Thursday, March 4, 2021

Olympic National Park: Axolotl - Scientific American pic - with BIRD-AXOLOTL genetic mix EQUALS = https://twitter.com/ReaderMeter/status/1357492535510265857?s=19 * "Thrilled to announce the first successful hybridization between a bird and an axolotl. Northern Red Bishop, Fort Mason" * * * New publications from people you follow on PhilPeople * Prasanth in Tamil Nadu, India (a prospective PhD student at WUaS in cognitive science, and in beginning Tamil Nadu WUaS as well in Tamil) * There's much both to read in English in cognitive science, as well as create digitally. Am a bit concerned that Tamil machine translation isn't far enough along science-wise to facilitate ease of learning from English ... but maybe it will develop rapidly in the future

 

Axolotl - Scientific American pic - with BIRD-AXOLOTL genetic mix EQUALS = 

https://twitter.com/ReaderMeter/status/1357492535510265857?s=19


Axolotl https://scientificamerican.com/article/biologys-beloved-amphibian-the-axolotl-is-racing-toward-extinction1 w bird = https://twitter.com/ReaderMeter/status/1357492535510265857?s=19 Could this be a #PokemonGo? #WUaSaugmentedReality  #WUaSgaming #WUaSgeneticEngineeringRevolution ~#RealisticVirtualEarthForSpecies #WUaSgenetics ~https://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2021/02/chamaenerion-angustifolium.html ~

https://twitter.com/WorldUnivAndSch/status/1367586585672228871?s=20

https://twitter.com/scottmacleod/status/1367586876710776833?s=20

https://twitter.com/HarbinBook/status/1367587165228568584?s=20

https://twitter.com/sgkmacleod/status/1367587338461704194?s=20

https://twitter.com/TheOpenBand/status/1367587550274015232?s=20

https://twitter.com/WUaSPress/status/1367588250236317702?s=20


*

Thrilled to announce the first successful hybridization between a bird and an axolotl. Northern Red Bishop, Fort Mason.

ReaderMeter - https://twitter.com/ReaderMeter/status/1357492535510265857?s=19


*

... and also EQUALS = 


https://twitter.com/ReaderMeter/status/1357494302062960643?s=20



*


Hi Ma, 

interesting potential example again of combining species together genetically - 

http://scott-macleod.blogspot.com/2021/03/olympic-national-park-axolotl.html?m=0 - since it's coming along, but how to do this in a realistic virtual earth for species? 

https://twitter.com/hashtag/RealisticVirtualEarthForSpecies?src=hashtag_click

This #RealisticVirtualEarthForSpecies hashtag is here https://twitter.com/WorldUnivAndSch/status/1367586585672228871?s=19 :)



* * * 

New publications from people you follow on PhilPeople


Prasanth in Tamil Nadu, India (a prospective PhD student at WUaS in cognitive science, and in beginning Tamil Nadu WUaS as well in Tamil) - 


Hi Prasanth, I just received these philosophy items, and one synopsis mentioned cognitive science, which I thought might interest you.

Best wishes, Scott


Introduction to Philosophy of Science.
 Carlos Mariscal - forthcoming - In Benjamin D. Young & Carolyn Dicey Jennings (eds.), Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience.
This chapter will be a brief survey of the concepts from general philosophy of science for those interested in cognitive science. It covers several major topics in the philosophy of science: scientific explanation and underdetermination, reductionism and levels of nature, and scientific realism. We will discuss the goals of science, the methods of science, and the most plausible interpretations of science. To demonstrate the importance of these topics, the chapter includes cases in which confusion over these issues has led scientists astray. These cases include instances in which cognitive neuroscience has failed to discover adequate explanations for phenomena, when previously established research did not withstand further scrutiny, and the increasingly complex and bewildering interrelationship between the study of the mind and the study of the brain and its parts. These issues are common to many areas of science, but they can be particularly fraught in a field like cognitive neuroscience, as researchers from a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds and research foci come together to develop a systematic understanding of the mind.



to me
🙏, I will read these.

