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Counterfactuals

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  1. The Doctrinal Paradox, the Discursive Dilemma, and Logical Aggregation Theory.Philippe Mongin - 2012 - Theory and Decision 73 (3):315-355.
    Judgment aggregation theory, or rather, as we conceive of it here, logical aggregation theory generalizes social choice theory by having the aggregation rule bear on judgments of all kinds instead of merely preference judgments. It derives from Kornhauser and Sager’s doctrinal paradox and List and Pettit’s discursive dilemma, two problems that we distinguish emphatically here. The current theory has developed from the discursive dilemma, rather than the doctrinal paradox, and the final objective of the paper is to give the latter (...)
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  • Counterfactuals and Chance: Reply to Williams.Dylan Dodd - 2012 - Analytic Philosophy 53 (4):362-365.
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  • The Cookie Paradox.Dylan Dodd - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 92 (2):355-377.
    We’ve all been at parties where there's one cookie left on what was once a plate full of cookies, a cookie no one will eat simply because everyone is following a rule of etiquette, according to which you’re not supposed to eat the last cookie. Or at least we think everyone is following this rule, but maybe not. In this paper I present a new paradox, the Cookie Paradox, which is an argument that seems to prove that in any situation (...)
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  • Should We Reject Supervenience Analyses of Laws, Chance, and Causation?Lyle Zynda - 1996 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 27 (4):587-592.
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  • The Consistency Argument for Ranking Functions.Franz Huber - 2007 - Studia Logica 86 (2):299-329.
    The paper provides an argument for the thesis that an agent’s degrees of disbelief should obey the ranking calculus. This Consistency Argument is based on the Consistency Theorem. The latter says that an agent’s belief set is and will always be consistent and deductively closed iff her degrees of entrenchment satisfy the ranking axioms and are updated according to the ranktheoretic update rules.
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  • Antirealism and the Conditional Fallacy: The Semantic Approach.Patrick Girard & Luca Moretti - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (4):761-783.
    The expression conditional fallacy identifies a family of arguments deemed to entail odd and false consequences for notions defined in terms of counterfactuals. The antirealist notion of truth is typically defined in terms of what a rational enquirer or a community of rational enquirers would believe if they were suitably informed. This notion is deemed to entail, via the conditional fallacy, odd and false propositions, for example that there necessarily exists a rational enquirer. If these consequences do indeed follow from (...)
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  • Modal Truthmakers and Two Varieties of Actualism.Gabriele Contessa - 2010 - Synthese 174 (3):341 - 353.
    In this paper, I distinguish between two varieties of actualism—hardcore actualism and softcore actualism—and I critically discuss Ross Cameron’s recent arguments for preferring a softcore actualist account of the truthmakers for modal truths over hardcore actualist ones. In the process, I offer some arguments for preferring the hardcore actualist account of modal truthmakers over the softcore actualist one.
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  • Counterfactual Philosophers.Nathan Ballantyne - 2014 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 88 (2):368-387.
    I argue that reflection on philosophers who could have been working among us but aren’t can lead us to give up our philosophical beliefs.
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  • Can There Be a Bayesian Explanationism? On the Prospects of a Productive Partnership.Frank Cabrera - 2017 - Synthese 194 (4):1245–1272.
    In this paper, I consider the relationship between Inference to the Best Explanation and Bayesianism, both of which are well-known accounts of the nature of scientific inference. In Sect. 2, I give a brief overview of Bayesianism and IBE. In Sect. 3, I argue that IBE in its most prominently defended forms is difficult to reconcile with Bayesianism because not all of the items that feature on popular lists of “explanatory virtues”—by means of which IBE ranks competing explanations—have confirmational import. (...)
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  • Local Satisfaction Guaranteed: A Presupposition Theory and its Problems. [REVIEW]Bart Geurts - 1996 - Linguistics and Philosophy 19 (3):259 - 294.
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  • Natural Laws and the Problem of Provisos.Marc Lange - 1993 - Erkenntnis 38 (2):233Ð248.
    Hempel and Giere contend that the existence of provisos poses grave difficulties for any regularity account of physical law. However, Hempel and Giere rely upon a mistaken conception of the way in which statements acquire their content. By correcting this mistake, I remove the problem Hempel and Giere identify but reveal a different problem that provisos pose for a regularity account — indeed, for any account of physical law according to which the state of affairs described by a law-statement presupposes (...)
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  • The Explanatory Role of Irreducible Properties.Michael Strevens - 2012 - Noûs 46 (4):754-780.
