Erkenntnis

List of Papers (Total 161)

Dualism and Exclusion

Many philosophers argue that exclusion arguments cannot exclude non-reductionist physicalist mental properties from being causes without excluding properties that are patently causal as well. List and Stoljar (Australas J Philos 95(1):96–108, 2017) recently argued that a similar response to exclusion arguments is also available to dualists, thereby challenging the predominant...

Doxastic Deontology and Cognitive Competence

The paper challenges William Alston’s argument against doxastic deontology, the view that we have epistemic duties concerning our beliefs. The core of the argument is that doxastic deontology requires voluntary control over our beliefs, which we do not have. The idea that doxastic deontology requires voluntary control is supposed to follow from the principle that ought implies...

The Identity Theory of Powers Revised

Dispositionality and qualitativity are key notions to describe the world that we inhabit. Dispositionality is a matter of what a thing is disposed to do in certain circumstances. Qualitativity is a matter of how a thing is like. According to the Identity Theory of powers, every fundamental property is at once dispositional and qualitative, or a powerful quality. Canonically, the...

Concepts, Conceptions and Self-Knowledge

Content externalism implies first, that there is a distinction between concepts and conceptions, and second, that there is a distinction between thoughts and states of mind. The implications require us to rethink the nature of self-knowledge. In this paper, I argue for the partial-representation theory of self-knowledge, according to which the self-ascription of a thought is...

Zoomorphism

Anthropomorphism is the methodology of attributing human-like mental states to animals. Zoomorphism is the converse of this: it is the attribution of animal-like mental states to humans. Zoomorphism proceeds by first understanding what kind of mental states animals have and then attributing these mental states to humans. Zoomorphism has been widely used as scientific methodology...

Non-eliminative Structuralism, Fregean Abstraction, and Non-rigid Structures

Linnebo and Pettigrew (Philos Q 64:267–283, 2014) have recently developed a version of non-eliminative mathematical structuralism based on Fregean abstraction principles. They recognize that this version of structuralism is vulnerable to the well-known problem of non-rigid structures. This paper offers a solution to the problem for this version of structuralism. The solution...

Rawls’s Self-Defeat: A Formal Analysis

One of John Rawls’s major aims, when he wrote A Theory of Justice, was to present a superior alternative to utilitarianism. Rawls’s worry was that utilitarianism may fail to protect the fundamental rights and liberties of persons in its attempt to maximize total social welfare. Rawls’s main argument against utilitarianism was that, for such reasons, the representative parties in...

Prediction Error Minimization as a Framework for Social Cognition Research

The main aim of this article is to give an assessment of prediction error minimization (PEM) as a unifying theoretical framework for the study of social cognition. We show how this framework can be used to synthesize and systematically relate existing data from social cognition research, and explain how it introduces new constraints for further research. We discuss PEM in...

Interventionism and Mental Surgery

John Campbell has claimed that the interventionist account of causation must be amended if it is to be applied to causation in psychology. The problem, he argues, is that it follows from the so-called ‘surgical’ constraint that intervening on psychological states requires the suspension of the agent’s rational autonomy. In this paper, I argue that the problem Campbell identifies...

The Replication Argument for Incompatibilism

In this paper, I articulate an argument for incompatibilism about moral responsibility and determinism. My argument comes in the form of an extended story, modeled loosely on Peter van Inwagen’s “rollback argument” scenario. I thus call it “the replication argument.” As I aim to bring out, though the argument is inspired by so-called “manipulation” and “original design” arguments...

Classical Harmony and Separability

According to logical inferentialists, the meanings of logical expressions are fully determined by the rules for their correct use. Two key proof-theoretic requirements on admissible logical rules, harmony and separability, directly stem from this thesis—requirements, however, that standard single-conclusion and assertion-based formalizations of classical logic provably fail to...

Knowledgeably Responding to Reasons

Jennifer Hornsby has defended the Reasons-Knowledge Thesis (RKT): the claim that $$\Phi$$-ing because p requires knowing that p, where the ‘because’ at issue is a rationalising ‘because’. She defends (RKT) by appeal to the thought that it provides the best explanation of why the subject in a certain sort of Gettier case fails to be in a position to $$\Phi$$ because p. Dustin...

