Results for 'Michael J. Almeida'

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Mike Almeida
University of Texas at San Antonio
  1. Sceptical Theism and Evidential Arguments From Evil.Michael J. Almeida & Graham Oppy - 2003 - Australasian Journal of Philosophy 81 (4):496 – 516.
    Sceptical theists--e.g., William Alston and Michael Bergmann--have claimed that considerations concerning human cognitive limitations are alone sufficient to undermine evidential arguments from evil. We argue that, if the considerations deployed by sceptical theists are sufficient to undermine evidential arguments from evil, then those considerations are also sufficient to undermine inferences that play a crucial role in ordinary moral reasoning. If cogent, our argument suffices to discredit sceptical theist responses to evidential arguments from evil.
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  2. Fundamentality Without Foundations.Michael J. Raven - 2016 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 93 (3):607-626.
    A commonly held view is that a central aim of metaphysics is to give a fundamental account of reality which refers only to the fundamental entities. But a puzzle arises. It is at least a working hypothesis for those pursuing the aim that, first, there must be fundamental entities. But, second, it also seems possible that the world has no foundation, with each entity depending on others. These two claims are inconsistent with the widely held third claim that the fundamental (...)
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  3. The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics.Michael J. Loux & Dean W. Zimmerman (eds.) - 2003 - Oxford University Press.
    The Oxford Handbook of Metaphysics offers the most authoritative and compelling guide to this diverse and fertile field of philosophy. Twenty-four of the world's most distinguished specialists provide brand-new essays about 'what there is': what kinds of things there are, and what relations hold among entities falling under various categories. They give the latest word on such topics as identity, modality, time, causation, persons and minds, freedom, and vagueness. The Handbook's unrivaled breadth and depth make it the definitive reference work (...)
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  4.  99
    The Constitutive A Priori and Epistemic Justification.Michael J. Shaffer - 2011 - In Michael J. Shaffer & Michael Veber (eds.), What Place for the A Priori? Open Court. pp. 193.
    In this paper I argue that Michael Friedman's conception of the contitutive a priori faces two serious problems. These two problems show that the view collapses into a form of conventionalism.
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  5. Approximate Truth, Quasi-Factivity, and Evidence.Michael J. Shaffer - 2015 - Acta Analytica 30 (3):249-266.
    The main question addressed in this paper is whether some false sentences can constitute evidence for the truth of other propositions. In this paper it is argued that there are good reasons to suspect that at least some false propositions can constitute evidence for the truth of certain other contingent propositions. The paper also introduces a novel condition concerning propositions that constitute evidence that explains a ubiquitous evidential practice and it contains a defense of a particular condition concerning the possession (...)
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  6. Epistemic Paradox and the Logic of Acceptance.Michael J. Shaffer - 2013 - Journal of Experimental and Theoretical Artificial Intelligence 25:337-353.
    Paradoxes have played an important role both in philosophy and in mathematics and paradox resolution is an important topic in both fields. Paradox resolution is deeply important because if such resolution cannot be achieved, we are threatened with the charge of debilitating irrationality. This is supposed to be the case for the following reason. Paradoxes consist of jointly contradictory sets of statements that are individually plausible or believable. These facts about paradoxes then give rise to a deeply troubling epistemic problem. (...)
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  7. Bayesian Confirmation of Theories That Incorporate Idealizations.Michael J. Shaffer - 2001 - Philosophy of Science 68 (1):36-52.
    Following Nancy Cartwright and others, I suggest that most (if not all) theories incorporate, or depend on, one or more idealizing assumptions. I then argue that such theories ought to be regimented as counterfactuals, the antecedents of which are simplifying assumptions. If this account of the logic form of theories is granted, then a serious problem arises for Bayesians concerning the prior probabilities of theories that have counterfactual form. If no such probabilities can be assigned, the the posterior probabilities will (...)
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  8.  51
    Coherence, Justification, and the AGM Theory of Belief Revision.Michael J. Shaffer - 2002 - In Yves Bouchard (ed.), Perspectives on Coherentism. Editions du Scribe. pp. 139--160.
