Results for 'Alternative Possibilities'

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  1. When is an Alternative Possibility Robust?Simon Kittle - 2019 - European Journal of Philosophy 27 (1):199-210.
    According to some, free will requires alternative possibilities. But not any old alternative possibility will do. Sometimes, being able to bring about an alternative does not bestow any control on an agent. In order to bestow control, and so be directly relevant qua alternative to grounding the agent's moral responsibility, alternatives need to be robust. Here, I investigate the nature of robust alternatives. I argue that Derk Pereboom's latest robustness criterion is too strong, and I (...)
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  2. Moral Responsibility Without Alternative Possibilities?Carlos J. Moya - 2007 - Journal of Philosophy 104 (9):475-486.
    This paper is a critical comment on an article of David Widerker which also appeared in the Journal of Philosophy. In this article, Wideker held, against positions previously defended by him, that in was possible to design effective counterexamples, in the line initiated by Harry Frankfurt in 1969, to the so-called “Principle of Alternative Possibilities”. The core of my criticism of Widerker is to deny that agents, in his putative counterexamples, are morally responsible for their decisions, owing to (...)
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  3. Does Libertarian Freedom Require Alternate Possibilities?Linda Zagzebski - 2000 - Philosopical Perspectives 14 (s14):231-248.
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  4. Actions, Thought-Experiments and the 'Principle of Alternate Possibilities'.Maria Alvarez - 2009 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 87 (1):61 – 81.
    In 1969 Harry Frankfurt published his hugely influential paper 'Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility' in which he claimed to present a counterexample to the so-called 'Principle of Alternate Possibilities' ('a person is morally responsible for what he has done only if he could have done otherwise'). The success of Frankfurt-style cases as counterexamples to the Principle has been much debated since. I present an objection to these cases that, in questioning their conceptual cogency, undercuts many of those debates. (...)
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  5. What Kinds of Alternative Possibilities Are Required of the Folk Concept(s) of Choice?Jason Shepard & Aneyn O’Grady - 2017 - Consciousness and Cognition 48:138-148.
    Our concept of choice is integral to the way we understand others and ourselves, especially when considering ourselves as free and responsible agents. Despite the importance of this concept, there has been little empirical work on it. In this paper we report four experiments that provide evidence for two concepts of choice—namely, a concept of choice that is operative in the phrase having a choice and another that is operative in the phrase making a choice. The experiments indicate that the (...)
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  6.  66
    The Robustness Requirement on Alternative Possibilities.Taylor W. Cyr - forthcoming - The Journal of Ethics:1-19.
    In a series of recent papers, Justin Capes and Philip Swenson (together) and Michael Robinson (independently) have proposed new versions of the flickers of freedom reply to Frankfurt-style cases (FSCs). Both proposals claim, first, that what agents in FSCs are morally responsible for is performing a certain action on their own, and, second, that agents in FSCs retain robust alternative possibilities—alternatives in which the agent freely omits to perform the pertinent action on their own. In this paper, I (...)
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  7.  98
    Alternate Possibilities and Their Entertainment.S. Roush - 1998 - Philosophy 73 (4):559-571.
    In this paper it is argued that Frankfurt's and Strawson's defenses of compatibilism are insufficient due to neglected features of the role of alternate possibilities in assigning moral responsibility. An attempt is made to locate more adequately the genuine source of tension between free will and determinism, in a crowding phenomenon in the view of an action which our concept of responsibility has not grown up coping with. Finally, an argument is made that due to the nature of belief (...)
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  8. Revising the Principle of Alternate Possibilities.Max Siegel - 2013 - Stance 6:15-20.
    This paper examines the position in moral philosophy that Harry Frankfurt calls the Principle of Alternate Possibilities (PAP). The paper first describes the principle as articulated by A.J. Ayer. Subsequently, the paper examines Frankfurt’s critique and proposed revision of the principle and argues that Frankfurt’s proposal relies on an excessively simplistic account of practical reasoning, which fails to account for the possibility of moral dilemmas. In response, the paper offers a further revision of PAP, which accounts for Frankfurt’s critique, (...)
