Results for 'instrumentalism'

94 found
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  1. 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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  2. An Instrumentalist Account of How to Weigh Epistemic and Practical Reasons for Belief.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen & Mattias Skipper - forthcoming - Mind:fzz062.
    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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  3. 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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  4. 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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  5.  31
    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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  6.  88
    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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  7.  59
    Realism and Instrumentalism in Philosophical Explanation.Ori Simchen - 2019 - Metaphysics 2 (1):1-15.
    There is a salient contrast in how theoretical representations are regarded. Some are regarded as revealing the nature of what they represent, as in familiar cases of theoretical identification in physical chemistry where water is represented as hydrogen hydroxide and gold is represented as the element with atomic number 79. Other theoretical representations are regarded as serving other explanatory aims without being taken individually to reveal the nature of what they represent, as in the representation of gold as a standard (...)
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  8. 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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  9. 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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  10. 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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  11. 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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  12. 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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  13. 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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  14. Symmetry Arguments Against Regular Probability: A Reply to Recent Objections.Matthew W. 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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  15. 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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  16. 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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  17. 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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  18. Does Orthodox Quantum Theory Undermine, or Support, Scientific Realism?Nicholas Maxwell - 1993 - 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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  19. 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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  20.  68
    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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  21.  23
    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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  22. 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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  23. Braucht Die Theoretische Physik den Religiösen Glauben? Neo-Scholastik Und Positivismus in der Dritten RepublikLa Physique Théorique A-T-Elle Besoin des Croyances Religieuses? Néo-Scolastique Et Postivisme Sous la IIIe RépubliqueIs Theoretical Physics in Need of Religious Faith? Neo-Scholasticism and Positivism in the Third RepublicLa Física Teórica Necesita Las Creencias Religiosas? Neoescolástica y Positivismo Bajo la III República.Matthias Neuber - 2013 - Revue de Synthèse 134 (2):221-247.
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  24. Plausible Permissivism.Michael G. Titelbaum & Matthew Kopec - manuscript
    Abstract. Richard Feldman’s Uniqueness Thesis holds that “a body of evidence justifies at most one proposition out of a competing set of proposi- tions”. The opposing position, permissivism, allows distinct rational agents to adopt differing attitudes towards a proposition given the same body of evidence. We assess various motivations that have been offered for Uniqueness, including: concerns about achieving consensus, a strong form of evidentialism, worries about epistemically arbitrary influences on belief, a focus on truth-conduciveness, and consequences for peer disagreement. (...)
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  25.  84
    Instrumental Reasons for Belief: Elliptical Talk and Elusive Properties.Asbjørn Steglich-Petersen & Mattias Skipper - forthcoming - In Sebastian Schmidt & Gerhard Ernst (eds.), The Ethics of Belief and Beyond. Understanding Mental Normativity. Routledge.
    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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  26. Scientific Progress Without Increasing Verisimilitude: In Response to Niiniluoto.Darrell Patrick Rowbottom - 2015 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 51:100-104.
    First, I argue that scientific progress is possible in the absence of increasing verisimilitude in science’s theories. Second, I argue that increasing theoretical verisimilitude is not the central, or primary, dimension of scientific progress. Third, I defend my previous argument that unjustified changes in scientific belief may be progressive. Fourth, I illustrate how false beliefs can promote scientific progress in ways that cannot be explicated by appeal to verisimilitude.
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  27.  72
    Some Difficulties for the Problem of Unconceived Alternatives.Samuel Ruhmkorff - 2011 - Philosophy of Science 78 (5):875-886.
    P. Kyle Stanford defends the problem of unconceived alternatives, which maintains that scientists are unlikely to conceive of all the scientifically plausible alternatives to the theories they accept. Stanford’s argument has been criticized on the grounds that the failure of individual scientists to conceive of relevant alternatives does not entail the failure of science as a corporate body to do so. I consider two replies to this criticism and find both lacking. In the process, I argue that Stanford does not (...)
