16 found
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  1. What the Humean Should Say About Entanglement.Harjit Bhogal & Zee Perry - 2017 - Noûs 51 (1):74-94.
    Tim Maudlin has influentially argued that Humeanism about laws of nature stands in conflict with quantum mechanics. Specifically Humeanism implies the principle Separability: the complete physical state of a world is determined by the intrinsic physical state of each space-time point. Maudlin argues Separability is violated by the entangled states posited by QM. We argue that Maudlin only establishes that a stronger principle, which we call Strong Separability, is in tension with QM. Separability is not in tension with QM. Moreover, (...)
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  2. Humeanism about laws of nature.Harjit Bhogal - 2020 - Philosophy Compass 15 (8):1-10.
    Humeanism about laws of nature is, roughly, the view that the laws of nature are just patterns, or ways of describing patterns, in the mosaic of events. In this paper I survey some of the (many!) objections that have been raised to Humeanism, considering how the Humean might respond. And I consider how we might make a positive case for Humeanism. The common thread running through all this is that the viability of the Humean view relies on the Humean having (...)
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  3. Nomothetic Explanation and Humeanism about Laws of Nature.Harjit Bhogal - 2020 - In Karen Bennett & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.), Oxford Studies in Metaphysics, volume 12. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 164–202.
    Humeanism about laws of nature — the view that the laws reduce to the Humean mosaic — is a popular view, but currently existing versions face powerful objections. The non-supervenience objection, the non-fundamentality objection and the explanatory circularity objection have all been thought to cause problems for the Humean. However, these objections share a guiding thought — they are all based on the idea that there is a certain kind of divergence between the practice of science and the metaphysical picture (...)
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  4. Coincidences and the Grain of Explanation.Harjit Bhogal - 2019 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 100 (3):677-694.
    I give an account of what makes an event a coincidence. -/- I start by critically discussing a couple of other approaches to the notion of coincidence -- particularly that of Lando (2017) -- before developing my own view. The central idea of my view is that the correct understanding of coincidences is closely related to our understanding of the correct 'level' or 'grain' of explanation. Coincidences have a kind of explanatory deficiency — if they did not have this deficiency (...)
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  5. Minimal Anti-Humeanism.Harjit Bhogal - 2017 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 95 (3):447-460.
    There is a tension in our theorizing about laws of nature: our practice of using and reasoning with laws of nature suggests that laws are universal generalizations, but if laws are universal generalizations then we face the problem of explanatory circularity. In this paper I elucidate this tension and show how it motivates a view of laws that I call Minimal Anti-Humeanism. This view says that the laws are the universal generalizations that are not grounded in their instances. I argue (...)
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  6. Induction and the Glue of the World.Harjit Bhogal - 2021 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 99 (2):319-333.
    Views which deny that there are necessary connections between distinct existences have often been criticized for leading to inductive skepticism. If there is no glue holding the world together then there seems to be no basis on which to infer from past to future. However, deniers of necessary connections have typically been unconcerned. After all, they say, everyone has a problem with induction. But, if we look at the connection between induction and explanation, we can develop the problem of induction (...)
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  7. What's the coincidence in debunking?Harjit Bhogal - 2022 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 107 (1):147-167.
    Many moral debunking arguments are driven by the idea that the correlation between our moral beliefs and the moral truths is a big coincidence, given a robustly realist conception of morality.One influential response is that the correlation is not a coincidence because there is a common explainer of our moral beliefs and the moral truths. For example, the reason that I believe that I should feed my child is because feeding my child helps them to survive, and natural selection instills (...)
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  8. Necessities Overboard: A Reply to Lange.Harjit Bhogal - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    In this discussion note I reply to some criticisms that Marc Lange (2022) has directed at my Humean view of scientific laws (Bhogal, 2020) -- about whether Humean views can make sense of the apparent fact that laws are counterfactually invariant. The key idea of my response is that the Humean should think of their reduction of the laws to the Humean mosaic as closely related to other views where we reduce one domain to another but still allow that the (...)
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  9. On Unexplained (Modal) Patterns.Harjit Bhogal - 2022 - Erkenntnis:1-18.
