Results for 'Instrumentalism'

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  1. Epistemic Instrumentalism, Permissibility, and Reasons for Belief.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - 2018 - In Conor McHugh, Jonathan Way & Daniel Whiting (eds.), Normativity: Epistemic and Practical. Oxford University Press. pp. 260-280.
    Epistemic instrumentalists seek to understand the normativity of epistemic norms on the model practical instrumental norms governing the relation between aims and means. Non-instrumentalists often object that this commits instrumentalists to implausible epistemic assessments. I argue that this objection presupposes an implausibly strong interpretation of epistemic norms. Once we realize that epistemic norms should be understood in terms of permissibility rather than obligation, and that evidence only occasionally provide normative reasons for belief, an instrumentalist account becomes available that delivers the (...)
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  2. Epistemic Instrumentalism and the Reason to Believe in Accord with the Evidence.Nathaniel Sharadin - 2018 - Synthese 195 (9):3791-3809.
    Epistemic instrumentalists face a puzzle. In brief, the puzzle is that if the reason there is to believe in accord with the evidence depends, as the instrumentalist says it does, on agents’ idiosyncratic interests, then there is no reason to expect that this reason is universal. Here, I identify and explain two strategies instrumentalists have used to try and solve this puzzle. I then argue that we should find these strategies wanting. Faced with the failure of these strategies, I articulate (...)
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  3. An Instrumentalist Account of How to Weigh Epistemic and Practical Reasons for Belief.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen & Mattias Skipper - 2019 - Mind 129 (516):1071-1094.
    When one has both epistemic and practical reasons for or against some belief, how do these reasons combine into an all-things-considered reason for or against that belief? The question might seem to presuppose the existence of practical reasons for belief. But we can rid the question of this presupposition. Once we do, a highly general ‘Combinatorial Problem’ emerges. The problem has been thought to be intractable due to certain differences in the combinatorial properties of epistemic and practical reasons. Here we (...)
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  4. Instrumentalism, Objectivity, and Moral Justification.Adrian M. S. Piper - 1986 - American Philosophical Quarterly 23 (4):373 - 381.
    I want to examine critically a certain strategy of moral justification which I shall call instrumentalism. By this I mean the view that a moral theory is rationally justified if the actions, life-plan, or set of social arrangements it prescribes can be shown to be the best means to the achievement of an agent's final ends, whatever these may be. Instrumentalism presupposes a commitment to what I shall call the Humean conception of the self. By this I mean (...)
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  5.  92
    Instrumentalism Revisited.Elliott Sober - 1999 - Critica 31 (91):3-39.
    The logical empiricists said some good things about epistemology and scientific method. However, they associated those epistemological ideas with some rather less good ideas about philosophy of language. There is something epistemologically suspect about statements that cannot be tested. But to say that those statements are meaningless is to go too far. And there is something impossible about trying to figure out which of two empirically equivalent theories is true. But to say that those theories are synonymous is also to (...)
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  6. Why the Realist-Instrumentalist Debate About Rational Choice Rests on a Mistake.Christine Tiefensee - 2015 - In Uskali Mäki, Ioannis Votsis, Stéphanie Ruphy & Gerhard Schurz (eds.), Recent Developments in the Philosophy of Science: EPSA13 Helsinki. Heidelberg: Springer. pp. 99-109.
    Within the social sciences, much controversy exists about which status should be ascribed to the rationality assumption that forms the core of rational choice theories. Whilst realists argue that the rationality assumption is an empirical claim which describes real processes that cause individual action, instrumentalists maintain that it amounts to nothing more than an analytically set axiom or ‘as if’ hypothesis which helps in the generation of accurate predictions. In this paper, I argue that this realist-instrumentalist debate about rational choice (...)
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  7. Realism and Instrumentalism About the Wave Function. How Should We Choose?Mauro Dorato & Federico Laudisa - 2014 - In Shao Gan (ed.), Protective Measurements and Quantum Reality: Toward a New Understanding of Quantum Mechanics. Cambridge University Press.
