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  1. Self and Will.N. M. L. Nathan - 1997 - International Journal of Philosophical Studies 5 (1):81 – 94.
    When do two mental items belong to the same life? We could be content with the answer -just when they have certain volitional qualities in common. An affinity is noted between that theory and Berkeley's early doctrine of the self. Some rivals of the volitional theory invoke a spiritual or physical owner of mental items. They run a risk either of empty formality or of causal superstition. Other rivals postulate a non-transitive and symmetrical relation in the set of mental items. (...)
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  • Is Quantum Suicide Painless? On an Apparent Violation of the Principal Principle.Milan M. Ćirković - 2004 - Foundations of Science 11 (3):287-296.
    The experimental setup of the self-referential quantum measurement, jovially known as the ‘quantum suicide’ or the ‘quantum Russian roulette’ is analyzed from the point of view of the Principal Principle of David Lewis. It is shown that the apparent violation of this principle – relating objective probabilities and subjective chance – in this type of thought experiment is just an illusion due to the usage of some terms and concepts ill-defined in the quantum context. We conclude that even in the (...)
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  • The Impact of Science on Metaphysics and its Limits.Michael Esfeld - 2006 - Abstracta 2 (2):86-101.
    The paper argues for three theses: (1) Metaphysics depends on science as a source of knowledge. Our current scientific theories commit us to certain metaphysical claims. (2) As far as science is concerned, it is sufficient to spell these claims out in such a way that they amount to a parsimonious ontology. That ontology, however, creates a gap between our experience and the scientific view of the world. (3) In order to avoid that gap and to achieve a complete and (...)
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  • Moderate Structural Realism About Space-Time.Michael Esfeld & Vincent Lam - 2008 - Synthese 160 (1):27 - 46.
    This paper sets out a moderate version of metaphysical structural realism that stands in contrast to both the epistemic structural realism of Worrall and the—radical—ontic structural realism of French and Ladyman. According to moderate structural realism, objects and relations (structure) are on the same ontological footing, with the objects being characterized only by the relations in which they stand. We show how this position fares well as regards philosophical arguments, avoiding the objections against the other two versions of structural realism. (...)
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  • Folk Intuitions of Actual Causation: A Two-Pronged Debunking Explanation.David Rose - 2017 - Philosophical Studies 174 (5):1323-1361.
    How do we determine whether some candidate causal factor is an actual cause of some particular outcome? Many philosophers have wanted a view of actual causation which fits with folk intuitions of actual causation and those who wish to depart from folk intuitions of actual causation are often charged with the task of providing a plausible account of just how and where the folk have gone wrong. In this paper, I provide a range of empirical evidence aimed at showing just (...)
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  • Theory Reduction by Means of Functional Sub‐Types.Michael Esfeld & Christian Sachse - 2007 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 21 (1):1 – 17.
    The paper sets out a new strategy for theory reduction by means of functional sub-types. This strategy is intended to get around the multiple realization objection. We use Kim's argument for token identity (ontological reductionism) based on the causal exclusion problem as starting point. We then extend ontological reductionism to epistemological reductionism (theory reduction). We show how one can distinguish within any functional type between functional sub-types. Each of these sub-types is coextensive with one type of realizer. By this means, (...)
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  • Laws and Their Instances.Nina Emery - 2019 - Philosophical Studies 176 (6):1535-1561.
    I present an argument for the view that laws ground their instances. I then outline two important consequences that follow if we accept the conclusion of this argument. First, the claim that laws ground their instances threatens to undermine a prominent recent attempt to make sense of the explanatory power of Humean laws by distinguishing between metaphysical and scientific explanation. And second, the claim that laws ground their instances gives rise to a novel argument against the view that grounding relations (...)
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  • The Modal Status of Laws: In Defence of a Hybrid View.Tuomas E. Tahko - 2015 - Philosophical Quarterly 65 (260):509-528.
    Three popular views regarding the modal status of the laws of nature are discussed: Humean Supervenience, nomic necessitation, and scientific/dispositional essentialism. These views are examined especially with regard to their take on the apparent modal force of laws and their ability to explain that modal force. It will be suggested that none of the three views, at least in their strongest form, can be maintained if some laws are metaphysically necessary, but others are metaphysically contingent. Some reasons for thinking that (...)