    In a recent article, Peter Gärdenfors (1992) has suggested that the AGM (Alchourrón, Gärdenfors, and Makinson) theory of belief revision can be given an epistemic basis by interpreting the revision postulates of that theory in terms of a version of the coherence theory of justification. To accomplish this goal Gärdenfors suggests that the AGM revision postulates concerning the conservative nature of belief revision can be interpreted in terms of a concept of epistemic entrenchment and that there are good empirical reasons (...)
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  9.  72
    E Does Not Equal K.Michael J. Shaffer - 2013 - The Reasoner 7:30-31.
    This paper challenges Williamson's "E = K" thesis on the basis of evidential practice. The main point is that most evidence is only approximately true and so cannot be known if knowledge is factive.
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  10.  97
    Doxastic Voluntarism, Epistemic Deontology and Belief-Contravening Commitments.Michael J. Shaffer - 2013 - American Philosophical Quarterly 50 (1):73-82.
    Defenders of doxastic voluntarism accept that we can voluntarily commit ourselves to propositions, including belief-contravening propositions. Thus, defenders of doxastic voluntarism allow that we can choose to believe propositions that are negatively implicated by our evidence. In this paper it is argued that the conjunction of epistemic deontology and doxastic voluntarism as it applies to ordinary cases of belief-contravening propositional commitments is incompatible with evidentialism. In this paper ED and DV will be assumed and this negative result will be used (...)
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  11. The Concept of Privilege: A Critical Appraisal.Michael J. Monahan - 2014 - South African Journal of Philosophy 33 (1):73-83.
    In this essay, I examine the use of the concept of privilege within the critical theoretical discourse on oppression and liberation. In order to fulfill the rhetorical aims of liberation, concepts for privilege must meet what I term the ‘boundary condition’, which demarcates the boundary between a privileged elite and the rest of society, and the ‘ignorance condition’, which establishes that the elite status and the advantages it confers are not publicly recognised or affirmed. I argue that the dominant use (...)
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  12. Improvisation and the Self-Organization of Multiple Musical Bodies.Ashley E. Walton, Michael J. Richardson, Peter Langland-Hassan & Anthony Chemero - 2015 - Frontiers in Psychology 6:1-9.
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  13. Bayesianism, Convergence and Social Epistemology.Michael J. Shaffer - 2008 - Episteme 5 (2):pp. 203-219.
    Following the standard practice in sociology, cultural anthropology and history, sociologists, historians of science and some philosophers of science define scientific communities as groups with shared beliefs, values and practices. In this paper it is argued that in real cases the beliefs of the members of such communities often vary significantly in important ways. This has rather dire implications for the convergence defense against the charge of the excessive subjectivity of subjective Bayesianism because that defense requires that communities of Bayesian (...)
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  14. Some Epistemological Concerns About Dissociative Identity Disorder and Diagnostic Practices in Psychology.Michael J. Shaffer & Jeffery Oakley - 2005 - Philosophical Psychology 18 (1):1-29.
    In this paper we argue that dissociative identity disorder (DID) is best interpreted as a causal model of a (possible) post-traumatic psychological process, as a mechanical model of an abnormal psychological condition. From this perspective we examine and criticize the evidential status of DID, and we demonstrate that there is really no good reason to believe that anyone has ever suffered from DID so understood. This is so because the proponents of DID violate basic methodological principles of good causal modeling. (...)
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  15.  63
    Excavating “Excavating AI”: The Elephant in the Gallery.Michael J. Lyons - 2020 - arXiv 2009:1-15.
    Two art exhibitions, “Training Humans” and “Making Faces,” and the accompanying essay “Excavating AI: The politics of images in machine learning training sets” by Kate Crawford and Trevor Paglen, are making substantial impact on discourse taking place in the social and mass media networks, and some scholarly circles. Critical scrutiny reveals, however, a self-contradictory stance regarding informed consent for the use of facial images, as well as serious flaws in their critique of ML training sets. Our analysis underlines the non-negotiability (...)
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  16.  81
    Reflection, Conditionalization and Indeterminacy About the Future.Michael J. Shaffer - 2014 - The Reasoner 8:65-66.
    This paper shows that any view of future contingent claims that treats such claims as having indeterminate truth values or as simply being false implies probabilistic irrationality. This is because such views of the future imply violations of reflection, special reflection and conditionalization.