    The main claim of the paper is that one can be ‘realist’ (in some sense) about quantum mechanics without requiring any form of realism about the wave function. We begin by discussing various forms of realism about the wave function, namely Albert’s configuration-space realism, Dürr Zanghi and Goldstein’s nomological realism about Ψ, Esfeld’s dispositional reading of Ψ Pusey Barrett and Rudolph’s realism about the quantum state. By discussing the articulation of these four positions, and their interrelation, we conclude that (...) about Ψ is by itself not sufficient to choose one over the other interpretations of quantum mechanics, thereby confirming in a different way the indetermination of the metaphysical interpretations of quantum mechanics. -/- Key words: . (shrink)
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  8. Normativity and Instrumentalism in David Lewis' Convention.S. M. Amadae - 2011 - History of European Ideas 37 (3):325-335.
    David Lewis presented Convention as an alternative to the conventionalism characteristic of early-twentieth-century analytic philosophy. Rudolf Carnap is well known for suggesting the arbitrariness of any particular linguistic convention for engaging in scientific inquiry. Analytic truths are self-consistent, and are not checked against empirical facts to ascertain their veracity. In keeping with the logical positivists before him, Lewis concludes that linguistic communication is conventional. However, despite his firm allegiance to conventions underlying not just languages but also social customs, he pioneered (...)
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  9.  66
    Realism, Instrumentalism, Particularism: A Middle Path Forward in the Scientific Realism Debate.P. Kyle Stanford - forthcoming - In Contemporary Scientific Realism: The Challenge from the History of Science.
    I've previously suggested that the historical evidence used to challenge scientific realism should lead us to embrace what I call Uniformitarianism, but many recently influential forms of scientific realism seem happy to share this commitment. I trace a number of further points of common ground that collectively constitute an appealing Middle Path between classical forms of realism and instrumentalism, and I suggest that many contemporary realists and instrumentalists have already become fellow travelers on this Middle Path without recognizing how (...)
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  10. An Instrumentalist Unification of Zetetic and Epistemic Reasons.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen - forthcoming - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy.
    Inquiry is an aim-directed activity, and as such governed by instrumental normativity. If you have reason to figure out a question, you have reason to take means to figuring it out. Beliefs are governed by epistemic normativity. On a certain pervasive understanding, this means that you are permitted – maybe required – to believe what you have sufficient evidence for. The norms of inquiry and epistemic norms both govern us as agents in pursuit of knowledge and understanding, and, on the (...)
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  11. On Mizrahi’s Argument Against Stanford’s Instrumentalism.Fabio Sterpetti - 2019 - Axiomathes 29 (2):103-125.
    Mizrahi’s argument against Stanford’s challenge to scientific realism is analyzed. Mizrahi’s argument is worth of attention for at least two reasons: unlike other criticisms that have been made to Stanford’s view so far, Mizrahi’s argument does not question any specific claim of Stanford’s argument, rather it puts into question the very coherence of Stanford’s position, because it argues that since Stanford’s argument rests on the problem of the unconceived alternatives, Stanford’s argument is self-defeating. Thus, if Mizrahi’s argument is effective in (...)
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  12.  34
    Instrumentalist Logic of Scientific Discovery: Reflections on Dewey’s Method and its Metaphysical Foundations.Andrii Leonov - 2020 - Actual Problems of Mind. Philosophy Journal 21:2-23.
    In this paper, I attempt to clarify the heart of Dewey’s philosophy: his method (denotative method (DM) / pattern of inquiry (PI)). Despite the traditional understanding of Dewey as anti-foundationalist, I want to show that Dewey did have metaphysical foundations for his method: the principle of continuity or theory of emergentism. I also argue that Dewey’s metaphysical position is better named as ‘cultural emergentism’, rather than his own term ‘cultural naturalism’. What Dewey called ‘common sense’ in his Logic, Husserl termed (...)
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  13. Two Types of Epistemic Instrumentalism.Charles Côté-Bouchard - forthcoming - Synthese:1-21.
    Epistemic instrumentalism (EI) views epistemic norms and epistemic normativity as essentially involving the instrumental relation between means and ends. It construes notions like epistemic normativity, norms, and rationality, as forms of instrumental or means-end normativity, norms, and rationality. I do two main things in this paper. In part 1, I argue that there is an under-appreciated distinction between two independent types of epistemic instrumentalism. These are instrumentalism about epistemic norms (norm-EI) and instrumentalism about epistemic normativity (source-EI). (...)