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  • Uncertainty and the Suppression of Inferences.Guy Politzer - 2005 - Thinking and Reasoning 11 (1):5 – 33.
    The explanation of the suppression of Modus Ponens inferences within the framework of linguistic pragmatics and of plausible reasoning (i.e., deduction from uncertain premises) is defended. First, this approach is expounded, and then it is shown that the results of the first experiment of Byrne, Espino, and Santamar a (1999) support the uncertainty explanation but fail to support their counterexample explanation. Second, two experiments are presented. In the first one, aimed to refute one objection regarding the conclusions observed, the additional (...)
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  • There Are No Reasons for Affective Attitudes.Barry Maguire - 2018 - Mind 127 (507):779-805.
    A dogma of contemporary ethical theory maintains that the nature of normative support for affective attitudes is the very same as the nature of normative support for actions. The prevailing view is that normative reasons provide the support across the board. I argue that the nature of normative support for affective attitudes is importantly different from the nature of normative support for actions. Actions are indeed supported by reasons. Reasons are gradable and contributory. The support relations for affective attitudes are (...)
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  • Nonseparability, Classical, and Quantum.Wayne C. Myrvold - 2011 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 62 (2):417-432.
    This article examines the implications of the holonomy interpretation of classical electromagnetism. As has been argued by Richard Healey and Gordon Belot, classical electromagnetism on this interpretation evinces a form of nonseparability, something that otherwise might have been thought of as confined to nonclassical physics. Consideration of the differences between this classical nonseparability and quantum nonseparability shows that the nonseparability exhibited by the classical electromagnetism on the holonomy interpretation is closer to separability than might at first appear.
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  • ¡’œŽ—’Š• ’œ”œ —Š•¢£’— ž–Š— ¡’—Œ’˜— ŒŽ—Š›’˜œ Š— Ž•ŠŽ Š£Š›œ.Nick Bostrom - manuscript
    Because of accelerating technological progress, humankind may be rapidly approaching a critical phase in its career. In addition to well-known threats such as nuclear holocaust, the prospects of radically transforming technologies like nanotech systems and machine intelligence present us with unprecedented opportunities and risks. Our future, and whether we will have a future at all, may well be determined by how we deal with these challenges. In the case of radically transforming technologies, a better understanding of the transition dynamics from (...)
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  • Hypothetical Interventions and Belief Changes.Holger Andreas & Lorenzo Casini - forthcoming - Foundations of Science:1-24.
    According to Woodward’s influential account of explanation, explanations have a counterfactual structure, and explanatory counterfactuals are analysed in terms of causal relations and interventions. In this paper, we provide a formal semantics of explanatory counterfactuals based on a Ramsey Test semantics of conditionals. Like Woodward’s account, our account is guided by causal considerations. Unlike Woodward’s account, it makes no reference to causal graphs and it also covers cases of explanation where interventions are impossible.
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  • Why Citizens Should Vote: A Causal Responsibility Approach.Alvin I. Goldman - 1999 - Social Philosophy and Policy 16 (2):201.
    Why should a citizen vote? There are two ways to interpret this question: in a prudential sense, and in a moral sense. Under the first interpretation, the question asks why—or under what circumstances—it is in a citizen's self-interest to vote. Under the second interpretation, it asks what moral reasons citizens have for voting. I shall mainly try to answer the moral version of the question, but my answer may also, in some circumstances, bear on the prudential question. Before proceeding to (...)
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  • Restricted Causal Relevance.Anders Strand & Gry Oftedal - 2019 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 70 (2):431-457.
    Causal selection and priority are at the heart of discussions of the causal parity thesis, which says that all causes of a given effect are on a par, and that any justified priority assigned to a given cause results from causal explanatory interests. In theories of causation that provide necessary and sufficient conditions for the truth of causal claims, status as cause is an either/or issue: either a given cause satisfies the conditions or it does not. Consequently, assessments of causal (...)
