Results for 'Natural World'

999 found
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  1. Artifice and the Natural World: Mathematics, Logic, Technology.James Franklin - 2006 - In K. Haakonssen (ed.), Cambridge History of Eighteenth-Century Philosophy. Cambridge University Press.
    If Tahiti suggested to theorists comfortably at home in Europe thoughts of noble savages without clothes, those who paid for and went on voyages there were in pursuit of a quite opposite human ideal. Cook's voyage to observe the transit of Venus in 1769 symbolises the eighteenth century's commitment to numbers and accuracy, and its willingness to spend a lot of public money on acquiring them. The state supported the organisation of quantitative researches, employing surveyors and collecting statistics to..
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  2. A Cause Among Causes? God Acting in the Natural World.Ignacio Silva - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 7 (4):99--114.
    Contemporary debates on divine action tend to focus on finding a space in nature where there would be no natural causes, where nature offers indeterminacy, openness, and potentiality, to place God’s action. These places are found through the natural sciences, in particular quantum mechanics. God’s action is then located in those ontological ”causal-gaps’ offered by certain interpretations of quantum mechanics. In this view, God would determine what is left underdetermined in nature without disrupting the laws of nature. These (...)
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  3. Kovesi on Natural World Concepts and the Theory of Meaning.Alan Tapper - 2012 - In Alan Tapper & Brian Mooney (eds.), Meaning and Morality: Essays on the Philosophy of Julius Kovesi. Leiden: Brill. pp. 167-88.
    Julius Kovesi was a moral philosopher whose work rested on a theory of concepts and concept-formation, which he outlined in his 1967 book Moral Notions. But his contribution goes further than this. In sketching a theory of concepts and concept-formation, he was entering the philosophy of language. To make his account of moral concepts credible, he needs a broader story about how moral concepts compare with other sorts of concepts. Yet philosophy of language, once dominated by Wittgenstein and Austin, came (...)
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  4. The Role of Philosophy in a Naturalized World.Jan Faye - 2012 - European Journal of Analytic Philosophy 8 (1):60-76.
    This paper discusses the late Michael Dummett’s characterization of the estrangement between physics and philosophy. It argues against those physicists who hold that modern physics, rather than philosophy, can answer traditional metaphysical questions such as why there is something rather than nothing. The claim is that physics cannot solve metaphysical problems since metaphysical issues are in principle empirically underdetermined. The paper closes with a critical discussion of the assumption of some cosmologists that the Universe was created out of nothing: In (...)
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  5.  31
    The Forgotten Earth: Nature, World Religions, and Worldlessness in the Legacy of the Axial Age/Moral Revolution.Eugene Halton - 2021 - In Said Amir Arjomand & Stephen Kalberg (eds.), From World Religions to Axial Civilizations and Beyond. Albany, NY, USA: State University of New York Press. pp. 209-238.
    The rise and legacy of world religions out of that period centered roughly around 500-600 BCE, what John Stuart-Glennie termed in 1873 the moral revolution, and Karl Jaspers later, in 1949, called the axial age, has been marked by heightened ideas of transcendence. Yet ironically, the world itself, in the literal sense of the actual earth, took on a diminished role as a central element of religious sensibility in the world religions, particularly in the Abrahamic religions. Given (...)
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  6. The Nature of Model-World Comparisons.Fiora Salis - 2016 - The Monist 99 (3):243-259.
    Upholders of fictionalism about scientific models have not yet successfully explained how scientists can learn about the real world by making comparisons between models and the real phenomena they stand for. In this paper I develop an account of model-world comparisons in terms of what I take to be the best antirealist analyses of comparative claims that emerge from the current debate on fiction.
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  7. Salvation in a Naturalized World: The Role of the Will and Intellect in the Philosophies of Nietzsche and Spinoza.Tammy Nyden - 1998 - NASS (North American Spinoza Society) Monograph 7:17-31.