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  14. Siris and the Scope of Berkeley's Instrumentalism.Lisa J. Downing - 1995 - British Journal for the History of Philosophy 3 (2):279 – 300.
    I. Introduction Siris, Berkeley's last major work, is undeniably a rather odd book. It could hardly be otherwise, given Berkeley's aims in writing it, which are three-fold: 'to communicate to the public the salutary virtues of tar-water,'1 to provide scientific background supporting the efficacy of tar-water as a medicine, and to lead the mind of the reader, via gradual steps, toward contemplation of God.2 The latter two aims shape Berkeley's extensive use of contemporary natural science in Siris. In particular, Berkeley's (...)
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  15. What is Wrong with Extinction? - The Answer From Anthropocentric Instrumentalism.Erik Persson - 2006 - Dissertation, Lund University
    The book contains the first part of an investigation aimed at finding out why it is morally wrong to cause species to go extinct. That it is morally wrong seems to be a very basic and widely held intuition. It seems reasonable that a moral theory worth taking seriously ought to be able to account for that intuition. The most common attempt to answer our question is to refer to the instrumental value of the species for human beings – the (...)
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  16. Instrumental Reasons for Belief: Elliptical Talk and Elusive Properties.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen & Mattias Skipper - 2020 - In Sebastian Schmidt & Gerhard Ernst (eds.), The Ethics of Belief and Beyond. Understanding Mental Normativity. Abingdon: Routledge. pp. 109-125.
    Epistemic instrumentalists think that epistemic normativity is just a special kind of instrumental normativity. According to them, you have epistemic reason to believe a proposition insofar as doing so is conducive to certain epistemic goals or aims—say, to believe what is true and avoid believing what is false. Perhaps the most prominent challenge for instrumentalists in recent years has been to explain, or explain away, why one’s epistemic reasons often do not seem to depend on one’s aims. This challenge can (...)
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  17. The Self-Effacing Functionality of Blame.Matthieu Queloz - 2021 - Philosophical Studies 178 (4):1361-1379.
    This paper puts forward an account of blame combining two ideas that are usually set up against each other: that blame performs an important function, and that blame is justified by the moral reasons making people blameworthy rather than by its functionality. The paper argues that blame could not have developed in a purely instrumental form, and that its functionality itself demands that its functionality be effaced in favour of non-instrumental reasons for blame—its functionality is self-effacing. This notion is sharpened (...)
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  18. Genealogy and Knowledge-First Epistemology: A Mismatch?Matthieu Queloz - 2019 - Philosophical Quarterly 69 (274):100-120.
    This paper examines three reasons to think that Craig's genealogy of the concept of knowledge is incompatible with knowledge-first epistemology and finds that far from being incompatible with it, the genealogy lends succour to it. This reconciliation turns on two ideas. First, the genealogy is not history, but a dynamic model of needs. Secondly, by recognizing the continuity of Craig's genealogy with Williams's genealogy of truthfulness, we can see that while both genealogies start out from specific needs explaining what drives (...)
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  19. Fictionalism and the Folk.Adam Toon - 2016 - The Monist 99 (3):280-295.
    Mental fictionalism is the view that, even if mental states do not exist, it is useful to talk as if they do. Mental states are useful fictions. Recent philosophy of mind has seen a growing interest in mental fictionalism. To date, much of the discussion has concerned the general features of the approach. In this paper, I develop a specific form of mental fictionalism by drawing on Kendall Walton’s work on make-believe. According to the approach I propose, talk of mental (...)
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  20. Symmetry Arguments Against Regular Probability: A Reply to Recent Objections.Matthew Parker - 2018 - European Journal for Philosophy of Science 9 (1):8.
    A probability distribution is regular if no possible event is assigned probability zero. While some hold that probabilities should always be regular, three counter-arguments have been posed based on examples where, if regularity holds, then perfectly similar events must have different probabilities. Howson (2017) and Benci et al. (2016) have raised technical objections to these symmetry arguments, but we see here that their objections fail. Howson says that Williamson’s (2007) “isomorphic” events are not in fact isomorphic, but Howson is speaking (...)
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  21. Nietzsches affirmative Genealogien.Matthieu Queloz - 2019 - Deutsche Zeitschrift für Philosophie 67 (3):429-439.