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  • Building the World From its Fundamental Constituents.L. A. Paul - 2012 - Philosophical Studies 158 (2):221-256.
    In this paper, I argue that the spatiotemporalist approach way of modeling the fundamental constituents, structure, and composition of the world has taken a wrong turn. Spatiotemporalist approaches to fundamental structure take the fundamental nature of the world to be spatiotemporal: they take the category of spatiotemporal to be fundamental. I argue that the debates over the nature of the fundamental space in the physics show us that (i) the fact that it is conceivable that the manifest world could be (...)
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  • Donald C. Williams’s Defence of Real Metaphysics.A. R. J. Fisher - 2017 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 25 (2):332-355.
    In the middle of last century metaphysics was widely criticized, ridiculed, and committed to the flames. During this period a handful of philosophers, against several anti-metaphysical trends, defended metaphysics and articulated novel metaphysical doctrines. Donald C. Williams was one of these philosophers. But while his contributions to metaphysics are well known his defence of metaphysics is not and yet it played a key part in the development and revival of metaphysics. In this paper I present his defence of metaphysics in (...)
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  • A Relationalist's Guide to Error About Color Perception.Jonathan Cohen - 2007 - Noûs 41 (2):335–353.
    Color relationalism is the view that colors are constituted in terms of relations to perceiving subjects. Among its explanatory virtues, relation- alism provides a satisfying treatment of cases of perceptual variation. But it can seem that relationalists lack resources for saying that a representa- tion of x’s color is erroneous. Surely, though, a theory of color that makes errors of color perception impossible cannot be correct. In this paper I’ll argue that, initial appearances notwithstanding, relationalism contains the resources to account (...)
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  • Colors, Functions, Realizers, and Roles.Jonathan Cohen - 2005 - Philosophical Topics 33 (1):117-140.
    You may speak of a chain, or if you please, a net. An analogy is of little aid. Each cause brings about future events. Without each the future would not be the same. Each is proximate in the sense it is essential. But that is not what we mean by the word. Nor on the other hand do we mean sole cause. There is no such thing.
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  • Contrastive Causation in the Law.Jonathan Schaffer - 2010 - Legal Theory 16 (4):259-297.
    What conception of causation is at work in the law? I argue that the law implicitly relies on a contrastive conception. In a liability case where the defendant's breach of duty must be shown to have caused the plaintiff's damages, it is not enough to consider what would have happened if the cause had not occurredthe law requires us to look to a specific replacement for the effect, which in this case is the hypothetical outcome in which the plaintiff came (...)
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  • Epidemiological Evidence in Proof of Specific Causation.Alex Broadbent - 2011 - Legal Theory 17 (4):237-278.
    This paper seeks to determine the significance, if any, of epidemiological evidence to prove the specific causation element of liability in negligence or other relevant torts—in particular, what importance can be attached to a relative risk > 2, where that figure represents a sound causal inference at the general level. The paper discusses increased risk approaches to epidemiological evidence and concludes that they are a last resort. The paper also criticizes the proposal that the probability of causation can be estimated (...)
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  • Singularism.Ann Whittle - 2003 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 103 (3):371–379.
    I distinguish between two opposing intuitions about the nature of the singular causal relation. The first stresses the nomological character of causation, while the second emphasises is seemingly local character. My question is this: is it possible to formulate an account of causation which incorporates both intuitions? Anscombe gives us reason to think that these intuitions could not be jointly met in an account of causation. Foster and Tooley's acount seems to provide a counter-instance to her claim, but this proves (...)
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  • A Probabilistic Semantics for Counterfactuals. Part B.Hannes Leitgeb - 2012 - Review of Symbolic Logic 5 (1):85-121.
    This is part B of a paper in which we defend a semantics for counterfactuals which is probabilistic in the sense that the truth condition for counterfactuals refers to a probability measure. Because of its probabilistic nature, it allows a counterfactual to be true even in the presence of relevant -worlds, as long such exceptions are not too widely spread. The semantics is made precise and studied in different versions which are related to each other by representation theorems. Despite its (...)
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  • We Ought to Agree: A Consequence of Repairing Goldman's Group Scoring Rule.Matthew Kopec - 2012 - Episteme 9 (2):101-114.