    I aim to reconcile two apparently conflicting theses: (a) Everything that can be explained, can be explained in purely physical terms, that is, using the machinery of fundamental physics, and (b) some properties that play an explanatory role in the higher level sciences are irreducible in the strong sense that they are physically undefinable: their nature cannot be described using the vocabulary of physics. I investigate the contribution that physically undefinable properties typically make to explanations in the high-level sciences, and (...)
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  • Modal Realisms.Kris McDaniel - 2006 - Philosophical Perspectives 20 (1):303–331.
    Possibilism—the view that there are non-actual, merely possible entities—is a surprisingly resilient doctrine.1 One particularly hardy strand of possibilism—the modal realism championed by David Lewis—continues to attract both foes who seek to demonstrate its falsity (or at least stare its advocates into apostasy) and friends who hope to defend modal realism (or, when necessary, modify modal realism so as to avoid problematic objections).2 Although I am neither a foe nor friend of modal realism (but some of my best friends are!), (...)
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  • Reapproaching Ramsey: Conditionals and Iterated Belief Change in the Spirit of AGM. [REVIEW]Hans Rott - 2011 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 40 (2):155-191.
    According to the Ramsey Test, conditionals reflect changes of beliefs: α > β is accepted in a belief state iff β is accepted in the minimal revision of it that is necessary to accommodate α. Since Gärdenfors’s seminal paper of 1986, a series of impossibility theorems (“triviality theorems”) has seemed to show that the Ramsey test is not a viable analysis of conditionals if it is combined with AGM-type belief revision models. I argue that it is possible to endorse that (...)
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  • Dispositions, Conditionals and Auspicious Circumstances.Justin C. Fisher - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (2):443-464.
    A number of authors have suggested that a conditional analysis of dispositions must take roughly the following form: Thing X is disposed to produce response R to stimulus S just in case, if X were exposed to S and surrounding circumstances were auspicious, then X would produce R. The great challenge is cashing out the relevant notion of ‘auspicious circumstances’. I give a general argument which entails that all existing conditional analyses fail, and that there is no satisfactory way to (...)
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  • Conditionals and Theory Change: Revisions, Expansions, and Additions. [REVIEW]Hans Rott - 1989 - Synthese 81 (1):91-113.
    This paper dwells upon formal models of changes of beliefs, or theories, which are expressed in languages containing a binary conditional connective. After defining the basic concept of a (non-trivial) belief revision model. I present a simple proof of Gärdenfors''s (1986) triviality theorem. I claim that on a proper understanding of this theorem we must give up the thesis that consistent revisions (additions) are to be equated with logical expansions. If negated or might conditionals are interpreted on the basis of (...)
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  • A Theory of Non-Universal Laws.Alexander Reutlinger - 2011 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 25 (2):97 - 117.
    Laws in the special sciences are usually regarded to be non-universal. A theory of laws in the special sciences faces two challenges. (I) According to Lange's dilemma, laws in the special sciences are either false or trivially true. (II) They have to meet the ?requirement of relevance?, which is a way to require the non-accidentality of special science laws. I argue that both challenges can be met if one distinguishes four dimensions of (non-) universality. The upshot is that I argue (...)
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  • Against the Russellian Open Future.Anders J. Schoubye & Brian Rabern - 2017 - Mind 126 (504): 1217–1237.
    Todd (2016) proposes an analysis of future-directed sentences, in particular sentences of the form 'will(φ)', that is based on the classic Russellian analysis of definite descriptions. Todd's analysis is supposed to vindicate the claim that the future is metaphysically open while retaining a simple Ockhamist semantics of future contingents and the principles of classical logic, i.e. bivalence and the law of excluded middle. Consequently, an open futurist can straightforwardly retain classical logic without appeal to supervaluations, determinacy operators, or any further (...)
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  • Causation.Kutschera Franz - 1993 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 22 (6):563-588.
    As cause we often specify an event the occurrence of which first guaranteed that of the effect. This notion is explicated in a framework of branching worlds in Sections I to V. VI and VII point out its close relations to the concept of an agent's bringing about an event. The topic of the last two sections is the distinction between causes and necessary circumstances. For this purpose conditionals are used, interpreted with respect to branching worlds without a similarity relation (...)
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  • Harm: Omission, Preemption, Freedom.Nathan Hanna - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (2):251-73.
    The Counterfactual Comparative Account of Harm says that an event is overall harmful for someone if and only if it makes her worse off than she otherwise would have been. I defend this account from two common objections.
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  • Do Indicative Conditionals Express Propositions?Daniel Rothschild - 2013 - Noûs 47 (1):49-68.
