000) of an older article Leszek Nowak (1992) has attempted to rebut Niiniluoto’s 1990 critical suggestion that proponents of the Poznań idealizational approach to the sciences have committed a rather elementary logical error in the formal machinery that they advocate for use in the analysis of scientific methodology. In this paper I criticize Nowak’s responses to Niiniluoto’s suggestion, and, subsequently, work out some of the consequences of that criticism for understanding (...)
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  40. Reconciling Regulation with Scientific Autonomy in Dual-Use Research.Nicholas G. Evans, Michael J. Selgelid & Robert Mark Simpson - 2022 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 47 (1):72-94.
    In debates over the regulation of communication related to dual-use research, the risks that such communication creates must be weighed against against the value of scientific autonomy. The censorship of such communication seems justifiable in certain cases, given the potentially catastrophic applications of some dual-use research. This conclusion however, gives rise to another kind of danger: that regulators will use overly simplistic cost-benefit analysis to rationalize excessive regulation of scientific research. In response to this, we show how institutional design principles (...)
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  41.  78
    Coherence, Justification, and the AGM Theory of Belief Revision.Michael J. Shaffer - 2002 - In Yves Bouchard (ed.), Perspectives on Coherentism. Editions du Scribe. pp. 139--160.
    In a recent article, Peter Gärdenfors (1992) has suggested that the AGM (Alchourrón, Gärdenfors, and Makinson) theory of belief revision can be given an epistemic basis by interpreting the revision postulates of that theory in terms of a version of the coherence theory of justification. To accomplish this goal Gärdenfors suggests that the AGM revision postulates concerning the conservative nature of belief revision can be interpreted in terms of a concept of epistemic entrenchment and that there are good empirical reasons (...)
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  42. Proclus on Place as the Luminous Vehicle of the Soul.Michael J. Griffin - 2012 - Dionysius 30:161-186.
    Proclus argues that place (topos) is a body of light, identified as the luminous vehicle of the soul, which mediates between soul and body and facilitates motion. Simplicius (in Phys. 611,10–13) suggests that this theory is original to Proclus, and unique in describing light as a body. This paper focuses on the function of this theory as a bridge between Proclus’ physics and metaphysics, allowing the Aristotelian physical notion of “natural place” to serve as a mechanism for the descent and (...)
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  43.  57
    Safety and the Preface Paradox.Michael J. Shaffer - 2018 - Logos and Episteme 9 (2):215-219.
    In the preface paradox the posited author is supposed to know both that every sentence in a book is true and that not every sentence in that book is true. But, this result is paradoxically contradictory. The paradoxicality exhibited in such cases arises chiefly out of the recognition that large-scale and difficult tasks like verifying the truth of large sets of sentences typically involve errors even given our best efforts to be epistemically diligent. This paper introduces an argument designed to (...)
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  44. The Problem of Necessary and Sufficient Conditions and Conceptual Analysis.Michael J. Shaffer - 2015 - Metaphilosophy 46 (4-5):555-563.
    In this article the standard philosophical method involving intuition-driven conceptual analysis is challenged in a new way. This orthodox approach to philosophy takes analysanda to be the specifications of the content of concepts in the form of sets of necessary and sufficient conditions. Here it is argued that there is no adequate account of what necessary and sufficient conditions are. So, the targets of applications of the standard philosophical method so understood are not sufficiently well understood for this method to (...)
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  45. A Thoroughly Modern Wager.Michael J. Shaffer - 2017 - Logos and Episteme 8 (2):207-231.
    This paper presents a corrected version of Pascal's wager that makes it consonant with modern decision theory. The corrected wager shows that not committing to God's existence is the rational choice.
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  46. Taste, Gastronomic Expertise and Objectivity.Michael J. Shaffer - 2007 - In Fritz Allhoff & David Monroe (eds.), Food & Philosophy: Eat, Think, and Be Merry. Blackwell.
    In this paper I argue that the best explanation of expertise about taste is that such alleged experts are simply more eloquent in describing the taste experiences that they have than are ordinary tasters.
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  47. Bayesianism, Convergence and Social Epistemology.Michael J. Shaffer - 2008 - Episteme 5 (2):pp. 203-219.
    Following the standard practice in sociology, cultural anthropology and history, sociologists, historians of science and some philosophers of science define scientific communities as groups with shared beliefs, values and practices. In this paper it is argued that in real cases the beliefs of the members of such communities often vary significantly in important ways. This has rather dire implications for the convergence defense against the charge of the excessive subjectivity of subjective Bayesianism because that defense requires that communities of Bayesian (...)
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  48. Some Epistemological Concerns About Dissociative Identity Disorder and Diagnostic Practices in Psychology.Michael J. Shaffer & Jeffery Oakley - 2005 - Philosophical Psychology 18 (1):1-29.
    In this paper we argue that dissociative identity disorder (DID) is best interpreted as a causal model of a (possible) post-traumatic psychological process, as a mechanical model of an abnormal psychological condition. From this perspective we examine and criticize the evidential status of DID, and we demonstrate that there is really no good reason to believe that anyone has ever suffered from DID so understood. This is so because the proponents of DID violate basic methodological principles of good causal modeling. (...)
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  49. Improvisation and the Self-Organization of Multiple Musical Bodies.Ashley E. Walton, Michael J. Richardson, Peter Langland-Hassan & Anthony Chemero - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6:1-9.
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  50. Alternative Definitions of Epistasis: Dependence and Interaction.Michael J. Wade, Rasmus Grønfeldt Winther, Aneil F. Agrawal & Charles J. Goodnight - 2001 - Trends in Ecology and Evolution 16 (9):498-504.
    Although epistasis is at the center of the Fisher-Wright debate, biologists not involved in the controversy are often unaware that there are actually two different formal definitions of epistasis. We compare concepts of genetic independence in the two theoretical traditions of evolutionary genetics, population genetics and quantitative genetics, and show how independence of gene action (represented by the multiplicative model of population genetics) can be different from the absence of gene interaction (represented by the linear additive model of quantitative genetics). (...)
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