    In Knowledge in a Social World, Alvin Goldman presents a framework to quantify the epistemic effects that various policies, procedures, and behaviors can have on a group of agents. In this essay, I show that the framework requires some modifications when applied to agents with credences. The required modifications carry with them an interesting consequence, namely, that any group whose members disagree can become more accurate by forming a consensus through averaging their credences. I sketch a way that this result (...)
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  • Supervenience in Metaphysics.Stephan Leuenberger - 2008 - Philosophy Compass 3 (4):749-762.
    Supervenience is a topic-neutral, broadly logical relation between classes of properties or facts. In a slogan, A supervenes on B if and only if there cannot be an A-difference without a B-difference. The first part of this paper considers different ways in which that slogan has been cashed out. The second part discusses applications of concepts of supervenience, focussing on the question whether they may provide an explication of determination theses such as physicalism.
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  • On Formalizing Causation Based on Constant Conjunction Theory.Hu Liu & Xuefeng Wen - 2013 - Review of Symbolic Logic 6 (1):160-181.
    Constant conjunction theory of causation had been the dominant theory in philosophy for a long time and regained attention recently. This paper gives a logical framework of causation based on the theory. The basic idea is that causal statements are empirical, and are derived from our past experience by observing constant conjunction between objects. The logic is defined on linear time structures. A causal statement is evaluated at time points, such that its value depends on what has been in the (...)
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  • Two Wrongs Do Not Make a Right: Responsibility and Overdetermination.Carolina Sartorio - 2012 - Legal Theory 18 (4):473-490.
    In this paper I critically examine Michael Moore's views about responsibility in overdetermination cases. Moore argues for an asymmetrical view concerning actions and omissions: whereas our actions can make us responsible in overdetermination cases, our omissions cannot. Moore argues for this view on the basis of a causal claim: actions can be causes but omissions cannot. I suggest that we should reject Moore's views about responsibility and overdetermination. I argue, in particular, that our omissions (just like our actions) can make (...)
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  • Token Causation by Probabilistic Active Paths.Charles R. Twardy, Kevin B. Korb, Graham Oppy & Toby Handfield - manuscript
    We present a probabilistic extension to active path analyses of token causation. The extension uses the generalized notion of intervention presented in : we allow an intervention to set any probability distribution over the intervention variables, not just a single value. The resulting account can handle a wide range of examples. We do not claim the account is complete --- only that it fills an obvious gap in previous active-path approaches. It still succumbs to recent counterexamples by Hiddleston, because it (...)
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  • Causal Overdetermination for Humeans?Michael Esfeld - 2010 - Metaphysica 11 (2):99-104.
    The paper argues against systematic overdetermination being an acceptable solution to the problem of mental causation within a Humean counterfactual theory of causation. The truth-makers of the counterfactuals in question include laws of nature, and there are laws that support physical to physical counterfactuals, but no laws in the same sense that support mental to physical counterfactuals.
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  • Chance and Determinism.Roman Frigg - 2016 - In .
    Determinism and chance seem to be irreconcilable opposites: either something is chancy or it is deterministic but not both. Yet there are processes which appear to square the circle by being chancy and deterministic at once, and the appearance is backed by well-confirmed scientific theories such as statistical mechanics which also seem to provide us with chances for deterministic processes. Is this possible, and if so how? In this essay I discuss this question for probabilities as they occur in the (...)
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  • A Partial Elucidation of the Gauge Principle.Alexandre Guay - 2008 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 39 (2):346-363.
    The elucidation of the gauge principle ‘‘is the most pressing problem in current philosophy of physics’’ said Michael Redhead in 2003. This paper argues for two points that contribute to this elucidation in the context of Yang–Mills theories. (1) Yang–Mills theories, including quantum electrodynamics, form a class. They should be interpreted together. To focus on electrodynamics is potentially misleading. (2) The essential role of gauge and BRST symmetries is to provide a local field theory that can be quantized and would (...)
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  • Causal Foundationalism, Physical Causation, and Difference-Making.Luke Glynn - 2013 - Synthese 190 (6):1017-1037.