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  9.  47
    Doing One's Best, Alternative Possibilities, and Blameworthiness.Carlos J. Moya - 2014 - Critica 46 (136):3-26.
    My main aim in this paper is to improve and give further support to a defense of the Principle of Alternative Possibilities (PAP) against Frankfurt cases which I put forward in some previous work. In the present paper I concentrate on a recent Frankfurt case, Pereboom's "Tax Evasion". After presenting the essentials of my defense of PAP and applying it to this case, I go on to consider several objections that have been (or might be) raised against it (...)
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  10. Avoiding and Alternate Possibilities.Ezio Di Nucci - 2014 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 17 (5):1001-1007.
    Greg Janzen has recently criticised my defence of Frankfurt’s counterexample to the Principle of Alternate Possibilities by arguing that Jones avoids killing Smith in the counterfactual scenario. Janzen’s argument consists in introducing a new thought-experiment which is supposed to be analogous to Frankfurt’s and where the agent is supposed to avoid A-ing. Here I argue that Janzen’s argument fails on two counts, because his new scenario is not analogous to Frankfurt’s and because the agent in his new scenario does (...)
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  11. Unifying Morality’s Influence on Non-Moral Judgments: The Relevance of Alternative Possibilities.Jonathan Phillips, Jamie B. Luguri & Joshua Knobe - 2015 - Cognition 145:30-42.
    Past work has demonstrated that people’s moral judgments can influence their judgments in a number of domains that might seem to involve straightforward matters of fact, including judgments about freedom, causation, the doing/allowing distinction, and intentional action. The present studies explore whether the effect of morality in these four domains can be explained by changes in the relevance of alternative possibilities. More precisely, we propose that moral judgment influences the degree to which people regard certain alternative (...) as relevant, which in turn impacts intuitions about freedom, causation, doing/allowing, and intentional action. Employing the stimuli used in previous research, Studies 1a, 2a, 3a, and 4a show that the relevance of alternatives is influenced by moral judgments and mediates the impact of morality on non-moral judgments. Studies 1b, 2b, 3b, and 4b then provide direct empirical evidence for the link between the relevance of alternatives and judgments in these four domains by manipulating (rather than measuring) the relevance of alternative possibilities. Lastly, Study 5 demonstrates that the critical mechanism is not whether alternative possibilities are considered, but whether they are regarded as relevant. These studies support a unified framework for understanding the impact of morality across these very different kinds of judgments. (shrink)
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  12. Incommensurable Goods, Alternative Possibilities, and the Self-Refutation of the Self-Refutation of Determinism.Michael Baur - 2005 - American Journal of Jurisprudence 50 (1):165-171.
    In his paper, "Free Choice, Incommensurable Goods and the Self-Refutation of Determinism,"' Joseph Boyle seeks to show how the argument for the self-refutation of determinism - first articulated over twenty-five years ago - is an argument whose force depends on (first) a proper understanding of just what free choice is, and (secondly) a proper understanding of how free choice is a principle of moral responsibility. According to Boyle, a person can make a genuinely free choice only if he is presented (...)
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  13. Epistemic Modals and Alternative Possibilities.John Turri - 2018 - Erkenntnis 83 (5):1063-1084.
    Indicative judgments pertain to what is true. Epistemic modal judgments pertain to what must or might be true relative to a body of information. A standard view is that epistemic modals implicitly quantify over alternative possibilities, or ways things could turn out. On this view, a proposition must be true just in case it is true in all the possibilities consistent with the available information, and a proposition might be true just in case it is true in (...)
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  14. Close Calls and the Confident Agent: Free Will, Deliberation, and Alternative Possibilities.Eddy Nahmias - 2006 - Philosophical Studies 131 (3):627-667.
    Two intuitions lie at the heart of our conception of free will. One intuition locates free will in our ability to deliberate effectively and control our actions accordingly: the ‘Deliberation and Control’ (DC) condition. The other intuition is that free will requires the existence of alternative possibilities for choice: the AP condition. These intuitions seem to conflict when, for instance, we deliberate well to decide what to do, and we do not want it to be possible to act (...)