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  8.  40
    Beyond the 'Theory of Everything' Paradigm: Synergetic Patterns and the Order of the Natural World.Brian D. Josephson - manuscript
    David Bohm suggested that some kind of implicate order underlies the manifest order observed in physical systems, while others have suggested that some kind of mind-like process underlies this order. In the following a more explicit picture is proposed, based on the existence of parallels between spontaneously fluctuating equilibrium states and life processes. Focus on the processes of natural language suggests a picture involving an evolving ensemble of experts, each with its own goals but nevertheless acting in harmony with (...)
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  9. Rule-Following Practices in a Natural World.Wolfgang Huemer - 2020 - Journal of Transcendental Philosophy 1 (1).
    I address the question of whether naturalism can provide adequate means for the scientific study of rules and rule-following behavior. As the term "naturalism" is used in many different ways in the contemporary debate, I will first spell out which version of naturalism I am targeting. Then I will recall a classical argument against naturalism in a version presented by Husserl. In the main part of the paper I will sketch a conception of rule-following behavior that is influenced by Sellars (...)
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  10.  51
    Jens Harbecke, Mental Causation: Investigating the Mind's Powers in a Natural World Reviewed By.Brian Jonathan Garrett - 2009 - Philosophy in Review 29 (6):415-418.
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  11. From the Natural Attitude to the Life-World.Dermot Moran - 2013 - In Lester Embree & Thomas Nenon (eds.), Husserl’s Ideen. Springer. pp. 105--124.
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  12. Excellent Beauty: The Naturalness of Religion and the Unnaturalness of the World.Eric Dietrich - 2015 - Columbia University Press.
    Flipping convention on its head, Eric Dietrich argues that science uncovers awe-inspiring, enduring mysteries, while religion, regarded as the source for such mysteries, is a biological phenomenon. Just like spoken language, Dietrich shows that religion is an evolutionary adaptation. Science is the source of perplexing yet beautiful mysteries, however natural the search for answers may be to human existence. _Excellent Beauty_ undoes our misconception of scientific inquiry as an executioner of beauty, making the case that science has won the (...)
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  13.  94
    Towards Gratitude to Nature: Global Environmental Ethics for China and the World.Bo R. Meinertsen - 2017 - Frontiers of Philosophy in China 12 (2):207-223.
    This paper asks what should be the basis of a global environmental ethics. As Gao Shan has argued, the environmental ethics of Western philosophers such as Holmes Rolston and Paul Taylor is based on extending the notion of intrinsic value to that of objects of nature, and as such it is not very compatible with Chinese ethics. This is related to Gao’s rejection of most—if not all—Western “rationalist” environmental ethics, a stance that I grant her for pragmatic reasons (though I (...)
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  14.  76
    Unrestricted Quantification and Natural Theology: Is" the World" on the Index?Stig Børsen Hansen - 2010 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 2 (2):89-110.
    The first section of this paper introduces talk about absolutely everything -- the world as a totality -- as an integral element in the project of natural theology, as it has been presented by Fergus Kerr and Denys Turner respectively. The following section presents talk about the world as a totality of facts as a theme in philosophical logic and outlines a problem it has given rise to there. After confronting the solution originally suggested by Bertrand Russell (...)
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  15. Inventing Nature: Re-Writing Time and Agency in a More-Than-Human World.Michelle Bastian - 2009 - Australian Humanities Review 47:99-116.
    This paper is a response to Val Plumwoods call for writers to engage in ‘the struggle to think differently’. Specifically, she calls writers to engage in the task of opening up an experience of nature as powerful and as possessing agency. I argue that a critical component of opening up who or what can be understood as possessing agency involves challenging the conception of time as linear, externalised and absolute, particularly in as much as it has guided Western conceptions of (...)