    An influential tradition in the philosophy of causation has it that all token causal facts are, or are reducible to, facts about difference-making. Challenges to this tradition have typically focused on pre-emption cases, in which a cause apparently fails to make a difference to its effect. However, a novel challenge to the difference-making approach has recently been issued by Alyssa Ney. Ney defends causal foundationalism, which she characterizes as the thesis that facts about difference-making depend upon facts about physical causation. (...)
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  • The Modal Nature of Structures in Ontic Structural Realism.Michael Esfeld - 2009 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 23 (2):179 – 194.
    Ontic structural realism is the view that structures are what is real in the first place in the domain of fundamental physics. The structures are usually conceived as including a primitive modality. However, it has not been spelled out as yet what exactly that modality amounts to. This paper proposes to fill this lacuna by arguing that the fundamental physical structures possess a causal essence, being powers. Applying the debate about causal vs categorical properties in analytic metaphysics to ontic structural (...)
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  • Belief and Degrees of Belief.Franz Huber - 2009 - In F. Huber & C. Schmidt-Petri (eds.), Degrees of Belief. Springer.
    Degrees of belief are familiar to all of us. Our confidence in the truth of some propositions is higher than our confidence in the truth of other propositions. We are pretty confident that our computers will boot when we push their power button, but we are much more confident that the sun will rise tomorrow. Degrees of belief formally represent the strength with which we believe the truth of various propositions. The higher an agent’s degree of belief for a particular (...)
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  • III—Aristotelian Supervenience.John Heil - 2015 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 115 (1pt1):41-56.
    Three matchsticks could be arranged on a table so as to form a triangle. Were you to place a lump of sugar into a cup of hot tea it would dissolve. You might never have been born. Such assertions express modal judgements and, as we suppose, truths about the universe. But if modal judgements can be true, what features of the universe make them true? Thanks largely to the efforts of David Lewis, philosophers nowadays find it natural to appeal to (...)
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  • Explanatory Abstraction and the Goldilocks Problem: Interventionism Gets Things Just Right.Thomas Blanchard - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Theories of explanation need to account for a puzzling feature of our explanatory practices: the fact that we prefer explanations that are relatively abstract but only moderately so. Contra Franklin-Hall ([2016]), I argue that the interventionist account of explanation provides a natural and elegant explanation of this fact. By striking the right balance between specificity and generality, moderately abstract explanations optimally subserve what interventionists regard as the goal of explanation, namely identifying possible interventions that would have changed the explanandum.
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  • Asymmetry, Abstraction, and Autonomy: Justifying Coarse-Graining in Statistical Mechanics.Katie Robertson - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
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  • Does IBE Require a "Model" of Explanation?Frank Cabrera - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axy010.
    In this paper, I consider an important challenge to the popular theory of scientific inference commonly known as “Inference to the Best Explanation” (IBE), one which has received scant attention. The problem is that there exists a wide array of rival models of explanation, thus leaving IBE objectionably indeterminate. First, I briefly introduce IBE. Then, I motivate the problem and offer three potential solutions, the most plausible of which is to adopt a kind of pluralism about the rival models of (...)
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  • Causal Explanatory Power.Benjamin Eva & Reuben Stern - 2017 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science:axy012.
    Schupbach and Sprenger introduce a novel probabilistic approach to measuring the explanatory power that a given explanans exerts over a corresponding explanandum. Though we are sympathetic to their general approach, we argue that it does not adequately capture the way in which the causal explanatory power that c exerts on e varies with background knowledge. We then amend their approach so that it does capture this variance. Though our account of explanatory power is less ambitious than Schupbach and Sprenger’s in (...)
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  • David Lewis, Donald C. Williams, and the History of Metaphysics in the Twentieth Century.A. R. J. Fisher - 2015 - Journal of the American Philosophical Association 1 (1):3--22.
    The revival of analytic metaphysics in the latter half of the twentieth century is typically understood as a consequence of the critiques of logical positivism, Quine’s naturalization of ontology, Kripke’s Naming and Necessity, clarifications of modal notions in logic, and the theoretical exploitation of possible worlds. However, this explanation overlooks the work of metaphysicians at the height of positivism and linguisticism that affected metaphysics of the late twentieth century. Donald C. Williams is one such philosopher. In this paper I explain (...)