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  15. Theological Fatalism and Frankfurt Counterexamples to the Principle of Alternative Possibilities.David Widerker - 2000 - Faith and Philosophy 17 (2):249-254.
    In a recent article, David Hunt has proposed a theological counterexample to the principle of alternative possibilities involving divine foreknowledge. Hunt claims that this example is immune to my criticism of regular Frankfurt-type counterexamples to that principle, as God’s foreknowing an agent’s act does not causally determine that act. Furthermore, he claims that the considerations which support the claim that the agent is morally responsible for his act in a Frankfurt-type scenario also hold in a G-scenario. In reply, (...)
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  16. Fischer on the Fragilist Account of Alternative Possibilities.Huiyuhl Yi - 2013 - Dialogue 52 (4):1-14.
    One response to the Frankfurtian attack on the Principle of Alternate Possibilities is to advert to the observation that the agent’s actual action (or the particular event resulting from that action) is numerically distinct from the corresponding action (or the resultant event) he would have generated in the relevant counterfactual scenario. Since this response is based on taking actions and events to be fragile, I shall call it the fragilist account of alternative possibilities. This paper addresses an (...)
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  17. On the Signpost Principle of Alternate Possibilities: Why Contemporary Frankfurt-Style Cases Are Irrelevant to the Free Will Debate.Simkulet William - 2015 - Filosofiska Notiser 2 (3):107-120.
    This article contends that recent attempts to construct Frankfurt-style cases (FSCs) are irrelevant to the debate over free will. The principle of alternate possibilities (PAP) states that moral responsibility requires indeterminism, or multiple possible futures. Frankfurt's original case purported to demonstrate PAP false by showing an agent can be blameworthy despite not having the ability to choose otherwise; however he admits the agent can come to that choice freely or by force, and thus has alternate possibilities. Neo-FSCs attempt (...)
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  18.  70
    On the Very Idea of a Robust Alternative.Carlos J. Moya - 2011 - Critica 43 (128):3-26.
    According to the Principle of Alternative Possibilities, an agent is morally responsible for an action of hers only if she could have done otherwise. The notion of a robust alternative plays a prominent role in recent attacks on PAP based on so-called Frankfurt cases. In this paper I defend the truth of PAP for blameworthy actions against Frankfurt cases recently proposed by Derk Pereboom and David Widerker. My defence rests on some intuitively plausible principles that yield a (...)
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  19. The Possibilities of History.Daniel Nolan - 2016 - Journal of the Philosophy of History 10 (3):441-456.
    _ Source: _Volume 10, Issue 3, pp 441 - 456 Several kinds of historical alternatives are distinguished. Different kinds of historical alternatives are valuable to the practice of history for different reasons. Important uses for historical alternatives include representing different sides of historical disputes; distributing chances of different outcomes over alternatives; and offering explanations of why various alternatives did _not_ in fact happen. Consideration of counterfactuals about what would have happened had things been different in particular ways plays particularly useful (...)
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  20.  36
    Free Will and Open Alternatives.Carlos J. Moya - 2017 - Disputatio 9 (45):167-191.
    In her recent book Causation and Free Will, Carolina Sartorio develops a distinctive version of an actual-sequence account of free will, according to which, when agents choose and act freely, their freedom is exclusively grounded in, and supervenes on, the actual causal history of such choices or actions. Against this proposal, I argue for an alternative- possibilities account, according to which agents’ freedom is partly grounded in their ability to choose or act otherwise. Actual-sequence accounts of freedom are (...)
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  21. An Alternative Interpretation of Statistical Mechanics.C. D. McCoy - 2020 - Erkenntnis 85 (1):1-21.
    In this paper I propose an interpretation of classical statistical mechanics that centers on taking seriously the idea that probability measures represent complete states of statistical mechanical systems. I show how this leads naturally to the idea that the stochasticity of statistical mechanics is associated directly with the observables of the theory rather than with the microstates (as traditional accounts would have it). The usual assumption that microstates are representationally significant in the theory is therefore dispensable, a consequence which suggests (...)
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  22. Concrete Possible Worlds.Phillip Bricker - 2008 - In Theodore Sider, John Hawthorne & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Contemporary Debates in Metaphysics. Blackwell. pp. 111--134.