    This paper argues that besides the critical and historically informed genealogies of his later work, Nietzsche also sketched genealogies that are not historically situated and that display an under-appreciated affirmative aspect. The paper begins by looking at two early examples of such genealogies where datable historical origins are clearly not at issue, which raises the question of what kind of origins Nietzsche is after. It is argued that these genealogies inquire into practical origins—into the original point of certain conceptual practices (...)
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  22. What Is Self-Defense?Uwe Steinhoff - 2015 - Public Affairs Quarterly 29 (4):385-402.
    In this paper, I will provide a conceptual analysis of the term self-defense and argue that in contrast to the widespread “instrumentalist” account of self-defense, self-defense need not be aimed at averting or mitigating an attack, let alone the harm threatened by it. Instead, on the definition offered here, an act token is self-defense if and only if a) it is directed against an ongoing or imminent attack, and b) the actor correctly believes that the act token is an effective (...)
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  23. Unconceived Alternatives and the Cathedral Problem.Samuel Ruhmkorff - 2019 - Synthese 196 (10):3933-3945.
    Kyle Stanford claims we have historical evidence that there likely are plausible unconceived alternatives in fundamental domains of science, and thus evidence that our best theories in these domains are probably false. Accordingly, we should adopt a form of instrumentalism. Elsewhere, I have argued that in fact we do not have historical evidence for the existence of plausible unconceived alternatives in particular domains of science, and that the main challenge to scientific realism is rather to provide evidence that there (...)
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  24. Does Orthodox Quantum Theory Undermine, or Support, Scientific Realism?Nicholas Maxwell - 1994 - Philosophical Quarterly 44 (171):139-157.
    It is usually taken for granted that orthodox quantum theory poses a serious problem for scientific realism, in that the theory is empirically extraordinarily successful, and yet has instrumentalism built into it. This paper stand this view on its head. I argue that orthodox quantum theory suffers from a number of serious (if not always noticed) defects precisely because of its inbuilt instrumentalism. This defective character of orthdoox quantum theory thus undermines instrumentalism, and supports scientific realism. I (...)
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  25. Hilbert's Objectivity.Lydia Patton - 2014 - Historia Mathematica 41 (2):188-203.
    Detlefsen (1986) reads Hilbert's program as a sophisticated defense of instrumentalism, but Feferman (1998) has it that Hilbert's program leaves significant ontological questions unanswered. One such question is of the reference of individual number terms. Hilbert's use of admittedly "meaningless" signs for numbers and formulae appears to impair his ability to establish the reference of mathematical terms and the content of mathematical propositions (Weyl (1949); Kitcher (1976)). The paper traces the history and context of Hilbert's reasoning about signs, which (...)
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  26. How to Foster Scientists' Creativity.Seungbae Park - 2016 - Creativity Studies 9 (2):117-126.
    Scientific progress can be credited to creative scientists, who constantly ideate new theories and experiments. I explore how the three central positions in philosophy of science – scientific realism, scientific pessimism, and instrumentalism – are related to the practical issue of how scientists’ creativity can be fostered. I argue that realism encourages scientists to entertain new theories and experiments, pessimism discourages them from doing so, and instrumentalism falls in between realism and pessimism in terms of its effects on (...)
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  27. Critiques of Minimal Realism.Seungbae Park - 2017 - Problemos 92:102-114.
    Saatsi’s minimal realism holds that science makes theoretical progress. It is designed to get around the pessimistic induction, to fall between scientific realism and instrumentalism, and to explain the success of scientific theories. I raise the following two objections to it. First, it is not clear whether minimal realism lies between realism and instrumentalism, given that minimal realism does not entail instrumentalism. Second, it is not clear whether minimal realism can explain the success of scientific theories, given (...)
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  28. Toward a More Realistic Constructivism.Khosrow Bagheri Noaparast - 1995 - In G. J. Neimeyer & R. A. Neimeyer (eds.), Advances in personal construct theory. JAI Press. pp. 37-59.
    ""Kelly’s constructive epistemology needs to transcend its background of instrumentalism arising from Dewey’s influence. What enables us to well avoid instrumentalism is a notion of truth that incorporates both coherence and correspondence. If we were to abandon coherence, we would have to embrace the naïve conception of realism, while by abandoning correspondence we would have to embrace instrumentalism because we would have to consider the workability of a theory or a construction system and its coherence with previously (...)