Theories of Fairness and Aggregation

We investigate the issue of aggregativity in fair division problems from the perspective of cooperative game theory and Broomean theories of fairness. Paseau and Saunders (Utilitas 27:460–469, 2015) proved that no non-trivial theory of fairness can be aggregative and conclude that theories of fairness are therefore problematic, or at least incomplete. We observe that there are...

What Determines the Reference of Names? What Determines the Objects of Thought

It is fairly widely accepted that Saul Kripke, Keith Donnellan, and others showed in the 1960s–1980s that proper names, in particular uses by speakers, can refer to things free of anything like the epistemic requirements posited by Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell. This paper separates two aspects of the Frege–Russell view of name reference: (1) the metaphysical thesis that...

Visual Endurance and Auditory Perdurance

Philosophers often state that the persistence of objects in vision is experienced differently than the persistence of sounds in audition. This difference is expressed by using metaphors from the metaphysical endurantism/perdurantism debate. For instance, it is claimed that only sounds are perceived as “temporally extended”. The paper investigates whether it is justified to...

An Alternative Interpretation of Statistical Mechanics

In this paper I propose an interpretation of classical statistical mechanics that centers on taking seriously the idea that probability measures represent complete states of statistical mechanical systems. I show how this leads naturally to the idea that the stochasticity of statistical mechanics is associated directly with the observables of the theory rather than with the...

Does willful ignorance mitigate blameworthiness? In many legal systems, willfully ignorant wrongdoers are considered as blameworthy as knowing wrongdoers. This is called the ‘equal culpability thesis’ (ECT). Given that legal practice depends on it, the issue has obvious importance. Interestingly enough, however, there exists hardly any philosophical reflection on ECT. A recent...

Monty Hall Saves Dr. Evil: On Elga’s Restricted Principle of Indifference

In this paper I show that Elga’s argument for a restricted principle of indifference for self-locating belief relies on the kind of mistaken reasoning that recommends the ‘staying’ strategy in the Monty Hall problem.

Epistemic Self-Trust and Doxastic Disagreements

The recent literature on the epistemology of disagreement focuses on the rational response question: how are you rationally required to respond to a doxastic disagreement with someone, especially with someone you take to be your epistemic peer? A doxastic disagreement with someone also confronts you with a slightly different question. This question, call it the epistemic trust...

Contested Institutional Facts

A significant part of contemporary social ontology has been focused on understanding forms of collective intentionality. It is suggested in this paper that the contested nature of some institutional matters makes this kind of approach problematic, and instead an alternative approach is developed, one that is oriented towards a micro-level analysis of the institutional constraints...

The Whence and Whither of Experience

Consider a toothache, or a feeling of intense pleasure, or the sensation you would have if you looked impassively at an expanse of colour. In each case, the experience can easily be thought to fill time by being present throughout a period. This way of thinking of conscious experience is natural enough, but it is in deep conflict with the view that physical processes are...

In metaphysics, there are a number of distinct but related questions about the existence of “further facts”—facts that are contingent relative to the physical structure of the universe. These include further facts about qualia, personal identity, and time. In this article I provide a sequence of examples involving computer simulations, ranging from one in which the protagonist...

The Implicit Commitment of Arithmetical Theories and Its Semantic Core

According to the implicit commitment thesis, once accepting a mathematical formal system S, one is implicitly committed to additional resources not immediately available in S. Traditionally, this thesis has been understood as entailing that, in accepting S, we are bound to accept reflection principles for S and therefore claims in the language of S that are not derivable in S...

Old Problems for the Agency Theory of Causal Discourse

Price’s (Br J Philos Sci 42(2):157–176, 1991; 44(2):187–203, 1993 (with Peter Menzies); 2007, 2017) agency theory of causation has takes itself to provide a use-theory of our causal discourse. The theory’s aim is to describe the rules implicit to our linguistic behaviour when we describe things in causal terms. According to this theory, the rules governing our use of the concept...

Simple Hyperintensional Belief Revision

I present a possible worlds semantics for a hyperintensional belief revision operator, which reduces the logical idealization of cognitive agents affecting similar operators in doxastic and epistemic logics, as well as in standard AGM belief revision theory. (Revised) belief states are not closed under classical logical consequence; revising by inconsistent information does not...