    Discusses how to capture the link between the probability of indicative conditionals and conditional probability using a classical semantics for conditionals.
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  • The Predictive Role of Counterfactuals.Alfredo Di Tillio, Itzhak Gilboa & Larry Samuelson - 2013 - Theory and Decision 74 (2):167-182.
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  • Dynamic Logic for Belief Revision.Johan van Benthem - 2007 - Journal of Applied Non-Classical Logics 17 (2):129-155.
    We show how belief revision can be treated systematically in the format of dynamicepistemic logic, when operators of conditional belief are added. The core engine consists of definable update rules for changing plausibility relations between worlds, which have been proposed independently in the dynamic-epistemic literature on preference change. Our analysis yields two new types of modal result. First, we obtain complete logics for concrete mechanisms of belief revision, based on compositional reduction axioms. Next, we show how various abstract postulates for (...)
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  • Preference Based on Reasons.Daniel Osherson & Scott Weinstein - 2012 - Review of Symbolic Logic 5 (1):122-147.
    We describe a logic of preference in which modal connectives reflect reasons to desire that a sentence be true. Various conditions on models are introduced and analyzed.
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  • Subjunctive Credences and Semantic Humility.Sarah Moss - 2013 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 87 (2):251-278.
    This paper argues that several leading theories of subjunctive conditionals are incompatible with ordinary intuitions about what credences we ought to have in subjunctive conditionals. In short, our theory of subjunctives should intuitively display semantic humility, i.e. our semantic theory should deliver the truth conditions of sentences without pronouncing on whether those conditions actually obtain. In addition to describing intuitions about subjunctive conditionals, I argue that we can derive these ordinary intuitions from justified premises, and I answer a possible worry (...)
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  • On the Pragmatics of Counterfactuals.Sarah Moss - 2012 - Noûs 46 (3):561-586.
    Recently, von Fintel (2001) and Gillies (2007) have argued that certain sequences of counterfactuals, namely reverse Sobel sequences, should motivate us to abandon standard truth conditional theories of counterfactuals for dynamic semantic theories. I argue that we can give a pragmatic account of our judgments about counterfactuals without giving up the standard semantics. In particular, I introduce a pragmatic principle governing assertability, and I use this principle to explain a variety of subtle data concerning reverse Sobel sequences.
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  • Special Sciences, Conspiracy and the Better Best System Account of Lawhood.Jonathan Cohen & Craig Callender - 2010 - Erkenntnis 73 (3):427 - 447.
    An important obstacle to lawhood in the special sciences is the worry that such laws would require metaphysically extravagant conspiracies among fundamental particles. How, short of conspiracy, is this possible? In this paper we'll review a number of strategies that allow for the projectibility of special science generalizations without positing outlandish conspiracies: non-Humean pluralism, classical MRL theories of laws, and Albert and Loewer's theory. After arguing that none of the above fully succeed, we consider the conspiracy problem through the lens (...)
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  • Determinism and Inevitability.Helen Steward - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 130 (3):535-563.
    The paper discusses one of the central arguments in Dennett’s Freedom Evolves, an argument designed to show that a deterministic universe would not necessarily be a universe of which it could truly be said that everything that occurs in it is inevitable. It suggests that on its most natural interpretation, the argument is vulnerable to a serious objection. A second interpretation is then developed, but it is argued that without placing more weight on etymological considerations than they can really bear, (...)
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  • Outcome Predictions and Property Attribution: The EPR Argument Reconsidered.GianCarlo Ghirardi & Renata Grassi - 1994 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 25 (3):397-423.
    We reconsider the nonlocal aspects of quantum mechanics with special reference to the EPR argument. We first confine our considerations to the correlations between the outcomes of measurements on spatially distant constituents, without worrying about the measurement problem. We pay particular attention to the relativistic aspects of the problem. Our first conclusion is that, when developed along the lines we follow, the EPR inference that quantum correlations and locality together imply incompleteness, is appropriate. We then investigate whether the other common (...)
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  • Against Mereological Nihilism.Jonathan Tallant - 2014 - Synthese 191 (7):1511-1527.
    I argue that mereological nihilism fails because it cannot answer the special arrangement question: when is it true that the xs are arranged F-wise? I suggest that the answers given in the literature fail and that the obvious responses that could be made look to undermine the motivations for adopting nihilism in the first place.
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  • Beliefs in Conditionals Vs. Conditional Beliefs.Hannes Leitgeb - 2007 - Topoi 26 (1):115-132.