    In this chapter, I survey what I call Lewisian approaches to modality: approaches that analyze modality in terms of concrete possible worlds and their parts. I take the following four theses to be characteristic of Lewisian approaches to modality. (1) There is no primitive modality. (2) There exists a plurality of concrete possible worlds. (3) Actuality is an indexical concept. (4) Modality de re is to be analyzed in terms of counterparts, not transworld identity. After an introductory section in which (...)
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  23. An Alternative to Relativism.John K. Davis - 2010 - Philosophical Topics 38 (2):17-37.
    Some moral disagreements are so persistent that we suspect they are deep : we would disagree even when we have all relevant information and no one makes any mistakes. The possibility of deep disagreement is thought to drive cognitivists toward relativism, but most cognitivists reject relativism. There is an alternative. According to divergentism, cognitivists can reject relativism while allowing for deep disagreement. This view has rarely been defended at length, but many philosophers have implicitly endorsed its elements. I will (...)
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  24. Independent alternatives: Ross’s puzzle and free choice.Richard Jefferson Booth - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 179 (4):1241-1273.
    Orthodox semantics for natural language modals give rise to two puzzles for their interactions with disjunction: Ross’s puzzle and the puzzle of free choice permission. It is widely assumed that each puzzle can be explained in terms of the licensing of ‘Diversity’ inferences: from the truth of a possibility or necessity modal with an embedded disjunction, hearers infer that each disjunct is compatible with the relevant set of worlds. I argue that Diversity inferences are too weak to explain the full (...)
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  25. The Possibility of Onion Worlds: Rebutting an Argument for Structural Universals.J. Robert G. Williams - 2007 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 85 (2):193 – 203.
    Some argue that theories of universals should incorporate structural universals, in order to allow for the metaphysical possibility of worlds of 'infinite descending complexity' ('onion worlds'). I argue that the possibility of such worlds does not establish the need for structural universals. So long as we admit the metaphysical possibility of emergent universals, there is an attractive alternative description of such cases.
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  26. How-Possibly Explanation in Biology: Lessons From Wilhelm His’s ‘Simple Experiments’ Models.Christopher Pearson - 2018 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 10 (4).
    A common view of how-possibly explanations in biology treats them as explanatorily incomplete. In addition to this interpretation of how-possibly explanation, I argue that there is another interpretation, one which features what I term “explanatory strategies.” This strategy-centered interpretation of how-possibly explanation centers on there being a different explanatory context within which how-possibly explanations are offered. I contend that, in conditions where this strategy context is recognized, how-possibly explanations can be understood as complete explanations. I defend this alternative interpretation (...)
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  27. Williamsonian Modal Epistemology, Possibility-Based.Barbara Vetter - 2016 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 46 (4-5):766-795.
    Williamsonian modal epistemology is characterized by two commitments: realism about modality, and anti-exceptionalism about our modal knowledge. Williamson’s own counterfactual-based modal epistemology is the best known implementation of WME, but not the only option that is available. I sketch and defend an alternative implementation which takes our knowledge of metaphysical modality to arise, not from knowledge of counterfactuals, but from our knowledge of ordinary possibility statements of the form ‘x can F’. I defend this view against a criticism indicated (...)
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  28. Alternative Conceptual Schemes and A Non-Kantian Scheme-Content Dualism.Xinli Wang - 2012 reprint - Proceedings of the Xxii World Congress of Philosophy 39:267-275.
    D. Davidson argues that the existence of alternative conceptual schemes presupposes the Kantian scheme -content dualism, which requires a scheme -neutral empirical content and a fixed, sharp schemecontent distinction. The dismantlement of such a Kantian scheme -content dualism, which Davidson calls “the third dogma of empiricism”, would render the notion of alternative conceptual schemes groundless. To counter Davidson’s attack on the notion of alternative conceptual schemes, I argue that alternative conceptual schemes neither entail nor presuppose the (...)
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  29. The Possibilities of Incarnation: Some Radical Molinist Suggestions.Thomas P. Flint - 2001 - Religious Studies 37 (3):307-320.