வியா., 4 மார்., 2021, முற்பகல் 10:17க்கு, Scott MacLeod <sgkmacleod@worlduniversityandschool.org> எழுதியது:
Prasanth 


*

Scott MacLeod sgkmacleod@worlduniversityandschool.org

10:10 AM (6 hours ago)
to Prasanth
Hi Prasanth,

Thanks for your email. Cognitive science questions, and the English language, come together with precision and careful thought in other academic disciplines like philosophy (in the English language) - and will do so probably in Tamil too (if such questions, thinking, cognitive science, brain science, etc. aren't emerging in Tamil already). There's much both to read in English in cognitive science, as well as create digitally. Am a bit concerned that Tamil machine translation isn't far enough along science-wise to facilitate ease of learning from English ... but maybe it will develop rapidly in the future. 

Am hoping you can apply for a WUaS PhD program, beginning September 1, 2021, with preparatory edX courses beginning May 1, 2021 even. But it looks as if you may apply through edX rather than through MIT departments, per an email yesterday.

Stay tuned. 




-- 
- Scott MacLeod - Founder, President & Professor

- World University and School

- 415 480 4577

- CC World University and School - like CC Wikipedia with best STEM-centric CC OpenCourseWare - incorporated as a nonprofit university and school in California, and is a U.S. 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt educational organization. 




* * 

Scott MacLeod sgkmacleod@worlduniversityandschool.org

10:10 AM (6 hours ago)
to PrasanthLarryZalmatKohSriAvivChinmay
Hi Prasanth, All,

Thanks for your email, Prasanth. Cognitive science questions, and the English language, come together with precision and careful thought in other academic disciplines like philosophy (in the English language) - and will do so probably in Tamil too (if such questions, thinking, cognitive science, brain science, etc. aren't emerging in Tamil already). There's much both to read in English in cognitive science, as well as create digitally. Am a bit concerned that Tamil machine translation isn't far enough along science-wise to facilitate ease of learning from English ... but maybe it will develop rapidly in the future. 

Am hoping you can apply for a WUaS PhD program, beginning September 1, 2021, with preparatory edX courses beginning May 1, 2021 even. But it looks as if you may apply through edX rather than through MIT departments, per an email yesterday.

Stay tuned. 



-- 
- Scott MacLeod - Founder, President & Professor

- World University and School

- 415 480 4577



* * 

to me
🙏, I will read these.

வியா., 4 மார்., 2021, முற்பகல் 10:17க்கு, Scott MacLeod <sgkmacleod@worlduniversityandschool.org> எழுதியது:
Prasanth 


Hi Prasanth, I just received these philosophy items, and one synopsis mentioned cognitive science, which I thought might interest you.
Best wishes, Scott


Introduction to Philosophy of Science.
 Carlos Mariscal - forthcoming - In Benjamin D. Young & Carolyn Dicey Jennings (eds.), Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience.
This chapter will be a brief survey of the concepts from general philosophy of science for those interested in cognitive science. It covers several major topics in the philosophy of science: scientific explanation and underdetermination, reductionism and levels of nature, and scientific realism. We will discuss the goals of science, the methods of science, and the most plausible interpretations of science. To demonstrate the importance of these topics, the chapter includes cases in which confusion over these issues has led scientists astray. These cases include instances in which cognitive neuroscience has failed to discover adequate explanations for phenomena, when previously established research did not withstand further scrutiny, and the increasingly complex and bewildering interrelationship between the study of the mind and the study of the brain and its parts. These issues are common to many areas of science, but they can be particularly fraught in a field like cognitive neuroscience, as researchers from a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds and research foci come together to develop a systematic understanding of the mind.




---------- Forwarded message ---------
From: PhilPapers <noreply@philpapers.org>
Date: Wed, Mar 3, 2021, 7:55 PM
Subject: New items in your topics of interest
To: <sgkmacleod@worlduniversityandschool.org>


Dear Scott GK,

New items in your topics of interest

Click here to unsubscribe

Mar 3rd 2021 GMT
  1. Negative Existentials as Corrections: A Partial Solution to the Problem of Negative Existentials in Segmented Discourse Representation Theory. Lenny Clapp - forthcoming - Linguistics and Philosophy:1-35.
    Paradigmatic uses of negative existentials such as ‘Vulcan does not exist’ are problematic because they present the interpreter with a pragmatic paradox: a speaker who uses such a sentence seems to be asserting something that is incompatible with what she presupposes. An adequate solution must therefore explain why we interpret paradigmatic uses of negative existentials as saying something true, even though such uses present us with a pragmatic paradox. I provide such an explanation by analyzing paradigmatic uses of negative existentials as corrections of previous assertions that are judged to suffer from referential presupposition failure. I present the explanation within the framework of a simple version of segmented discourse representation theory.