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  17.  54
    A Paradox for Possible World Semantics.Michael J. Shaffer & Jeremy Morris - 2006 - Logique Et Analyse 49 (195):307-317.
    The development of possible worlds semantics for modal claims has led to a more general application of that theory as a complete semantics for various formal and natural languages, and this view is widely held to be an adequate (philosophical) interpretation of the model theory for such languages. We argue here that this view generates a self-referential inconsistency that indicates either the falsity or the incompleteness of PWS.
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  18. Idealization, Counterfactuals and the Correspondence Principle.Michael J. Shaffer - 2008 - In Jerzy Brzezinski, Andrzej Klawiter, Theo A. F. Kuipers, Krzysztof Lastowski, Katarzyna Paprzycka & Piotr Przybysz (eds.), The Courage of Doing Philosophy: Essays Presented to Leszek Nowak. Rodopi.
    In a recent revision (chapter 4 of Nowakowa and Nowak 2000) of an older article Leszek Nowak (1992) has attempted to rebut Niiniluoto’s 1990 critical suggestion that proponents of the Poznań idealizational approach to the sciences have committed a rather elementary logical error in the formal machinery that they advocate for use in the analysis of scientific methodology. In this paper I criticize Nowak’s responses to Niiniluoto’s suggestion, and, subsequently, work out some of the consequences of that criticism for understanding (...)
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  19.  69
    The Epistemic Inadequacy of Ersatzer Possible World Semantics.Michael J. Shaffer & Jeremy Morris - 2010 - Logique Et Analyse 53:61-76.
    In this paper it is argued that the conjunction of linguistic ersatzism, the ontologically deflationary view that possible worlds are maximal and consistent sets of sentences, and possible world semantics, the view that the meaning of a sentence is the set of possible worlds at which it is true, implies that no actual speaker can effectively use virtually any language to successfully communicate information. This result is based on complexity issues that relate to our finite computational ability to deal with (...)
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  20. Evidential Arguments From Evil and Skeptical Theism.Michael Almeida & Graham Oppy - 2004 - Philo 8 (2):84 - 94.
    In this paper we respond to criticisms by Michael Bergmann and Michael Rea in their “In Defense of Sceptical Theism : A Reply to Almeida and Oppy,” Australasian Journal of Philosophy 83.
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  21.  95
    Weight in Greek Atomism.Michael J. Augustin - 2015 - Philosophia 45 (1):76-99.
    The testimonia concerning weight in early Greek atomism appear to contradict one another. Some reports assert that the atoms do have weight, while others outright deny weight as a property of the atoms. A common solution to this apparent contradiction divides the testimonia into two groups. The first group describes the atoms within a κόσμος, where they have weight; the second group describes the atoms outside of a κόσμος, where they are weightless. A key testimonium for proponents of this solution (...)
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  22. The Role of Imagination in Perception.Michael J. Pendlebury - 1996 - South African Journal of Philosophy 15 (4):133-138.
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  23. Reply to Trakakis and Nagasawa.Michael Almeida & Graham Oppy - 2005 - Ars Disputandi 5 (1):5-11.
    Nick Trakakis and Yujin Nagasawa criticise the argument in Almeida and Oppy . According to Trakakis and Nagasawa, we are mistaken in our claim that the sceptical theist response to evidential arguments from evil is unacceptable because it would undermine ordinary moral reasoning. In their view, there is no good reason to think that sceptical theism leads to an objectionable form of moral scepticism. We disagree. In this paper, we explain why we think that the argument of Nagasawa and (...)
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  24.  41
    The Ad Verecundiam Fallacy and Appeals to Expert Testimony.Michael J. Shaffer - 2007 - In Proceedings of the 6th ISSA Conference on Argumentation.
    In this paper I argue that Tyler Burge's non-reductive view of testiomonial knowledge cannot adeqautrely discriminate between fallacious ad vericumdium appeals to expet testimony and legitimate appeals to authority.
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  25.  65
    Taste, Gastronomic Expertise and Objectivity.Michael J. Shaffer - 2007 - In Fritz Allhoff & David Monroe (eds.), Food & Philosophy: Eat, Think, and Be Merry. Blackwell.