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  16. The World as a Garden: A Philosophical Analysis of Natural Capital in Economics.C. Tyler DesRoches - 2015 - Dissertation, University of British Columbia
    This dissertation undertakes a philosophical analysis of “natural capital” and argues that this concept has prompted economists to view Nature in a radically novel manner. Formerly, economists referred to Nature and natural products as a collection of inert materials to be drawn upon in isolation and then rearranged by human agents to produce commodities. More recently, nature is depicted as a collection of active, modifiable, and economically valuable processes, often construed as ecosystems that produce marketable goods and services (...)
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  17. Second Nature: The Man-Made World of Idealism, Technology and Power.Dan Bruiger - 2006 - Trafford/Left Field Press.
    Human culture seeks to transcend and replace the uncertainties of nature with a controllable human world. The quest for the Ideal has led to the creation of artificial environments, both material and intellectual—a second nature. New technologies express ancient dreams of immortality, freedom from embodiment and pain, and unlimited control of matter in man-made environments. But nature is not an artifact and may never be fully understood or controlled. While post-humanism may be delusional, its dreams could defeat the reasoned (...)
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  18. Tropes as Divine Acts: The Nature of Creaturely Properties in a World Sustained by God.Robert K. Garcia - 2015 - European Journal for Philosophy of Religion 7 (3):105--130.
    I aim to synthesize two issues within theistic metaphysics. The first concerns the metaphysics of creaturely properties and, more specifically, the nature of unshareable properties, or tropes. The second concerns the metaphysics of providence and, more specifically, the way in which God sustains creatures, or sustenance. I propose that creaturely properties, understood as what I call modifier tropes, are identical with divine acts of sustenance, understood as acts of property-conferral. I argue that this *theistic conferralism* is attractive because it integrates (...)
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  19.  62
    The World as a Garden: A Philosophical Analysis of Natural Capital in Economics.C. Tyler DesRoches - 2015 - Erasmus Journal for Philosophy and Economics 8 (2):121.
    This dissertation undertakes a philosophical analysis of “natural capital” and argues that this concept has prompted economists to view nature in a radically novel manner. Formerly, economists referred to nature and natural products as a collection of inert materials to be drawn upon in isolation and then rearranged by human agents to produce commodities. More recently, however, nature is depicted as a collection of active, modifiable, and economically valuable processes, often construed as ecosystems that produce marketable goods and (...)
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  20. A Natural History of Natural Theology. The Cognitive Science of Theology and Philosophy of Religion.Helen De Cruz & Johan De Smedt - 2015 - MIT Press.
    [from the publisher's website] Questions about the existence and attributes of God form the subject matter of natural theology, which seeks to gain knowledge of the divine by relying on reason and experience of the world. Arguments in natural theology rely largely on intuitions and inferences that seem natural to us, occurring spontaneously—at the sight of a beautiful landscape, perhaps, or in wonderment at the complexity of the cosmos—even to a nonphilosopher. In this book, Helen De (...)
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  21. Human Nature in a Postmodern World: Reflections on the Work of Eugene Gendlin. [REVIEW]Lawrence J. Hatab - 1994 - Human Studies 17 (3):363 - 371.
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  22. Impossible Worlds and Partial Belief.Edward Elliott - 2019 - Synthese 196 (8):3433-3458.
    One response to the problem of logical omniscience in standard possible worlds models of belief is to extend the space of worlds so as to include impossible worlds. It is natural to think that essentially the same strategy can be applied to probabilistic models of partial belief, for which parallel problems also arise. In this paper, I note a difficulty with the inclusion of impossible worlds into probabilistic models. Under weak assumptions about the space of worlds, most of the (...)
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  23. The Nature of Cognitive Phenomenology.Declan Smithies - 2013 - Philosophy Compass 8 (8):744-754.
    This is the first in a series of two articles that serve as an introduction to recent debates about cognitive phenomenology. Cognitive phenomenology can be defined as the experience that is associated with cognitive activities, such as thinking, reasoning, and understanding. What is at issue in contemporary debates is not the existence of cognitive phenomenology, so defined, but rather its nature and theoretical role. The first article examines questions about the nature of cognitive phenomenology, while the second article explores the (...)