  • Introduction to Philosophy of Science. Carlos Mariscal - forthcoming - In Benjamin D. Young & Carolyn Dicey Jennings (eds.), Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience.
    This chapter will be a brief survey of the concepts from general philosophy of science for those interested in cognitive science. It covers several major topics in the philosophy of science: scientific explanation and underdetermination, reductionism and levels of nature, and scientific realism. We will discuss the goals of science, the methods of science, and the most plausible interpretations of science. To demonstrate the importance of these topics, the chapter includes cases in which confusion over these issues has led scientists astray. These cases include instances in which cognitive neuroscience has failed to discover adequate explanations for phenomena, when previously established research did not withstand further scrutiny, and the increasingly complex and bewildering interrelationship between the study of the mind and the study of the brain and its parts. These issues are common to many areas of science, but they can be particularly fraught in a field like cognitive neuroscience, as researchers from a wide variety of disciplinary backgrounds and research foci come together to develop a systematic understanding of the mind.

  • Ageing and the Goal of Evolution. Justin Garson - forthcoming - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences.
    There is a certain metaphor that has enjoyed tremendous longevity in the evolution of ageing literature. According to this metaphor, nature has a certain goal or purpose, the perpetuation of the species, or, alternatively, the reproductive success of the individual. In relation to this goal, the individual organism has a function, job, or task, namely, to breed and, in some species, to raise its brood to maturity. On this picture, those who cannot, or can no longer, reproduce are somehow invisible to, or even dispensable to, the evolutionary process. Here, I argue that the metaphor should be discarded, not on the grounds that it is a metaphor, but on the grounds that this particular metaphor distorts our understanding of the evolution of ageing. One reason the metaphor is problematic is that it frames senescence and death as nature’s verdict on the value of older individuals. Instead, we should explore a different metaphor: the lengthy post-reproductive period in humans and some other animals is not an accident of culture, but designed by nature for the purpose of supporting and guiding younger generations. On this alternate picture, different stages of life have their own evolutionary rationale, their distinctive design features.

  • Edmond Goblot’s (1858-1935) Selected Effects Theory of Function: A Reappraisal. Justin Garson - forthcoming - Philosophy of Science.
    At the beginning of the twentieth century, the French philosopher of science Edmond Goblot wrote three prescient papers on function and teleology. He advanced the remarkable thesis that functions are, as a matter of conceptual analysis, selected effects. He also argued that “selection” must be understood broadly to include both evolutionary natural selection and intelligent design. Here, I do three things. First, I give an overview of Goblot’s thought. Second, I identify his core thesis about function. Third, I argue that, despite its ingenuity, Goblot’s expansive construal of “function” cannot be right. Still, Goblot deserves (long-overdue) credit for his work.

  • Don't Objectify Theories. Hans Halvorson - forthcoming - Journal for General Philosophy of Science / Zeitschrift für Allgemeine Wissenschaftstheorie.
  • Epistemic Permissivism and Reasonable Pluralism. Richard Rowland & Robert Mark Simpson - 2021 - In Michael Hannon & Jeroen De Ridder (eds.), The Routledge Handbook of Political Epistemology. New York, NY, USA:
    There is an intuitive difference in how we think about pluralism and attitudinal diversity in epistemological contexts versus political contexts. In an epistemological context, it seems problematically arbitrary to hold a particular belief on some issue, while also thinking it perfectly reasonable to hold a totally different belief on the same issue given the same evidence. By contrast, though, it doesn’t seem problematically arbitrary to have a particular set of political commitments, while at the same time thinking it perfectly reasonable for someone in a similar position have a totally different set of political commitments. This chapter examines three explanatory theses that might be used to make sense of this difference: (1) that practical commitments are desire dependent in a way that beliefs are not; (2) that there are reasons to be resolute in practical commitments, but not in beliefs; and (3) that compromise in the face of practical political disagreement doesn’t mitigate controversy, whereas compromise in the face of disagreement about mere beliefs does mitigate controversy.