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  29. The Problem of Unobserved Anomalies.Seungbae Park - 2018 - Filosofija. Sociologija 29 (1):4-12.
    Scientific antirealism, the view that successful theories are empirically adequate, is untenable in light of the problem of unobserved anomalies that since past scientists could not observe the anomalies that caused the replacement of past theories with present theories, present scientists also cannot observe the anomalies that will cause the replacement of present theories with future theories. There are several moves that antirealists would be tempted to make to get around the problem of unobserved anomalies. All of them, however, are (...)
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  30. Two Philosophies of Needs.Stephen K. McLeod - 2015 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 9 (1):33-50.
    Instrumentalists about need believe that all needs are instrumental, i.e., ontologically dependent upon ends, goals or purposes. Absolutists view some needs as non-instrumental. The aims of this article are: clearly to characterize the instrumentalism/absolutism debate that is of concern (mainly §1); to establish that both positions have recent and current adherents (mainly §1); to bring what is, in comparison with prior literature, a relatively high level of precision to the debate, employing some hitherto neglected, but important, insights (passim); to (...)
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  31.  55
    Andreas Osiander v dějinách filosofie, vědy a filosofii vědy.Tomáš Nejeschleba - 2016 - Teorie Vědy / Theory of Science 38 (4):405-424.
    The article deals with the position of Lutheran theologian Andreas Osiander sen. in the history of philosophy, history of science and philosophy of science. It works on humanistic foundation of Osiander’s thought and his elaboration of the tradition of the antient wisdom and Christian cabbala of Giovanni Pico della Mirandola in particular in the biblical exegesis. The article deals with Osiander’s edition of Nicolaus Copernicus’ book De revolutionibus orbium caelestium as well and with his edition of the mathematical work of (...)
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  32. Useful for What? Dewey's Call to Humanize Techno-Industrial Civilization.Steven Fesmire - 2016 - Pragmatism Today 7 (1):11-19.
    The heart of Dewey’s call to humanize techno-industrial civilization was to conceive science and technology in the service of aesthetic consummations. Hence his philosophy suggests a way to reclaim and affirm technology on behalf of living more fulfilling lives. He remains a powerful ally today in the fight against deadening efficiency, narrow means-end calculation, “frantic exploitation,” and the industrialization of everything. Nonetheless, it is common to depict him as a philosopher we should think around rather than with. The first section (...)
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  33. Desires, Whims and Values.Donald C. Hubin - 2003 - The Journal of Ethics 7 (3):315-335.
    Neo-Humean instrumentalists hold that an agent's reasons for acting are grounded in the agent's desires. Numerous objections have been leveled against this view, but the most compelling concerns the problem of "alien desires" - desires with which the agent does not identify. The standard version of neo-Humeanism holds that these desires, like any others, generate reasons for acting. A variant of neo-Humeanism that grounds an agent's reasons on her values, rather than all of her desires, avoids this implication, but at (...)
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  34. The Groundless Normativity of Instrumental Rationality.Donald C. Hubin - 2001 - Journal of Philosophy 98 (9):445-468.
    Neo-Humean instrumentalist theories of reasons for acting have been presented with a dilemma: either they are normatively trivial and, hence, inadequate as a normative theory or they covertly commit themselves to a noninstrumentalist normative principle. The claimed result is that no purely instrumentalist theory of reasons for acting can be normatively adequate. This dilemma dissolves when we understand what question neo-Humean instrumentalists are addressing. The dilemma presupposes that neo-Humeans are attempting to address the question of how to act, 'simpliciter'. Instead, (...)
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  35. Are There Any Epistemic Consequentialists?Tsung-Hsing Ho - forthcoming - Episteme:1-11.
    Selim Berker argues that epistemic consequentialism is pervasive in epistemology and that epistemic consequentialism is structurally flawed. is incorrect, however. I distinguish between epistemic consequentialism and epistemic instrumentalism and argue that most putative consequentialists should be considered instrumentalists. I also identify the structural problem of epistemic consequentialism Berker attempts to pinpoint and show that epistemic instrumentalism does not have the consequentialist problem.