    The traditional doctrine of the Incarnation maintains that God became man. But was it necessary that God become the particular man He in fact became? Could some man or woman other than the man born in Bethlehem roughly two thousand years ago have been assumed by the Son to effect our salvation? This essay addresses such questions from the perspective of one embracing Molina's picture of divine providence. After showing how Molina thought his theory of middle knowledge helps alleviate a (...)
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  30. Relevant Alternatives Contextualism and Ordinary Contingent Knowledge.Franck Lihoreau - 2008 - Disputatio 2 (24):281-294.
    According to David Lewis’s contextualist analysis of knowledge, there can be contexts in which a subject counts as knowing a proposition just because every possibility that this proposition might be false is irrelevant in those contexts. In this paper I argue that, in some cases at least, Lewis’ analysis results in granting people non-evidentially based knowledge of ordinary contingent truths which, intuitively, cannot be known but on the basis of appropriate evidence.
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  31. Priority, Not Equality, for Possible People.Jacob M. Nebel - 2017 - Ethics 127 (4):896-911.
    How should we choose between uncertain prospects in which different possible people might exist at different levels of wellbeing? Alex Voorhoeve and Marc Fleurbaey offer an egalitarian answer to this question. I give some reasons to reject their answer and then sketch an alternative, which I call person-affecting prioritarianism.
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  32. Stanford’s Unconceived Alternatives From the Perspective of Epistemic Obligations.Matthew S. Sample - 2015 - Philosophy of Science 82 (5):856-866.
    Kyle Stanford’s reformulation of the problem of underdetermination has the potential to highlight the epistemic obligations of scientists. Stanford, however, presents the phenomenon of unconceived alternatives as a problem for realists, despite critics’ insistence that we have contextual explanations for scientists’ failure to conceive of their successors’ theories. I propose that responsibilist epistemology and the concept of “role oughts,” as discussed by Lorraine Code and Richard Feldman, can pacify Stanford’s critics and reveal broader relevance of the “new induction.” The possibility (...)
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  33.  52
    Kant's Panentheism: The Possibility Proof of 1763 and Its Fate in the Critical Period.Andrew Chignell - forthcoming - In Ina Goy (ed.), Kant's Religious Arguments. Berlin: De Gruyter.
    This chapter discusses Kant's 1763 "possibility proof" for the existence of God. I first provide a reconstruction of the proof in its two stages, and then revisit my earlier argument according to which the being the proof delivers threatens to be a Spinozistic-panentheistic God—a being whose properties include the entire spatio-temporal universe—rather than the traditional, ontologically distinct God of biblical monotheism. I go on to evaluate some recent alternative readings that have sought to avoid this result by arguing that (...)
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  34. Scaling‐Up Alternative Food Networks.Mark Navin - 2015 - Journal of Social Philosophy 46 (4):434-448.
    Alternative Food Networks (AFNs), which include local food and Fair Trade, work to mitigate some of the many shortcomings of mainstream food systems. If AFNs have the potential to make the world’s food systems more just and sustainable (and otherwise virtuous) then we may have good reasons to scale them up. Unfortunately, it may not be possible to increase the market share of AFNs while preserving their current forms. Among other reasons, this is because there are limits to both (...)
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  35. Kant's Neglected Alternative: Neither Neglected nor An Alternative.Necip Fikri Alican - 2017 - Philosophical Forum 48 (1):69–90.
    This is a defense of Kant against the allegedly neglected alternative in his formulation of transcendental idealism. What sets it apart from the contributions of others who have spoken for Kant in this regard is the construction of a general interpretive framework — a reconstruction of the one Kant provides for transcendental idealism — as opposed to the development of an ad hoc defensive strategy for refuting the charges. Hence, comprehensive clarification instead of pointed rebuttal. The difference is between (...)
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  36. Is Blindsight Possible Under Signal Detection Theory? Comment on Phillips (2021).Matthias Michel & Hakwan Lau - 2021 - Psychological Review 128 (3):585-591.