    On the basis of impossibility results on probability, belief revision, and conditionals, it is argued that conditional beliefs differ from beliefs in conditionals qua mental states. Once this is established, it will be pointed out in what sense conditional beliefs are still conditional, even though they may lack conditional contents, and why it is permissible to still regard them as beliefs, although they are not beliefs in conditionals. Along the way, the main logical, dispositional, representational, and normative properties of conditional (...)
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  • The Return of Moral Fictionalism.Nadeem J. Z. Hussain - 2004 - Philosophical Perspectives 18 (1):149–188.
    Fictionalism has recently returned as a standard response to ontologically problematic domains. This article assesses moral fictionalism. It argues (i) that a correct understanding of the dialectical situation in contemporary metaethics shows that fictionalism is only an interesting new alternative if it can provide a new account of normative content: what is it that I am thinking or saying when I think or say that I ought to do something; and (ii) that fictionalism, qua fictionalism, does not provide us with (...)
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  • The Discrimination Argument Revisited.Simon Dierig - 2010 - Erkenntnis 72 (1):73-92.
    The first explicit argument for the incompatibility of externalism in the philosophy of mind and a priori self-knowledge is Boghossian’s discrimination argument. In this essay, I oppose the third premise of this argument, trying to show by means of a thought experiment that possessing the “twater thought” is not an alternative, a fortiori not a relevant alternative, to having the “water thought.” I then examine a modified version of Boghossian’s argument. The attempt is made to substantiate the claim that the (...)
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  • Intrinsic Causation in Humean Supervenience.Daniel Kodaj - 2015 - Ratio 28 (2):135-152.
    The paper investigates whether causation is extrinsic in Humean Supervenience in the sense that being caused by is an intrinsic relation between token causes and effects. The underlying goal is to test whether causality is extrinsic for Humeans and intrinsic for anti-Humeans in this sense. I argue that causation is typically extrinsic in HS, but it is intrinsic to event pairs that collectively exhaust almost the whole of history.
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  • Counterfactual Analyses of Causation: The Problem of Effects and Epiphenomena Revisited.Stephen Barker - 2003 - Noûs 37 (1):133–150.
    I argue that Lewis's counterfactual theory of causation, given his treatment of counterfactuals in terms of world-comparative similarity faces insuperable problems in the form of the problem of effects and the problem of epiphenomena.
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  • Credibility, Idealisation, and Model Building: An Inferential Approach.Xavier Donato Rodríguez & Jesús Zamora Bonilla - 2009 - Erkenntnis 70 (1):101-118.
    In this article we defend the inferential view of scientific models and idealisation. Models are seen as "inferential prostheses" construed by means of an idealisation-concretisation process, which we essentially understand as a kind of counterfactual deformation procedure . The value of scientific representation is understood in terms not only of the success of the inferential outcomes arrived at with its help, but also of the heuristic power of representation and their capacity to correct and improve our models. This provides us (...)
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  • The Causal Exclusion Argument.Jesper Kallestrup - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 131 (2):459-85.
    Jaegwon Kim’s causal exclusion argument says that if all physical effects have sufficient physical causes, and no physical effects are caused twice over by distinct physical and mental causes, there cannot be any irreducible mental causes. In addition, Kim has argued that the nonreductive physicalist must give up completeness, and embrace the possibility of downward causation. This paper argues first that this extra argument relies on a principle of property individuation, which the nonreductive physicalist need not accept, and second that (...)
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  • On Occurrences of Types in Types.Wayne A. Davis - 2014 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 92 (2):1-15.
    The different occurrences of a word in a sentence cannot be identified with the one word type, nor with its many tokens. What then are occurrences of a word? How can one type occur more than once in another type? Is the conception of ?structural universals? that leads to these questions incoherent, as Lewis maintained? I argue against the answer Wetzel suggested, which identifies sentences with functions from numbers to expressions, and propose instead that occurrences of one type in another (...)
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  • Tropes or Universals: How (Not) to Make One's Choice.Jiri Benovsky - 2014 - Metaphilosophy 45 (1):69-86.
    This article discusses a familiar version of trope theory as opposed to a familiar version of the theory of universals, examining how these two rivals address the problem of “attribute agreement”—a problem that has been at the root of the very reason for developing these theories in the first place. The article shows that there is not much of a difference between the ways these two theories handle the problem, and in a more general way it argues that there is (...)
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  • Against Lewis's New Theory of Causation: A Story with Three Morals.Michael Strevens - 2003 - Pacific Philosophical Quarterly 84 (4):398–412.