    In this paper I argue that the best explanation of expertise about taste is that such alleged experts are simply more eloquent in describing the taste experiences that they have than are ordinary tasters.
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  26. Bealer on the Autonomy of Philosophical and Scientific Knowledge.Michael J. Shaffer - 2007 - Metaphilosophy 38 (1):44–54.
    In a series of influential articles, George Bealer argues for the autonomy of philosophical knowledge on the basis that philosophically known truths must be necessary truths. The main point of his argument is that the truths investigated by the sciences are contingent truths to be discovered a posteriori by observation, while the truths of philosophy are necessary truths to be discovered a priori by intuition. The project of assimilating philosophy to the sciences is supposed to be rendered illegitimate by the (...)
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  27. Bursting Bealer’s Bubble: How the Starting Points Argument Begs the Question of Foundationalism Against Quine.Michael J. Shaffer & Jason A. Warnick - 2004 - Canadian Journal of Philosophy 34 (1):87-106.
    In his 1993 article George Bealer offers three separate arguments that are directed against the internal coherence of empiricism, specifically against Quine’s version of empiricism. One of these arguments is the starting points argument (SPA) and it is supposed to show that Quinean empiricism is incoherent. We argue here that this argument is deeply flawed, and we demonstrate how a Quinean may successfully defend his views against Bealer’s SPA. Our defense of Quinean empiricism against the SPA depends on showing (1) (...)
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  28. The Publicity of Belief, Epistemic Wrongs and Moral Wrongs.Michael J. Shaffer - 2006 - Social Epistemology 20 (1):41 – 54.
    It is a commonplace belief that many beliefs, e.g. religious convictions, are a purely private matter, and this is meant in some way to serve as a defense against certain forms of criticism. In this paper it is argued that this thesis is false, and that belief is really often a public matter. This argument, the publicity of belief argument, depends on one of the most compelling and central thesis of Peircean pragmatism. This crucial thesis is that bona fide belief (...)
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  29. A Defeater of the Claim That Belief in God’s Existence is Properly Basic.Michael J. Shaffer - 2004 - Philo 7 (1):57-70.
    Some contemporary theologically inclined epistemologists, the reformed epistemologists, have attempted to show that belief in God is rational by appealing directly to a special kind of experience. To strengthen the appeal to this particular, and admittedly peculiar, type of experience these venture to draw a parallel between such experiences and normal perceptual experiences in order to show that, by parity of reasoning, if beliefs formed on the basis of the later are taken to be justified and rational to hold, then (...)
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  30. Intentionality and Normativity.Michael J. Pendlebury - 1998 - South African Journal of Philosophy 17 (2):142-151.
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  31.  78
    Indexical Reference and the Ontology of Belief.Michael J. Pendlebury - 1982 - South African Journal of Philosophy 1:65-74.
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  32. Unification and the Myth of Purely Reductive Understanding.Michael J. Shaffer - 2020 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 27:142-168.
    In this paper significant challenges are raised with respect to the view that explanation essentially involves unification. These objections are raised specifically with respect to the well-known versions of unificationism developed and defended by Michael Friedman and Philip Kitcher. The objections involve the explanatory regress argument and the concepts of reduction and scientific understanding. Essentially, the contention made here is that these versions of unificationism wrongly assume that reduction secures understanding.
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  33.  33
    A Puzzle for Social Essences.Michael J. Raven - forthcoming - Journal of the American Philosophical Association.
    The social world contains institutions (nations, clubs), groups (races, genders), objects (talismans, borders), and more. This paper explores a puzzle about the essences of social items. There is widespread consensus against social essences because of problematic presuppositions often made about them. But it is argued that essence can be freed from these presuppositions and their problems. Even so, a puzzle still arises. In a Platonic spirit, essences in general seem “detached” from the world. In an Aristotelian spirit, social essences in (...)
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  34. Explaining Essences.Michael J. Raven - forthcoming - Philosophical Studies:1-22.