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    An Examination of Some Aspects of Howard Stein's Work.Chris Mitsch - 2019 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part B: Studies in History and Philosophy of Modern Physics 66:1-13.
    Some understand Stein’s “Yes, but…” as an entry in the realism—instrumentalism debate (RID) itself, albeit one dissatisfied with then-extant positions. In this paper, however, I argue the opposite: Stein’s conception of science and his approach to its history and philosophy actually preclude the RID. First, I characterize Stein as persistently attending to his own historical and philosophical methods. I then describe his conception of science as both a dialectic and an enterprise, and I draw from this conception several conclusions (...)
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  37. Buddhism and Quantum Physics: A Strange Parallelism of Two Concepts of Reality.Christian Thomas Kohl - 2007 - Contemporary Buddhism 8 (1):69-82.
    Rudyard Kipling, the famous english author of « The Jungle Book », born in India, wrote one day these words: « Oh, East is East and West is West, and never the twain shall meet ». In my paper I show that Kipling was not completely right. I try to show the common ground between buddhist philosophy and quantum physics. There is a surprising parallelism between the philosophical concept of reality articulated by Nagarjuna and the physical concept of reality implied (...)
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  38. Veritism Unswamped.Kurt Sylvan - 2018 - Mind 127 (506):381-435.
    According to Veritism, true belief is the sole fundamental epistemic value. Epistemologists often take Veritism to entail that all other epistemic items can only have value by standing in certain instrumental relations—namely, by tending to produce a high ratio of true to false beliefs or by being products of sources with this tendency. Yet many value theorists outside epistemology deny that all derivative value is grounded in instrumental relations to fundamental value. Veritists, I believe, can and should follow suit. After (...)
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  39.  66
    The Minimal Modal Interpretation of Quantum Theory.Jacob Barandes & David Kagan - manuscript
    We introduce a realist, unextravagant interpretation of quantum theory that builds on the existing physical structure of the theory and allows experiments to have definite outcomes but leaves the theory’s basic dynamical content essentially intact. Much as classical systems have specific states that evolve along definite trajectories through configuration spaces, the traditional formulation of quantum theory permits assuming that closed quantum systems have specific states that evolve unitarily along definite trajectories through Hilbert spaces, and our interpretation extends this intuitive picture (...)
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  40. The Relational Conception of Practical Authority.N. Adams - 2018 - Law and Philosophy 37 (5):549-575.
    I argue for a new conception of practical authority based on an analysis of the relationship between authority and subject. Commands entail a demand for practical deference, which establishes a relationship of hierarchy and vulnerability that involves a variety of signals and commitments. In order for these signals and commitments to be justified, the subject must be under a preexisting duty, the authority’s commands must take precedence over the subject’s judgment regarding fulfillment of that duty, the authority must accept the (...)
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  41. What Good is a Diachronic Will?Luca Ferrero - 2009 - Philosophical Studies 144 (3):403-430.
    There are two standard conceptions of the functioning of and rationale for the diachronic will, i.e., for an agent's capacity to settle on her future conduct in advance. According to the pragmatic-instrumentalist view, the diachronic will benefits us by increasing the long-term satisfaction of our rational preferences. According to the cognitive view, it benefits us by satisfying our standing desire for self-knowledge and self-understanding. Contrary to these views, I argue for a constitutive view of the diachronic will: the rationale for (...)
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  42. Pure Epistemic Proceduralism.Fabienne Peter - 2008 - Episteme: A Journal of Social Epistemology 5 (1):33-55.
    In this paper I defend a pure proceduralist conception of legitimacy that applies to epistemic democracy. This conception, which I call pure epistemic proceduralism, does not depend on procedure-independent standards for good outcomes and relies on a proceduralist epistemology. It identifies a democratic decision as legitimate if it is the outcome of a process that satisfies certain conditions of political and epistemic fairness. My argument starts with a rejection of instrumentalism–the view that political equality is only instrumentally valuable. I (...)
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  43. Berkeley’s Best System: An Alternative Approach to Laws of Nature.Walter Ott - 2019 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 1 (1):4.