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  28. Folk Psychology and the Bayesian Brain.Joe Dewhurst - 2017 - In Thomas Metzinger & Wanja Wiese (eds.), Philosophy and Predictive Processing. Frankfurt am Main: MIND Group.
    Whilst much has been said about the implications of predictive processing for our scientific understanding of cognition, there has been comparatively little discussion of how this new paradigm fits with our everyday understanding of the mind, i.e. folk psychology. This paper aims to assess the relationship between folk psychology and predictive processing, which will first require making a distinction between two ways of understanding folk psychology: as propositional attitude psychology and as a broader folk psychological discourse. It will be argued (...)
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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. Nietzsche's Positivism.Nadeem J. Z. Hussain - 2004 - European Journal of Philosophy 12 (3):326–368.
    Nietzsche’s favourable comments about science and the senses have recently been taken as evidence of naturalism. Others focus on his falsification thesis: our beliefs are falsifying interpretations of reality. Clark argues that Nietzsche eventually rejects this thesis. This article utilizes the multiple ways of being science friendly in Nietzsche’s context by focussing on Mach’s neutral monism. Mach’s positivism is a natural development of neo-Kantian positions Nietzsche was reacting to. Section 15 of Beyond Good and Evil is crucial to Clark’s interpretation. (...)
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  31. What Does It Mean to Orient Oneself in Science? On Ernst Mach’s Pragmatic Epistemology.Pietro Gori - 2019 - In Friedrich Stadler (ed.), Ernst Mach - Life, Work, Influence. Dordrecht, Paesi Bassi: Springer. pp. 525-536.
    The paper aims to investigate some aspects of Ernst Mach’s epistemology in the light of the problem of human orientation in relation to the world (Weltorientierung), which is a main topic of Western philosophy since Kant. As will be argued, Mach has been concerned with that problem, insofar as he developed an original pragmatist epistemology. In order to support my argument, I firstly investigate whether Mach defended a nominalist or a realist account of knowledge and compare his view to those (...)
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  32. Extending the Argument From Unconceived Alternatives: Observations, Models, Predictions, Explanations, Methods, Instruments, Experiments, and Values.Darrell P. Rowbottom - 2016 - Synthese (10).
    Stanford’s argument against scientific realism focuses on theories, just as many earlier arguments from inconceivability have. However, there are possible arguments against scientific realism involving unconceived (or inconceivable) entities of different types: observations, models, predictions, explanations, methods, instruments, experiments, and values. This paper charts such arguments. In combination, they present the strongest challenge yet to scientific realism.
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  33. Preferences and Positivist Methodology in Economics.Christopher Clarke - 2016 - Philosophy of Science 83 (2):192-212.
    I distinguish several doctrines that economic methodologists have found attractive, all of which have a positivist flavour. One of these is the doctrine that preference assignments in economics are just shorthand descriptions of agents' choice behaviour. Although most of these doctrines are problematic, the latter doctrine about preference assignments is a respectable one, I argue. It doesn't entail any of the problematic doctrines, and indeed it is warranted independently of them.
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  34. Defending Extension Theory: A Response to Kiran and Verbeek.Richard Heersmink - 2012 - Philosophy and Technology 25 (1):121-128.
    In a recent publication in this journal, Asle Kiran and Peter-Paul Verbeek (hereafter K&V) argue that extension theory and the notion of trust it implies are flawed. In this commentary, I defend extension theory against their critique. I first briefly introduce extension theory, then reconstruct K&V’s five arguments against extension theory and demonstrate that four of their five arguments are misplaced.
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  35. Principles of Acquaintance.Jessica Pepp - forthcoming - In Thomas Raleigh & Jonathan Knowles (eds.), Acquaintance: New Essays. Oxford University Press.