  • Introspection Is Signal Detection. Jorge Morales - forthcoming - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science.
    Introspection is a fundamental part of our mental lives. Nevertheless, its re liability and its underlying cognitive architecture have been widely disputed. Here, I propose a principled way to model introspection. By using time- tested principles from signal detection theory (SDT) and extrapolating them from perception to introspection, I offer a new framework for an introspective signal detection theory (iSDT). In SDT, the reliability of perceptual judgments is a function of the strength of an internal perceptual response (signal- to-noise ratio) which is, to a large extent, driven by the intensity of the stimulus. In parallel to perception, iSDT models the reliability of introspective judgments as a function of the strength of an internal introspective response (signal-to-noise ratio) which is, to a large extent, driven by the intensity of conscious experiences. Thus, by modelling introspection after perception, iSDT can calibrate introspection’s reliability across a whole range of contexts. iSDT offers a novel, illuminating way of thinking about introspection and the cognitive processes that support it.

  • Inequality and Majority Rule. Justin P. Bruner - 2021 - Analysis 80 (4):617-629.
    I provide a novel argument in favour of majority rule. In particular, I consider the distribution of voter satisfaction in response to the outcome of a vote and prove that under certain conditions majority rule minimizes the level of inequality present in the distribution of voter satisfaction. This finding is reinforced by a computer simulation as well as an analysis of over four decades of polling data. Results complement existing procedural justifications of majority rule, demonstrating that majority rule ensures equality at the level of both procedure and outcome.

  • On Discontinuity and Its Discontents. Avner Baz - 2021 - Analysis 80 (4):751-758.
    There is, in my view, a striking combination in Édouard Machery’s Philosophy Within Its Proper Bounds of philosophical modesty and philosophical presumptiveness. Its call upon philosophers to give up their ambitious pursuits of metaphysical necessities, or essences, and to content themselves instead with the elucidation or analysis of our concepts, is made from within a pre-Kantian framework that takes the world expressed in human discourse and captured in our concepts to be a world as it is in itself, altogether independent of how it comes into view in our discursive practices. And this, I will propose, means that Machery’s critique of much of the work that has been carried out within mainstream analytic philosophy in the last few decades, as well as his proposal for philosophical reform, end up partaking in what has been most fundamentally problematic about that work.

  • You Just Can’T Count on (Un)Reliability. Joshua Alexander & Jonathan M. Weinberg - 2021 - Analysis 80 (4):737-751.
    Edouard Machery argues that many traditional philosophical questions are beyond our capacity to answer. Answering them seems to require using the method of cases, a method that involves testing answers to philosophical questions against what we think about real or imagined cases. The problem, according to Machery, is that this method has proved unreliable ; what we think about these kinds of cases is both problematically heterogeneous and volatile. His bold solution: abandon the method of cases altogether and with it many of the questions that we have come to associate with philosophy itself. Many of the critical responses to Machery’s book have focused on whether empirical work on judgements about philosophical cases supports his claim that the method of cases is unreliable. Our problem with these responses is that they accept that reliability is the right way to frame empirically informed concerns about the method of cases, and we think that it is not. The reason is simple: the kind of unreliability thesis that Machery needs proves to be empirically intractable, at least by anything like the current methods used by experimental philosophers, or so we shall argue here. While we have empirical grounds for thinking that unreliability arguments don’t give us reason to abandon the method of cases, we do think that there are empirical grounds for thinking that it needs to be reformed. There are other standards that we expect our methods to meet beyond mere reliability, especially standards of practical rationality, which are too often forgotten in metaphilosophical discussions that tend to focus exclusively on epistemological considerations. Methodological considerations, after all, are not just matters of epistemic normativity, but practical rationality as well. What’s more, considerations of practical rationality become particularly important when we move from the kind of extreme scepticism that Machery endorses to the kind of progressive reformation that we think should be pursued. And so we conclude by arguing that thinking about philosophical inquiry in terms of standards of practical rationality allows us both to better understand what kinds of problems recent empirical work on philosophical cognition raises for the method of cases and also how that work can point the way to reforming it.