    A recent paper by David Lewis, "Causation as Influence", proposes a new theory of causation. I argue against the theory, maintaining that (a) the relation asserted by a claim of the form "C was a cause of E" is distinct from the relation of causal influence, (b) the former relation depends very much, contra Lewis, on the individuation conditions for the event E, and (c) Lewis's account is unsatisfactory as an analysis of either kind of relation. The counterexamples presented here (...)
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  • The Logic of Causal Inference: Econometrics and the Conditional Analysis of Causation.Kevin D. Hoover - 1990 - Economics and Philosophy 6 (2):207.
    Discontented people might talk of corruption in the Commons, closeness in the Commons and the necessity of reforming the Commons, said Mr. Spenlow solemnly, in conclusion; but when the price of wheat per bushel had been the highest, the Commons had been the busiest; and a man might lay his hand upon his heart, and say this to the whole world, – ‘Touch the Commons, and down comes the country!’.
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  • Modeling Rational Players: Part II.Ken Binmore - 1988 - Economics and Philosophy 4 (1):9.
    This is the second part of a two-part paper. It can be read independently of the first part provided that the reader is prepared to go along with the unorthodox views on game theory which were advanced in Part I and are summarized below. The body of the paper is an attempt to study some of the positive implications of such a viewpoint. This requires an exploration of what is involved in modeling “rational players” as computing machines.
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  • Ceteris Paribus Conditionals and Comparative Normalcy.Martin Smith - 2006 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 36 (1):97-121.
    Our understanding of subjunctive conditionals has been greatly enhanced through the use of possible world semantics and, more precisely, by the idea that they involve variably strict quantification over possible worlds. I propose to extend this treatment to ceteris paribus conditionals – that is, conditionals that incorporate a ceteris paribus or ‘other things being equal’ clause. Although such conditionals are commonly invoked in scientific theorising, they traditionally arouse suspicion and apprehensiveness amongst philosophers. By treating ceteris paribus conditionals as a species (...)
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  • Schaffer on Laws of Nature.Alastair Wilson - 2013 - Philosophical Studies 164 (3):653-667.
    In ‘Quiddistic Knowledge’ (Schaffer in Philos Stud 123:1–32, 2005), Jonathan Schaffer argued influentially against the view that the laws of nature are metaphysically necessary. In this reply I aim to show how a coherent and well-motivated form of necessitarianism can withstand his critique. Modal necessitarianism—the view that the actual laws are the laws of all possible worlds—can do justice to some intuitive motivations for necessitarianism, and it has the resources to respond to all of Schaffer’s objections. It also has certain (...)
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  • Kausalgefüge, Irreale Bedingungssätze Und Das Problem der Definierbarkeit Von Dispositionsprädikaten.Hans-Ulrich Hoche - 1977 - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie 8 (2):257-291.
    The symbolic paraphrase of 'because' sentences suggested by Frege, which is still widely accepted, will be gradually developed into a more adequate, though much more complicated, form. Out of the different types of such sentences, the 'for the only reason that' type will be given especial consideration. Furthermore, it will be expounded that contrary-to-fact conditionals may function either as 'for the only reason that' explanations, or as 'for at least the reason that' explanations, or as arguments, the difference being dependent (...)
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  • The Extent of Metaphysical Necessity.Daniel Nolan - 2011 - Philosophical Perspectives 25 (1):313-339.
    A lot of philosophers engage in debates about what claims are “metaphysically necessary”, and a lot more assume with little argument that some classes of claims have the status of “metaphysical necessity”. I think we can usefully replace questions about metaphysical necessity with five other questions which each capture some of what people may have had in mind when talking about metaphysical necessity. This paper explains these five other questions, and then discusses the question “how much of metaphysics is metaphysically (...)
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  • Conventional Foundationalism and the Origin of Norms.Ann E. Cudd - 1990 - Southern Journal of Philosophy 28 (4):485-504.
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  • Causation and Intensionality: A Problem for Naturalism.Rosemarie Rheinwald - 1994 - European Journal of Philosophy 2 (1):41-64.
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  • Negative Liberty, Liberal and Republican.Philip Pettit - 1993 - European Journal of Philosophy 1 (1):15-38.
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  • Information Without Truth.Andrea Scarantino & Gualtiero Piccinini - 2010 - Metaphilosophy 41 (3):313-330.
    Abstract: According to the Veridicality Thesis, information requires truth. On this view, smoke carries information about there being a fire only if there is a fire, the proposition that the earth has two moons carries information about the earth having two moons only if the earth has two moons, and so on. We reject this Veridicality Thesis. We argue that the main notions of information used in cognitive science and computer science allow A to have information about the obtaining of (...)
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