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  • Relativism, Knowledge and Understanding.J. Adam Carter - 2014 - Episteme 11 (1):35-52.
    The arguments for and against a truth-relativist semantics for propositional knowledge attributions (KTR) have been debated almost exclusively in the philosophy of language. But what implications would this semantic thesis have in epistemology? This question has been largely unexplored. The aim of this paper is to establish and critique several ramifications of KTR in mainstream epistemology. The first section of the paper develops, over a series of arguments, the claim that MacFarlane's (2005, 2010) core argument for KTR ultimately motivates (for (...)
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  • Proportionality, Contrast and Explanation.Brad Weslake - 2013 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 91 (4):785-797.
    If counterfactual dependence is sufficient for causation and if omissions can be causes, then all events have many more causes than common sense tends to recognize. This problem is standardly addressed by appeal to pragmatics. However, Carolina Sartorio [2010] has recently raised what I shall argue is a more interesting problem concerning omissions for counterfactual theories of causation—more interesting because it demands a more subtle pragmatic solution. I discuss the relationship between the idea that causes are proportional to their effects, (...)
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  • Confirmation and Induction.Franz Huber - 2007 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  • Formal Representations of Belief.Franz Huber - 2008 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Epistemology is the study of knowledge and justified belief. Belief is thus central to epistemology. It comes in a qualitative form, as when Sophia believes that Vienna is the capital of Austria, and a quantitative form, as when Sophia's degree of belief that Vienna is the capital of Austria is at least twice her degree of belief that tomorrow it will be sunny in Vienna. Formal epistemology, as opposed to mainstream epistemology (Hendricks 2006), is epistemology done in a formal way, (...)
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  • Proceedings of Sinn Und Bedeutung 9.Emar Maier, Corien Bary & Janneke Huitink (eds.) - 2005 - Nijmegen Centre for Semantics.
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  • The Best Humean System for Statistical Mechanics.Roman Frigg & Carl Hoefer - 2015 - Erkenntnis 80 (S3):551-574.
    Classical statistical mechanics posits probabilities for various events to occur, and these probabilities seem to be objective chances. This does not seem to sit well with the fact that the theory’s time evolution is deterministic. We argue that the tension between the two is only apparent. We present a theory of Humean objective chance and show that chances thus understood are compatible with underlying determinism and provide an interpretation of the probabilities we find in Boltzmannian statistical mechanics.
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  • Can We Hear Silence?Daniela Šterbáková - forthcoming - Philosophia:1-21.
    We can hear silence because silence, an absence of sound, causes our hearing of it. Advocating this position, Roy Sorensen puts to use his own theory of the direct perception of absences. Sorensen’s theory, which relies on two theories of perception, certainly has its appeal. However, it also has its problematic aspects. On my reading, a weak point of his theory is that it does not provide a criterion for the identification of what exactly we hear. By elaborating this objection (...)
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  • The Philosophy of Filioque.Nikk Effingham - 2018 - Religious Studies 54 (3):297-312.
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  • The Causal Homogeneity of Biological Kinds.Michael Esfeld - 2005 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 27 (3/4):421 - 433.
    The aim of this paper is to show that biological kinds can be causally homogeneous, although all biological causes are identical with configurations of physical causes. The paper considers two different strategies to establish that result: the first one relies on two different manners of classification (according to function and according to composition); the other one exploits the idea of biological classifications being rather coarse-grained, whereas physical classifications are fine-grained.
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  • Determinism.Charlotte Werndl - 2016 - In Meghan Griffith, Kevin Timpe & Neil Levy (eds.), Routledge Companion to Free Will. Routledge.
    This article focuses on three recent discussions on determinism in the philosophy of science. First, determinism and predictability will be discussed. Then, second, the paper turns to the topic of determinism, indeterminism, observational equivalence and randomness. Finally, third, there will be a discussion about deterministic probabilities. The paper will end with a conclusion.
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