  • The Evolution of Evolutionism in China, 1870–1930. Xiaoxing Jin - 2020 - Isis 111 (1):46-66.
  • Boundaries in Space and Time: Iconic Biases Across Modalities. Jeremy Kuhn, Carlo Geraci, Philippe Schlenker & Brent Strickland - 2021 - Cognition 210:104596.
  • Marrying Past and Present Neuropsychology: Is the Future of the Process-Based Approach Technology-Based? Unai Diaz-Orueta, Alberto Blanco-Campal, Melissa Lamar, David J. Libon & Teresa Burke - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
  • Embodied Intelligence and Self-Regulation in Skilled Performance: Or, Two Anxious Moments on the Static Trapeze. Kath Bicknell - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-20.
    In emphasising improvement, smooth coping and success over variability and regression, skill theory has overlooked the processes performers at all levels develop and rely on for managing bodily and affective fluctuations, and their impact on skilled performance. I argue that responding to the instability and variability of unique bodily capacities is a vital feature of skilled action processes. I suggest that embodied intelligence – a term I use to describe a set of abilities to perceptively interpret and make use of information from body, mind, environment and task requirements, and to modulate one’s focus, awareness and action strategies accordingly – is critical for performing well-learned skills in vulnerable situations. It is critical for staying safe. To investigate these components of skilled action, I employ a cognitive ethnographic method, combined with apprenticeship on the static trapeze, to produce two ‘experience near’ case studies. These document in-situ experiences of awareness, self-regulation and embodied intelligence. Both reveal strong connections between a reflective awareness of bodily vulnerability and variability, and self-regulatory processes – specifically, the down- and up-regulation of anxiety. I then reflect on these case studies in relation to a prospective sense of agency, the awareness of control acts that may lead to performance outcomes. With increased clarity on these features of embodied intelligence and attention during action, other researchers can build on this study to further probe and map the maintenance and functions of embodied intelligence in dealing with the instability of skills.

  • On the Naturalisation of Teleology: Self-Organisation, Autopoiesis and Teleodynamics. Miguel Garcia-Valdecasas - 2021 - Adaptive Behavior.
    In recent decades, several theories have claimed to explain the teleological causality of organisms as a function of self-organising and self-producing processes. The most widely cited theories of this sort are variations of autopoiesis, originally introduced by Maturana and Varela. More recent modifications of autopoietic theory have focused on system organisation, closure of constraints and autonomy to account for organism teleology. This article argues that the treatment of teleology in autopoiesis and other organisation theories is inconclusive for three reasons: First, non-living self-organising processes like autocatalysis meet the defining features of autopoiesis without being teleological; second, organisational approaches, whether defined in terms of the closure of constraints, self-determination or autonomy, are unable to specify teleological normativity, that is, the individuation of an ultimate beneficiary; third, all self-organised systems produce local order by maximising the throughput of energy and/or material (obeying the maximum entropy production (MEP) principle) and thereby are specifically organised to undermine their own critical boundary conditions. Despite these inadequacies, an alternative approach called teleodynamics accounts for teleology. This theory shows how multiple self-organising processes can be collectively linked so that they counter each other’s MEP principle tendencies to become codependent. Teleodynamics embraces – not ignoring – the difficulties of self-organisation, but reinstates teleology as a radical phase transition distinguishing systems embodying an orientation towards their own beneficial ends from those that lack normative character.

  • Surveying Ethics: A Measurement Model of Preference for Precepts Implied in Moral Theories. Veljko Dubljević, Sam Cacace & Sarah L. Desmarais - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-18.
    Recent research in empirical moral psychology attempts to understand the salient normative differences that laypeople have when making moral decisions by using survey methodology that is based on the operationalized principles from moral theories. The PPIMT is the first measure designed to assess respondents’ preference for the precepts implied in the three dominant moral theories: virtue ethics, deontology, and consequentialism. The current study used a latent modeling approach to determine the most theoretically and psychometrically-sound model for the PPIMT using a combined sample of college students from a southeastern university in U.S. and MTurk respondents. The PPIMT model fit was acceptable with four items for Virtue, four items for Deontology, and three items for Consequentialism.