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  24. Is Naturalness Natural?Thompson Naomi - 2015 - American Philosophical Quarterly 53 (4):381-396.
    Abstract -/- The perfectly natural properties and relations are special—they are all and only those that "carve nature at its joints." They act as reference magnets, form a minimal supervenience base, figure in fundamental physics and in the laws of nature, and never divide duplicates within or between worlds. If the perfectly natural properties are the (metaphysically) important ones, we should expect being a perfectly natural property to itself be one of the (perfectly) natural properties. This (...)
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  25. Possible Worlds for Modal Primitivists.Louis deRosset - 2014 - Journal of Philosophical Logic 43 (1):109-131.
    Among the most remarkable developments in metaphysics since the 1950’s is the explosion of philosophical interest in possible worlds. This paper proposes an explanation of what possible worlds are, and argues that this proposal, the interpreted models conception, should be attractive to anyone who thinks that modal facts are primitive, and so not to be explained in terms of some non-modal notion of “possible world.” I articulate three constraints on any acceptable primitivist explanation of the nature of possible worlds, (...)
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  26. Constructing Worlds.Mark Jago - 2012 - Synthese 189 (1):59-74.
    You and I can differ in what we say, or believe, even though the things we say, or believe, are logically equivalent. Discussing what is said, or believed, requires notions of content which are finer-grained than sets of (metaphysically or logically) possible worlds. In this paper, I develop the approach to fine-grained content in terms of a space of possible and impossible worlds. I give a method for constructing ersatz worlds based on theory of substantial facts. I show how this (...)
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  27. Counterpossibles and the Nature of Impossible Worlds.Mattias Skipper Rasmussen - 2016 - SATS 17 (2):145-158.
    One well-known objection to the traditional Lewis-Stalnaker semantics of counterfactuals is that it delivers counterintuitive semantic verdicts for many counterpossibles (counterfactuals with necessarily false antecedents). To remedy this problem, several authors have proposed extending the set of possible worlds by impossible worlds at which necessary falsehoods may be true. Linguistic ersatz theorists often construe impossible worlds as maximal, inconsistent sets of sentences in some sufficiently expressive language. However, in a recent paper, Bjerring (2014) argues that the “extended” Lewis-Stalnaker semantics delivers (...)
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  28. Natural Kinds.Zdenka Brzović - 2018 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    A large part of our exploration of the world consists in categorizing or classifying the objects and processes we encounter, both in scientific and everyday contexts. There are various, perhaps innumerable, ways to sort objects into different kinds or categories, but it is commonly assumed that, among the countless possible types of classifications, one group is privileged. Philosophy refers to such categories as natural kinds. Standard examples of such kinds include fundamental physical particles, chemical elements, and biological species. (...)
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  29. The Material World and Natural Religion in Humes Treatise.Paul Russell - 2003 - Archiv für Geschichte der Philosophie 85 (3):269-303.
    In the early eighteenth century context there was an intimate connection between problems concerning the existence of the material world and problems of natural religion. Two issues are of particular importance for understanding Hume’s irreligious intentions in the Treatise. First, if we are unable to establish that we know that the material world exists, then all arguments for the existence of God that presuppose knowledge of the material world (i.e. its beauty, order, design, etc.) are placed (...)
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  30. Alien Worlds, Alien Laws, and the Humean Conceivability Argument.Lok-Chi Chan, David Braddon-Mitchell & Andrew J. Latham - 2020 - Ratio 33 (1):1-13.
    Monism is our name for a range of views according to which the connection between dispositions and their categorical bases is intimate and necessary, or on which there are no categorical bases at all. In contrast, Dualist views hold that the connection between dispositions and their categorical bases is distant and contingent. This paper is a defence of Monism against an influential conceivability argument in favour of Dualism. The argument suggests that the apparent possibility of causal behaviour coming apart from (...)