    The thesis that in order to genuinely think about a particular object one must be (in some sense) acquainted with that object has been thoroughly explored since it was put forward by Bertrand Russell. Recently, the thesis has come in for mounting criticism. The aim of this paper is to point out that neither the exploration nor the criticism have been sensitive to the fact that the thesis can be interpreted in two different ways, yielding two different principles of acquaintance. (...)
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  36. 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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  37. Breaking Laws to Fix Broken Windows: A Revisionist Take on Order Maintenance Policing.Andrew Ingram - 2014 - Berkeley Journal of Criminal Law 19 (2):112-152.
    Today, there is a family of celebrated police strategies that teach the importance of cracking down on petty crime and urban nuisance as the key to effective crime control. Under the “broken windows” appellation, this strategy is linked in the public mind with New York City and the alleged successes of its police department in reducing the rate of crime over the past two decades. This paper is critical of such order maintenance approaches to policing: I argue that infringements of (...)
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  38. Firth and Quong on Liability to Defensive Harm: A Critique.Uwe Steinhoff - manuscript
    Joanna Mary Firth and Jonathan Quong argue that both an instrumental account of liability to defensive harm, according to which an aggressor can only be liable to defensive harms that are necessary to avert the threat he poses, and a purely noninstrumental account which completely jettisons the necessity condition, lead to very counterintuitive implications. To remedy this situation, they offer a “pluralist” account and base it on a distinction between “agency rights” and a “humanitarian right.” I argue, first, that this (...)
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  39.  81
    What Would a Deontic Logic of Internal Reasons Look Like?Rufus Duits - 2016 - Symposion: Theoretical and Applied Inquiries in Philosophy and Social Sciences 3 (4):351-373.
    The so-called ‘central problem’ of internalism has been formulated like this: one cannot concurrently maintain the following three philosophical positions without inconsistency: internalism about practical reason, moral rationalism, and moral absolutism. Since internalism about practical reason is the most controversial of these, the suggestion is that it is the one that is best abandoned. In this paper, I point towards a response to this problem by sketching a deontic logic of internal reasons that deflates moral normativity to the normativity of (...)
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  40.  88
    The Growth of Knowledge: An Inquiry Into the Kuhnian Theory.Veli Verronen - 1986 - Distributor, Jyväskylän University Library.
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  41. 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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  42.  48
    Cartesian Certainty, Realism and Scientific Inference.Manuel Barrantes - forthcoming - In Jorge Secada & C. Wee (eds.), The Cartesian Mind.
    In the Principles, Descartes explains several observable phenomena showing that they are caused by special arrangements of unobservable microparticles. Despite these microparticles being unobservable, many passages suggest that he was very confident that these explanations were correct. In other passages, however, Descartes points out that these explanations merely hold the status of ‘suppositions’ or ‘conjectures’ that could be wrong. The aim of this chapter is to clarify this apparent conflict. I argue that the possibility of natural explanations being wrong should (...)
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  43. 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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  44. 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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  45. 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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  46. 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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  47. 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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  48. Towards a Theory of Singular Thought About Abstract Mathematical Objects.James E. Davies - 2019 - Synthese 196 (10):4113-4136.
    This essay uses a mental files theory of singular thought—a theory saying that singular thought about and reference to a particular object requires possession of a mental store of information taken to be about that object—to explain how we could have such thoughts about abstract mathematical objects. After showing why we should want an explanation of this I argue that none of three main contemporary mental files theories of singular thought—acquaintance theory, semantic instrumentalism, and semantic cognitivism—can give it. I (...)
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  49. 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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  50. Laws of Nature and the Reality of the Wave Function.Mauro Dorato - 2015 - Synthese 192 (10):3179-3201.
    In this paper I review three different positions on the wave function, namely: nomological realism, dispositionalism, and configuration space realism by regarding as essential their capacity to account for the world of our experience. I conclude that the first two positions are committed to regard the wave function as an abstract entity. The third position will be shown to be a merely speculative attempt to derive a primitive ontology from a reified mathematical space. Without entering any discussion about nominalism, I (...)
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