  • Confusions About ‘Inner’ and ‘Outer’ Voices: Conceptual Problems in the Study of Auditory Verbal Hallucinations. Franz Knappik, Josef J. Bless & Frank Larøi - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-22.
    Both in research on Auditory Verbal Hallucinations and in their clinical assessment, it is common to distinguish between voices that are experienced as ‘inner’ and voices that are experienced as ‘outer’. This inner/outer-contrast is treated not only as an important phenomenological variable of AVHs, it is also often seen as having diagnostic value. In this article, we argue that the distinction between ‘inner’ and ‘outer’ voices is ambiguous between different readings, and that lack of disambiguation in this regard has led to flaws in assessment tools, diagnostic debates and empirical studies. Such flaws, we argue furthermore, are often linked to misreadings of inner/outer-terminology in relevant 19th and early twentieth century work on AVHs, in particular, in connection with Kandinsky’s and Jaspers’s distinction between hallucinations and pseudo-hallucinations.

  • Intuition-Driven Navigation of the Hard Problem of Consciousness. Krzysztof Sękowski & Wiktor Rorot - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-17.
    The discussion of the nature of consciousness seems to have stalled, with the “hard problem of consciousness” in its center, well-defined camps of realists and eliminativists at two opposing poles, and little to none room for agreement between. Recent attempts to move this debate forward by shifting them to a meta-level have heavily relied on the notion of “intuition”, understood in a rather liberal way. Against this backdrop, the goal of this paper is twofold. First, we want to highlight how the ontological and epistemological status of intuitions restricts the arguments in the debate on consciousness that rely on them. Second, we want to demonstrate how the deadlock in those debates could be resolved through a study of a particular, “positive” kind of intuitions. We call this approach “The Canberrish Plan for Consciousness” as it adopts elements of the methodological “Canberra Plan”.

  • Individual Valuing of Social Equality in Political and Personal Relationships. Ryan W. Davis & Jessica Preece - forthcoming - Review of Philosophy and Psychology:1-20.
    Social egalitarianism holds that individuals ought to have equal power over outcomes within relationships. Egalitarian philosophers have argued for this ideal by appealing to features of political society. This way of grounding the social egalitarian principle renders it dependent on empirical facts about political culture. In particular, egalitarians have argued that social equality matters to citizens in political relationships in a way analogous to the value of equality in a marriage. In this paper, we show how egalitarian philosophers are committed to psychological premises, and then illustrate how to test the social egalitarian’s empirical claims. Using a nationally representative survey experiment, we find that citizens will sometimes prioritize equality over competing values, but that the weight of social equality diminishes when moving from personal to political cases. These findings raise questions for thinking about how to explain the normative significance of social equality.

  • Why Can't There Be Numbers? David Builes - forthcoming - The Philosophical Quarterly.
    Platonists affirm the existence of abstract mathematical objects, and Nominalists deny the existence of abstract mathematical objects. While there are standard arguments in favor of Nominalism, these arguments fail to account for the necessity of Nominalism. Furthermore, these arguments do nothing to explain why Nominalism is true. They only point to certain theoretical vices that might befall the Platonist. The goal of this paper is to formulate and defend a simple, valid argument for the necessity of Nominalism that seeks to precisify the widespread intuition that mathematical objects are somehow ‘spooky’ or ‘mysterious’.

  • Chomsky in the Playground: Idealization in Generative Linguistics. Giulia Terzian - forthcoming - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 87:1-12.
Mar 2nd 2021 GMT
  1. Institutional Degeneration of Science. Jüri Eintalu - 2021 - Philosophy Study 11 (2):116-123.
    The scientificity of the research should be evaluated according to the methodology used in the study. However, these are usually the research areas or the institutions that are classified as scientific or non-scientific. Because of various reasons, it may turn out that the scientific institutions are not producing science, while the “non-scientists” are doing real science. In the extreme case, the official science system is entirely corrupt, consisting of fraudsters, while the real scientists have been expelled from academic institutions. Since 2016-2017, there has been much talk about the “post-truth era” and the politicians who are “denying science”. However, simultaneously, many complaints about the corruption of science appeared. The outsider cannot tell who is telling the truth as it may be the case that the science fraudsters are defending themselves and these politicians are aware of the corruption. It is also untrue that the censoring or suppression of science started from 2016-2017. Suppression of science because of political and ideological reasons was present already long ago, and during the last few years, it has been increasing. The picture is highly complicated as there are many pretenders, false accusations, etc. For example, because of political reasons, someone may be set up as a pseudoscientist, the real scientist may be expelled using political accusations, justified criticism may be labelled as political pressure, etc. There is something like an inner information war ongoing in and around science. The classical philosophy of science seems unable to handle it because every formal rule can be misapplied. Science, as a whole, may be unable to persist.