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  31. Natural Selection Does Care About Truth.Maarten Boudry & Michael Vlerick - 2014 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 28 (1):65-77.
    True beliefs are better guides to the world than false ones. This is the common-sense assumption that undergirds theorizing in evolutionary epistemology. According to Alvin Plantinga, however, evolution by natural selection does not care about truth: it cares only about fitness. If our cognitive faculties are the products of blind evolution, we have no reason to trust them, anytime or anywhere. Evolutionary naturalism, consequently, is a self-defeating position. Following up on earlier objections, we uncover three additional flaws in (...)
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  32. From Biological Functions to Natural Goodness.Parisa Moosavi - 2019 - Philosophers' Imprint 19.
    Neo-Aristotelian ethical naturalism aims to place moral virtue in the natural world by showing that moral goodness is an instance of natural goodness—a kind of goodness supposedly also found in the biological realm of plants and non-human animals. One of the central issues facing neo-Aristotelian naturalists concerns their commitment to a kind of function ascription based on the concept of the flourishing of an organism that seems to have no place in modern biology. In this paper, I (...)
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  33.  16
    Paul Horwich (Ed.): World Changes: Thomas Kuhn and the Nature of Science. [REVIEW]Howard Sankey - 1995 - Metascience 8:140-142.
    This is a book review of Paul Horwich (ed.) World Changes.
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  34. Natural Deduction for Diagonal Operators.Fabio Lampert - 2017 - In Maria Zack & Dirk Schlimm (eds.), Research in History and Philosophy of Mathematics: The CSHPM 2016 Annual Meeting in Calgary, Alberta. Cham: Birkhäuser. pp. 39-51.
    We present a sound and complete Fitch-style natural deduction system for an S5 modal logic containing an actuality operator, a diagonal necessity operator, and a diagonal possibility operator. The logic is two-dimensional, where we evaluate sentences with respect to both an actual world (first dimension) and a world of evaluation (second dimension). The diagonal necessity operator behaves as a quantifier over every point on the diagonal between actual worlds and worlds of evaluation, while the diagonal possibility quantifies (...)
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  35. How (Not) to Construct Worlds with Responsibility.Fabio Lampert & Pedro Merlussi - forthcoming - Synthese:1-25.
    In a recent article, P. Roger Turner and Justin Capes argue that no one is, or ever was, even partly morally responsible for certain world-indexed truths. Here we present our reasons for thinking that their argument is unsound: It depends on the premise that possible worlds are maximally consistent states of affairs, which is, under plausible assumptions concerning states of affairs, demonstrably false. Our argument to show this is based on Bertrand Russell’s original ‘paradox of propositions’. We should then (...)
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  36. What Are Centered Worlds?Shen-yi Liao - 2012 - Philosophical Quarterly 62 (247):294-316.
    David Lewis argues that centered worlds give us a way to capture de se, or self-locating, contents in philosophy of language and philosophy of mind. In recent years, centered worlds have also gained other uses in areas ranging widely from metaphysics to ethics. In this paper, I raise a problem for centered worlds and discuss the costs and benefits of different solutions. My investigation into the nature of centered worlds brings out potentially problematic implicit commitments of the theories that employ (...)
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  37. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life.Nicholas Maxwell - 2017 - Montreal, Canada: McGill-Queen's University Press.
    The central thesis of this book is that we need to reform philosophy and join it to science to recreate a modern version of natural philosophy; we need to do this in the interests of rigour, intellectual honesty, and so that science may serve the best interests of humanity. Modern science began as natural philosophy. In the time of Newton, what we call science and philosophy today – the disparate endeavours – formed one mutually interacting, integrated endeavour of (...)
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  38. Against ‘Permanent Sovereignty’ Over Natural Resources.Chris Armstrong - 2015 - Politics, Philosophy and Economics 14 (2):129-151.