    Contemporary Humeans treat laws of nature as statements of exceptionless regularities that function as the axioms of the best deductive system. Such ‘Best System Accounts’ marry realism about laws with a denial of necessary connections among events. I argue that Hume’s predecessor, George Berkeley, offers a more sophisticated conception of laws, equally consistent with the absence of powers or necessary connections among events in the natural world. On this view, laws are not statements of regularities but the most general rules (...)
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  44. Cognitivism: A New Theory of Singular Thought?Sarah Sawyer - 2012 - Mind and Language 27 (3):264-283.
    In a series of recent articles, Robin Jeshion has developed a theory of singular thought which she calls ‘cognitivism’. According to Jeshion, cognitivism offers a middle path between acquaintance theories—which she takes to impose too strong a requirement on singular thought, and semantic instrumentalism—which she takes to impose too weak a requirement. In this article, I raise a series of concerns about Jeshion's theory, and suggest that the relevant data can be accommodated by a version of acquaintance theory that (...)
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  45.  98
    Should a Historically Motivated Anti-Realist Be a Stanfordite?Greg Frost-Arnold - 2019 - Synthese 196:535-551.
    Suppose one believes that the historical record of discarded scientific theories provides good evidence against scientific realism. Should one adopt Kyle Stanford’s specific version of this view, based on the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives? I present reasons for answering this question in the negative. In particular, Stanford’s challenge cannot use many of the prima facie strongest pieces of historical evidence against realism, namely: superseded theories whose successors were explicitly conceived, and superseded theories that were not the result of elimination-of-alternatives inferences. (...)
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  46. Fictional Singular Imaginings.Manuel García-Carpintero - 2010 - In Robin Jeshion (ed.), New Essays on Singular Thought. Oxford University Press. pp. 273--299.
    In a series of papers, Robin Jeshion has forcefully criticized both Donnellan's and Evans’ claims on the contingent a priori, and she has developed an “acquaintanceless” account of singular thoughts as an alternative view. Jeshion claims that one can fully grasp a singular thought expressed by a sentence including a proper name, even if its reference has been descriptively fixed and one’s access to the referent is “mediated” by that description. But she still wants to reject “semantic instrumentalism”, the (...)
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  47. Do Organisms Have an Ontological Status?Charles T. Wolfe - 2010 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 32 (2-3):195-232.
    The category of ‘organism’ has an ambiguous status: is it scientific or is it philosophical? Or, if one looks at it from within the relatively recent field or sub-field of philosophy of biology, is it a central, or at least legitimate category therein, or should it be dispensed with? In any case, it has long served as a kind of scientific “bolstering” for a philosophical train of argument which seeks to refute the “mechanistic” or “reductionist” trend, which has been perceived (...)
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  48. Instrumental Rationality Without Separability.Johanna Thoma - 2018 - Erkenntnis 85 (5):1219-1240.
    This paper argues that instrumental rationality is more permissive than expected utility theory. The most compelling instrumentalist argument in favour of separability, its core requirement, is that agents with non-separable preferences end up badly off by their own lights in some dynamic choice problems. I argue that once we focus on the question of whether agents’ attitudes to uncertain prospects help define their ends in their own right, or instead only assign instrumental value in virtue of the outcomes they may (...)
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  49. The Epistemic Circumstances of Democracy.Fabienne Peter - 2016 - In Miranda Fricker Michael Brady (ed.), The Epistemic Life of Groups. pp. 133 - 149.
    Does political decision-making require experts or can a democracy be trusted to make correct decisions? This question has a long-standing tradition in political philosophy, going back at least to Plato’s Republic. Critics of democracy tend to argue that democracy cannot be trusted in this way while advocates tend to argue that it can. Both camps agree that it is the epistemic quality of the outcomes of political decision-making processes that underpins the legitimacy of political institutions. In recent political philosophy, epistemic (...)
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  50. Designing Virtuous Sex Robots.Anco Peeters & Pim Haselager - 2019 - International Journal of Social Robotics:1-12.
    We propose that virtue ethics can be used to address ethical issues central to discussions about sex robots. In particular, we argue virtue ethics is well equipped to focus on the implications of sex robots for human moral character. Our evaluation develops in four steps. First, we present virtue ethics as a suitable framework for the evaluation of human–robot relationships. Second, we show the advantages of our virtue ethical account of sex robots by comparing it to current instrumentalist approaches, showing (...)
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