    This paper explores the prospects of combining two views. The first view is metaphysical rationalism (the principle of sufficient reason): all things have an explanation. The second view is metaphysical essentialism: there are real essences. The exploration is motivated by a conflict between the views. Metaphysical essentialism posits facts about essences. Metaphysical rationalism demands explanations for all facts. But facts about essences appear to resist explanation. I consider two solutions to the conflict. Exemption solutions attempt to exempt facts about essences (...)
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  35. Defusing the Miners Paradox.Michael J. Shaffer - 2018 - Filosofiska Notiser 5:57-67.
    This paper presents a case for the claim that the infamous miners paradox is not a paradox. This contention is based on some important observations about the nature of ignorance with respect to both disjunctions and conditional obligations and their modal features. The gist of the argument is that given the uncertainty about the location of the miners in the story and the nature of obligations, the apparent obligation to block either mine shaft is cancelled.
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  36. Explaining Evidence Denial as Motivated Pragmatically Rational Epistemic Irrationality.Michael J. Shaffer - 2019 - Metaphilosophy 50 (4):563-579.
    This paper introduces a model for evidence denial that explains this behavior as a manifestation of rationality and it is based on the contention that social values (measurable as utilities) often underwrite these sorts of responses. Moreover, it is contended that the value associated with group membership in particular can override epistemic reason when the expected utility of a belief or belief system is great. However, it is also true that it appears to be the case that it is still (...)
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  37. “Filling in”, Thought Experiments and Intuitions.Michael J. Shaffer - 2017 - Episteme 14 (2):255-262.
    Recently Timothy Williamson (2007) has argued that characterizations of the standard (i.e. intuition-based) philosophical practice of philosophical analysis are misguided because of the erroneous manner in which this practice has been understood. In doing so he implies that experimental critiques of the reliability of intuition are based on this misunderstanding of philosophical methodology and so have little or no bearing on actual philosophical practice or results. His main point is that the orthodox understanding of philosophical methodology is incorrect in that (...)
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  38. Foley’s Threshold View of Belief and the Safety Condition on Knowledge.Michael J. Shaffer - 2018 - Metaphilosophy 49 (4):589-594.
    This paper introduces a new argument against Richard Foley’s threshold view of belief. His view is based on the Lockean Thesis (LT) and the Rational Threshold Thesis (RTT). The argument introduced here shows that the views derived from the LT and the RTT violate the safety condition on knowledge in way that threatens the LT and/or the RTT.
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  39. Grounding Reichenbach’s Pragmatic Vindication of Induction.Michael J. Shaffer - 2017 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 11 (1):43-55.
    This paper has three interdependent aims. The first is to make Reichenbach’s views on induction and probabilities clearer, especially as they pertain to his pragmatic justification of induction. The second aim is to show how his view of pragmatic justification arises out of his commitment to extensional empiricism and moots the possibility of a non-pragmatic justification of induction. Finally, and most importantly, a formal decision-theoretic account of Reichenbach’s pragmatic justification is offered in terms both of the minimax principle and the (...)
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  40.  81
    Folk Judgments About Conditional Excluded Middle.Michael J. Shaffer & James Beebe - 2019 - In Andrew Aberdein & Matthew Inglis (eds.), Advances in Experimental Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics. London: Bloomsbury Academic. pp. 251-276.
    In this chapter we consider three philosophical perspectives (including those of Stalnaker and Lewis) on the question of whether and how the principle of conditional excluded middle should figure in the logic and semantics of counterfactuals. We articulate and defend a third view that is patterned after belief revision theories offered in other areas of logic and philosophy. Unlike Lewis’ view, the belief revision perspective does not reject conditional excluded middle, and unlike Stalnaker’s, it does not embrace supervaluationism. We adduce (...)
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  41. Internalism, Evidentialism and Appeals to Expert Knowledge.Michael J. Shaffer - 2017 - Logos and Episteme 8 (3):291-305.
    Given the sheer vastness of the totality of contemporary human knowledge and our individual epistemic finitude it is commonplace for those of us who lack knowledge with respect to some proposition(s) to appeal to experts (those who do have knowledge with respect to that proposition(s)) as an epistemic resource. Of course, much ink has been spilled on this issue and so concern here will be very narrowly focused on testimony in the context of epistemological views that incorporate evidentialism and internalism, (...)