    Phillips argues that blindsight is due to response criterion artefacts under degraded conscious vision. His view provides alternative explanations for some studies, but may not work well when one considers several key findings in conjunction. Empirically, not all criterion effects are decidedly non-perceptual. Awareness is not completely abolished for some stimuli, in some patients. But in other cases, it was clearly impaired relative to the corresponding visual sensitivity. This relative dissociation is what makes blindsight so important and interesting.
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  37. Does Possible World Semantics Turn All Propositions Into Necessary Ones?John-Michael Kuczynski - 2007 - Journal of Pragmatics 39 (5):972-916.
    "Jim would still be alive if he hadn't jumped" means that Jim's death was a consequence of his jumping. "x wouldn't be a triangle if it didn't have three sides" means that x's having a three sides is a consequence its being a triangle. Lewis takes the first sentence to mean that Jim is still alive in some alternative universe where he didn't jump, and he takes the second to mean that x is a non-triangle in every alternative (...)
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  38.  25
    Climate Uncertainty, Real Possibilities and the Precautionary Principle.Jeroen Hopster - forthcoming - Erkenntnis:1-17.
    A challenge faced by defenders of the precautionary principle is to clarify when the evidence that a harmful event might occur suffices to regard this prospect as a real possibility. Plausible versions of the principle must articulate some epistemic threshold, or de minimis requirement, which specifies when precautionary measures are justified. Critics have argued that formulating such a threshold is problematic in the context of the precautionary principle. First, this is because the precautionary principle appears to be ambiguous about the (...)
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  39. The Possibility of Emergent Conscious Causal Powers.Lok-Chi Chan & Andrew James Latham - 2022 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 100 (1):195-201.
    ABSTRACT Lewtas [2017] recently articulated an argument claiming that emergent conscious causal powers are impossible. In developing his argument, Lewtas makes several assumptions about emergence, phenomenal consciousness, categorical properties, and causation. We argue that there are plausible alternatives to these assumptions. Thus, the proponent of emergent conscious causal powers can escape Lewtas’s challenge.
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  40. New Objections to the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives.Seungbae Park - 2019 - Filosofia Unisinos 20 (2):138-145.
    The problem of unconceived alternatives can be undermined, regardless of whether the possibility space of alternatives is bounded or unbounded. If it is bounded, pessimists need to justify their assumption that the probability that scientists have not yet eliminated enough false alternatives is higher than the probability that scientists have already eliminated enough false alternatives. If it is unbounded, pessimists need to justify their assumption that the probability that scientists have not yet moved from the possibility space of false alternatives (...)
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  41. Conceivability, Possibility, and a Posteriori Necessity: On Chalmers' Argument for Dualism.Karol Polcyn - 2006 - Diametros 7:37-55.
    Chalmers argues that zombies are possible and that therefore consciousness does not supervene on physical facts, which shows the falsity of materialism. The crucial step in this argument – that zombies are possible – follows from their conceivability and hence depends on assuming that conceivability implies possibility. But while Chalmers’s defense of this assumption – call it the conceivability principle – is the key part of his argument, it has not been well understood. As I see it, Chalmers’s defense of (...)
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  42. Problems for Modal Reductionism: Concrete Possible Worlds as a Test Case.Jonathan Nassim - 2015 - Dissertation, Birkbeck College
    This thesis is an argument for the view that there are problems for Modal Reductionism, the thesis that modality can satisfactorily be defined in non-modal terms. -/- I proceed via a case study of David Lewis’s theory of concrete possible worlds. This theory is commonly regarded as the best and most influential candidate reductive theory of modality. Based on a detailed examination of its ontology, analysis and justification, I conclude that it does badly with respect to the following four minimal (...)
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  43. On the Possibility of Nonaggregative Priority for the Worst Off.Marc Fleurbaey, Bertil Tungodden & Peter Vallentyne - 2009 - Social Philosophy and Policy 26 (1):258-285.
    We shall focus on moral theories that are solely concerned with promoting the benefits (e.g., wellbeing) of individuals and explore the possibility of such theories ascribing some priority to benefits to those who are worse off—without this priority being absolute. Utilitarianism (which evaluates alternatives on the basis of total or average benefits) ascribes no priority to the worse off, and leximin (which evaluates alternatives by giving lexical priority to the worst off, and then the second worst off, and so on) (...)