    The doctrine of permanent sovereignty over natural resources is a hugely consequential one in the contemporary world, appearing to grant nation-states both jurisdiction-type rights and rights of ownership over the resources to be found in their territories. But the normative justification for that doctrine is far from clear. This article elucidates the best arguments that might be made for permanent sovereignty, including claims from national improvement of or attachment to resources, as well as functionalist claims linking resource rights (...)
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  39. The World is Not Enough.Nathan Robert Howard & N. G. Laskowski - 2021 - Noûs 55 (1):86-101.
    Throughout his career, Derek Parfit made the bold suggestion, at various times under the heading of the "Normativity Objection," that anyone in possession of normative concepts is in a position to know, on the basis of their competence with such concepts alone, that reductive realism in ethics is not even possible. Despite the prominent role that the Normativity Objection plays in Parfit's non-reductive account of the nature of normativity, when the objection hasn't been ignored, it's been criticized and even derided. (...)
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  40. Natural Individuals and Intrinsic Properties.Godehard Brüntrup - 2009 - In Ludger Honnefelder, Edmund Runggaldier & Benedikt Schick (eds.), Unity and Time in Metaphysics. Walter de Gruyter. pp. 237-252.
    In the world there are concrete particulars that exhibit the kind of substantial unity that allows them to be called substances or “natural individuals”, as opposed to artifacts or mere conglomerates. Persons, animals, and possibly the most fundamental physical simples are all natural individuals. What gives these entities the ontological status of a substantial unity? Arguments from the philosophy of mind and arguments from general metaphysics show that physical properties alone cannot account for substantial unity. The ultimate (...)
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  41. Scientific Enquiry and Natural Kinds: From Planets to Mallards.P. D. Magnus - 2012 - Palgrave-Macmillan.
    Some scientific categories seem to correspond to genuine features of the world and are indispensable for successful science in some domain; in short, they are natural kinds. This book gives a general account of what it is to be a natural kind and puts the account to work illuminating numerous specific examples.
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  42. Why the Many-Worlds Interpretation of Quantum Mechanics Needs More Than Hilbert Space Structure.Meir Hemmo & Orly Shenker - 2020 - In Scientific Challenges to Common Sense Philosophy. Oxford: pp. 61-70.
    McQueen and Vaidman argue that the Many Worlds Interpretation (MWI) of quantum mechanics provides local causal explanations of the outcomes of experiments in our experience that is due to the total effect of all the worlds together. We show that although the explanation is local in one world, it requires a causal influence that travels across different worlds. We further argue that in the MWI the local nature of our experience is not derivable from the Hilbert space structure, but (...)
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  43.  11
    The Fourth Dimension of the World of Nature in Mulla Sadra’s Philosophy and Relativity Theory of Einstein.Religious Thought, Sepideh Razi, Jaafar Shanazari & Afshin Shafiee - 2020 - JOURNAL OF RELIGIOUS THOUGHT 20 (77):99-126.
    One of the challenges faced by philosophers throughout history of philosophical thoughts, has always been and is to find an adequate answer to the question of quiddity and existence of time and space. Thus, the present study aims to elaborate on the question of space and time in Mulla Sadra’s philosophy and its relationship with outcomes of modern physics. The study also intends to conduct an analytical comparison between these two views and clarify newer aspects of this complicated and vague (...)
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  44. Ethnoontology: Ways of World‐Building Across Cultures.David Ludwig & Daniel A. Weiskopf - 2019 - Philosophy Compass (9):1-11.
    This article outlines a program of ethnoontology that brings together empirical research in the ethnosciences with ontological debates in philosophy. First, we survey empirical evidence from heterogeneous cultural contexts and disciplines. Second, we propose a model of cross‐cultural relations between ontologies beyond a simple divide between universalist and relativist models. Third, we argue for an integrative model of ontology building that synthesizes insights from different fields such as biological taxonomy, cognitive science, cultural anthropology, and political ecology. We conclude by arguing (...)