    Some patterns call out for explanation, in the sense that we have a pro tanto reason to reject theories that do not give them an appropriate explanation. I argue that certain modal patterns call out for explanation in this way—and this provides a reason to reject certain theories of modality that fail to explain such patterns. However, I also consider a response to this argument, which claims that the modal patterns do not need explanation. This response might be viable but (...)
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  10. Moral Necessitism and Scientific Contingentism.Harjit Bhogal - forthcoming - Oxford Studies in Metaethics.
    Here is a puzzling phenomenon. Moral theories are typically thought to be necessary. If act utilitarianism is true, for example, then it is necessarily true. However, scientific theories are typically thought to be contingent. If quantum field theory is true, it’s not necessarily true — the world could have been Newtonian. My aim is to explore this discrepancy between domains. -/- In particular, I explore the role of what I call `internality’ intuitions in motivating necessitism about both moral and scientific (...)
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  11. Humean nomic essentialism.Harjit Bhogal & Zee R. Perry - 2021 - Noûs 57 (1):81-99.
    Humeanism – the idea that there are no necessary connections between distinct existences – and Nomic Essentialism – the idea that properties essentially play the nomic roles that they do – are two of the most important and influential positions in the metaphysics of science. Traditionally, it has been thought that these positions were incompatible competitors. We disagree. We argue that there is an attractive version of Humeanism that captures the idea that, for example, mass essentially plays the role that (...)
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  12. Explanationism versus Modalism in Debunking (and Theory Choice).Harjit Bhogal - 2023 - Mind 132 (528):1005-1027.
    At the core of the recent debate over moral debunking arguments is a disagreement between explanationist and modalist approaches. Explanationists think that the lack of an explanatory connection between our moral beliefs and the moral truths, given a non-naturalist realist conception of morality, is a reason to reject non-naturalism. Modalists disagree. They say that, given non-naturalism, our beliefs have the appropriate modal features with respect to truth -- in particular they are safe and sensitive -- so there is no problem. (...)
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  13. The Package Deal Account of Naturalness.Harjit Bhogal - 2023 - In Christian Loew, Siegfried Jaag & Michael Townsen Hicks (eds.), Humean Laws for Human Agents. Oxford: Oxford UP.
    Some properties – like charge – are natural, some – like grue are unnatural. The distinction between natural and unnatural properties is normally taken as primitive. However, Barry Loewer’s Package Deal Account (PDA) aims to provide an reductive account of natural properties, integrated with a reductive account of laws of nature. In addition, the account seems to be able to apply to natural properties at the level of fundamental physics, and higher-level, special science, properties. -/- If the account is successful, (...)
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  14. What Chance Doesn’t Know.Harjit Bhogal & Michael Townsen Hicks - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    Humean accounts of chance have a problem with undermining futures: they have to accept that some series of events are physically possible and have a nonzero chance but are inconsistent with the chances being what they are. This contradicts basic platitudes about chances (such as those given by Bigelow et al. (1993) and Schaffer (2007)) and leads to inconsistency between plausible constraints on credences. We show how Humeans can avoid these contradictions by drawing on metaphysically impossible worlds that are, nevertheless, (...)
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  15. Difference-making and deterministic chance.Harjit Bhogal - 2020 - Philosophical Studies 178 (7):2215-2235.
    Why do we value higher-level scientific explanations if, ultimately, the world is physical? An attractive answer is that physical explanations often cite facts that don’t make a difference to the event in question. I claim that to properly develop this view we need to commit to a type of deterministic chance. And in doing so, we see the theoretical utility of deterministic chance, giving us reason to accept a package of views including deterministic chance.
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  16. Moral principle explanations of supervenience.Harjit Bhogal - 2022 - Philosophical Studies:1-20.
    Explaining the supervenience of the moral on the natural is, perhaps, the central metaphysical challenge for the non-naturalist. However, Scanlon (2014) and Fogal and Risberg (2020) have developed a strategy which purports to explain supervenience rather simply. Fogal and Risberg call it the 'Divide and Conquer' strategy. The key idea is to postulate explanatory moral principles linking the natural and the moral. The moral principles are metaphysically necessary, so trivially supervene on the natural. All other moral facts are determined by (...)
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