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  44. The Problem of Alternative Monotheisms: Another Serious Challenge to Theism.Raphael Lataster - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 10 (1):31-51.
    Theistic and analytic philosophers of religion typically privilege classical theism by ignoring or underestimating the great threat of alternative monotheisms. [1] In this article we discuss numerous god-models, such as those involving weak, stupid, evil, morally indifferent, and non-revelatory gods. We find that theistic philosophers have not successfully eliminated these and other possibilities, or argued for their relative improbability. In fact, based on current evidence – especially concerning the hiddenness of God and the gratuitous evils in the world (...)
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  45. Modal Fictionalism and Possible-Worlds Discourse.David Liggins - 2008 - Philosophical Studies 138 (2):151-60.
    The Brock-Rosen problem has been one of the most thoroughly discussed objections to the modal fictionalism bruited in Gideon Rosen’s ‘Modal Fictionalism’. But there is a more fundamental problem with modal fictionalism, at least as it is normally explained: the position does not resolve the tension that motivated it. I argue that if we pay attention to a neglected aspect of modal fictionalism, we will see how to resolve this tension—and we will also find a persuasive reply to the Brock-Rosen (...)
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  46. Extending the Argument From Unconceived Alternatives: Observations, Models, Predictions, Explanations, Methods, Instruments, Experiments, and Values.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2016 - Synthese (10).
    Stanford’s argument against scientific realism focuses on theories, just as many earlier arguments from inconceivability have. However, there are possible arguments against scientific realism involving unconceived (or inconceivable) entities of different types: observations, models, predictions, explanations, methods, instruments, experiments, and values. This paper charts such arguments. In combination, they present the strongest challenge yet to scientific realism.
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  47. Quasi-Naturalism and the Problem of Alternative Normative Concepts.Camil Golub - forthcoming - Journal of Moral Philosophy:1-27.
    The following scenario seems possible: a community uses concepts that play the same role in guiding actions and shaping social life as our normative concepts, and yet refer to something else. As Eklund (2017) argues, this apparent possibility poses a problem for any normative realist who aspires to vindicate the thought that reality itself favors our ways of valuing and acting. A promising approach to this challenge is to try to rule out the possibility of alternative normative concepts, by (...)
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  48.  13
    Critical Institutions: Alternative Modes of Institutionalisation in Derrida's Engagements.Cillian Ó Fathaigh - 2021 - Derrida Today 14 (2):169-185.
    In this article, I consider the role of institutions in Jacques Derrida’s political engagement. In spite of Derrida’s significant involvement with political causes throughout his life, his engagements have received little sustained attention, and this is particularly true of his work with institutions. I turn to two such cases, the Collège international de philosophie and the Parlement international des écrivains and argue that these represent an alternative mode of institutionalisation. These institutions seek to destabilise other institutions as well as (...)
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  49. Real Impossible Worlds : The Bounds of Possibility.Ira Georgia Kiourti - 2010 - Dissertation, University of St Andrews
    Lewisian Genuine Realism about possible worlds is often deemed unable to accommodate impossible worlds and reap the benefits that these bestow to rival theories. This thesis explores two alternative extensions of GR into the terrain of impossible worlds. It is divided in six chapters. Chapter I outlines Lewis’ theory, the motivations for impossible worlds, and the central problem that such worlds present for GR: How can GR even understand the notion of an impossible world, given Lewis’ reductive theoretical framework? (...)
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  50. The Pursuit of Knowledge and the Problem of the Unconceived Alternatives.Fabio Sterpetti & Marta Bertolaso - 2020 - Topoi 39 (4):881-892.
    In the process of scientific discovery, knowledge ampliation is pursued by means of non-deductive inferences. When ampliative reasoning is performed, probabilities cannot be assigned objectively. One of the reasons is that we face the problem of the unconceived alternatives: we are unable to explore the space of all the possible alternatives to a given hypothesis, because we do not know how this space is shaped. So, if we want to adequately account for the process of knowledge ampliation, we need to (...)
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