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  45. What’s Left of Human Nature? A Post-Essentialist, Pluralist and Interactive Account of a Contested Concept.Maria Kronfeldner - 2018 - Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
    Human nature has always been a foundational issue for philosophy. What does it mean to have a human nature? Is the concept the relic of a bygone age? What is the use of such a concept? What are the epistemic and ontological commitments people make when they use the concept? In What’s Left of Human Nature? Maria Kronfeldner offers a philosophical account of human nature that defends the concept against contemporary criticism. In particular, she takes on challenges related to social (...)
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  46.  59
    Free Actions as a Natural Kind.Oisín Deery - 2021 - Synthese 198 (1):823-843.
    Do we have free will? Understanding free will as the ability to act freely, and free actions as exercises of this ability, I maintain that the default answer to this question is “yes.” I maintain that free actions are a natural kind, by relying on the influential idea that kinds are homeostatic property clusters. The resulting position builds on the view that agents are a natural kind and yields an attractive alternative to recent revisionist accounts of free action. (...)
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  47. In Praise of Natural Philosophy: A Revolution for Thought and Life.Nicholas Maxwell - 2012 - Philosophia 40 (4):705-715.
    Modern science began as natural philosophy. In the time of Newton, what we call science and philosophy today – the disparate endeavours – formed one mutually interacting, integrated endeavour of natural philosophy: to improve our knowledge and understanding of the universe, and to improve our understanding of ourselves as a part of it. Profound, indeed unprecedented discoveries were made. But then natural philosophy died. It split into science on the one hand, and philosophy on the other. This (...)
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  48. Causal Counterfactuals and Impossible Worlds.Daniel Nolan - 2017 - In Helen Beebee, Christopher Hitchcock & Huw Price (eds.), Making a Difference. Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press. pp. 14-32.
    A standing challenge in the theory of counterfactuals is to solve the “deviation problem”. Consider ordinary counterfactuals involving an antecedent concerning a difference from the actual course of events at a particular time, and a consequent concerning, at least in part, what happens at a later time. In the possible worlds framework, the problem is often put in terms of which are the relevant antecedent worlds. Desiderata for the solution include that the relevant antecedent worlds be governed by the actual (...)
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  49.  59
    The Natural History of Desire.David Spurrett - 2015 - South African Journal of Philosophy 34 (3):304-313.
    Sterelny (2003) develops an idealised natural history of folk-psychological kinds. He argues that belief-like states are natural elaborations of simpler control systems, called detection systems, which map directly from environmental cue to response. Belief-like states exhibit robust tracking (sensitivity to multiple environmental states), and response breadth (occasioning a wider range of behaviours). The development of robust tracking and response-breadth depend partly on properties of the informational environment. In a transparent environment the functional relevance of states of the (...) is directly detectable. Outside transparent environments, selection can favour decoupled representations. Sterelny maintains that these arguments do not generalise to desire. Unlike the external environment, the internal processes of an organism, he argues, are selected for transparency. Parts of a single organism gain nothing from deceiving one another, but gain significantly from accurate signalling of their states and needs. Key conditions favouring the development of belief-like states are therefore absent in the case of desires. Here I argue that Sterelny’s reasons for saying that his treatment of belief does not generalise to motivation (desires, or preferences) are insufficient. There are limits to the transparency that internal environments can achieve. Even if there were not, tracking the motivational salience of external states suggests possible gains for systematic tracking of outcome values in any system in which selection has driven the production of belief-like states. (shrink)
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  50. Talking About Worlds.Matthew Mandelkern - 2018 - Philosophical Perspectives 32 (1):298-325.
    I explore the logic of the conditional, using credence judgments to argue against Duality and in favor of Conditional Excluded Middle. I then explore how to give a theory of the conditional which validates the latter and not the former, developing a variant on Kratzer (1981)'s restrictor theory, as well as a proposal which combines Stalnaker (1968)'s theory of the conditional with the theory of epistemic modals I develop in Mandelkern 2019a. I argue that the latter approach fits naturally with (...)
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