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  42. Lakatos’ Quasi-Empiricism in the Philosophy of Mathematics.Michael J. Shaffer - 2015 - Polish Journal of Philosophy 9 (2):71-80.
    Imre Lakatos' views on the philosophy of mathematics are important and they have often been underappreciated. The most obvious lacuna in this respect is the lack of detailed discussion and analysis of his 1976a paper and its implications for the methodology of mathematics, particularly its implications with respect to argumentation and the matter of how truths are established in mathematics. The most important themes that run through his work on the philosophy of mathematics and which culminate in the 1976a paper (...)
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  43.  71
    Might/Would Duality and The Probabilities of Counterfactuals.Michael J. Shaffer - 2018 - Logique and Analyse 242:119-124.
    In this paper it is shown that Lewis' MWD (might/would duality) and imaging principles lead to wildly implausible probability assignments for would counterfactuals.
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  44.  77
    Max Plank’s Philosophy and Physics: An Introduction to The Philosophy of Physics.Michael J. Shaffer - 2019 - In The Philosophy of Physics. Montreal: Minkowski Press. pp. 1-5.
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  45. Probability and Tempered Modal Eliminativism.Michael J. Shaffer - 2004 - History and Philosophy of Logic 25 (4):305-318.
    In this paper the strategy for the eliminative reduction of the alethic modalities suggested by John Venn is outlined and it is shown to anticipate certain related contemporary empiricistic and nominalistic projects. Venn attempted to reduce the alethic modalities to probabilities, and thus suggested a promising solution to the nagging issue of the inclusion of modal statements in empiricistic philosophical systems. However, despite the promise that this suggestion held for laying the ‘ghost of modality’ to rest, this general approach, tempered (...)
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  46. Quine and the Incoherence of the Indispensability Argument.Michael J. Shaffer - 2019 - Logos and Episteme 10 (2):207-213.
    It is an under-appreciated fact that Quine's rejection of the analytic/synthetic distinction, when coupled with some other plausible and related views, implies that there are serious difficulties in demarcating empirical theories from pure mathematical theories within the Quinean framework. This is a serious problem because there seems to be a principled difference between the two disciplines that cannot apparently be captured in the orthodox Quienan framework. For the purpose of simplicity let us call this Quine's problem of demarcation. In this (...)
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  47. Reichenbach, Russell and the Metaphysics of Induction.Michael J. Shaffer - 2019 - Argumenta 8:161-181.
    Hans Reichenbach’s pragmatic treatment of the problem of induction in his later works on inductive inference was, and still is, of great interest. However, it has been dismissed as a pseudo-solution and it has been regarded as problematically obscure. This is, in large part, due to the difficulty in understanding exactly what Reichenbach’s solution is supposed to amount to, especially as it appears to offer no response to the inductive skeptic. For entirely different reasons, the significance of Bertrand Russell’s classic (...)
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  48.  47
    Stanley and the Stakes Hypothesis.Michael J. Shaffer - 2017 - The Reasoner 11:73-74.
    The main examples of pragmatic encroachment presented by Jason Stanley involve the idea that knowledge ascription occurs more readily in cases where stakes are low rather than high. This is the stakes hypothesis. In this paper an example is presented showing that in some cases knowledge ascription is more readily appropriate where stakes are high rather than low.
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  49. Some Recent Existential Appeals to Mathematical Experience.Michael J. Shaffer - 2006 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 10 (2):143-170.
    Some recent work by philosophers of mathematics has been aimed at showing that our knowledge of the existence of at least some mathematical objects and/or sets can be epistemically grounded by appealing to perceptual experience. The sensory capacity that they refer to in doing so is the ability to perceive numbers, mathematical properties and/or sets. The chief defense of this view as it applies to the perception of sets is found in Penelope Maddy’s Realism in Mathematics, but a number of (...)
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  50. Safety, the Preface Paradox and Possible Worlds Semantics.Michael J. Shaffer - 2019 - Axiomathes 29 (4):347-361.
    This paper contains an argument to the effect that possible worlds semantics renders semantic knowledge impossible, no matter what ontological interpretation is given to possible worlds. The essential contention made is that possible worlds semantic knowledge is unsafe and this is shown by a parallel with the preface paradox.
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