  • Gaṅgeśa on Epistemic Luck. Nilanjan Das - forthcoming - Journal of Indian Philosophy:1-50.
    This essay explores a problem for Nyāya epistemologists. It concerns the notion of pramā. Roughly speaking, a pramā is a conscious mental event of knowledge-acquisition, i.e., a conscious experience or thought in undergoing which an agent learns or comes to know something. Call any event of this sort a knowledge-event. The problem is this. On the one hand, many Naiyāyikas accept what I will call the Nyāya Definition of Knowledge, the view that a conscious experience or thought is a knowledge-event just in case it is true and non-recollective. On the other hand, they are also committed to what I shall call Nyāya Infallibilism, the thesis that every knowledge-event is produced by causes that couldn’t have given rise to an error. These two commitments seem to conflict with each other in cases of epistemic luck, i.e., cases where an agent arrives a true judgement accidentally or as a matter of luck. While the Nyāya Definition of Knowledge seems to predict that these judgements are knowledge-events, Nyāya Infallibilism seems to entail that they aren’t. In this essay, I show that Gaṅgeśa Upādhyāya, the 14th century Naiyāyika, solves this problem by adopting what I call epistemic localism, the view that upstream causal factors play no epistemically significant role in the production of knowledge.

  • The Unvirtuous Prediction of the Pessimistic Induction. Seungbae Park - forthcoming - Filosofija. Sociologija.
    The pessimist predicts that future scientific theories will replace present scientific theories. However, she does not specify when the predicted events will take place, so we do not have the opportunity to blame her for having made a false prediction, although we might have the chance to praise her for having made a true prediction. Her prediction contrasts with the astronomer’s prediction. The astronomer specifies when the next solar eclipse will happen, so we have both the chance to blame her for having made a false prediction and the chance to praise her for having made a true prediction. The pessimist’s prediction remains unvirtuous until she specifies when scientific revolutions will occur. This critical point applies no less to the selectivist’s prediction.

  • Default Hypotheses in the Study of Perception: A Reply to Phillips. Jacob Berger & Myrto Mylopoulos - forthcoming - Journal of Consciousness Studies.
    Some theorists have recently raised doubts about much of the experimental evidence purporting to demonstrate the existence of unconscious perception. In our (2019) in this journal, we argued some of these considerations are not decisive. Phillips (forthcoming a) replies thoughtfully to our paper, concluding that he is unconvinced by our arguments. Phillips maintains that the view that perception is invariably conscious remains, as he puts it, the “default” hypothesis both within the folk understanding and experimental study of perception. There is much to agree with in Phillips’ piece, but there remain some substantive points of disagreement, which we outline here.

  • Kinds of Consciousness. Jacob Berger - forthcoming - In Carolyn Dicey Jennings & Benjamin D. Young (eds.), Mind, Cognition, and Neuroscience: A Philosophical Introduction. New York, NY, USA:
    Consciousness is central to our lived experience. It is unsurprising, then, that the topic has captivated many students, neuroscientists, philosophers, and other theorists working in cognitive science. But consciousness may seem especially difficult to explain. This is in part because the term “consciousness” has been used in many different ways. The goal of this chapter is to explore several kinds of consciousness: what theorists have called “creature,” “phenomenal,” “access,” “state,” “transitive,” “introspective,” and “self” consciousness. The basic distinctions among these kinds of consciousness are described in Section 1. Section 2 raises potential challenges for explaining these varieties of consciousness and describes a few current theories of them. Section 3 closes the chapter by exploring directions for future work in the cognitive science of consciousness. Along the way, some of the possible interrelationships among these kinds of consciousness are discussed.

  • Quality-Space Functionalism About Color. Jacob Berger - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy.
    I motivate and defend here a previously underdeveloped functionalist account of the metaphysics of color, a view that I call ‘quality-space functionalism’ about color. Although other theorists have proposed varieties of color functionalism, this view differs from such accounts insofar as it identifies and individuates colors by their relative locations within a particular kind of so-called ‘quality space’ that reflects creatures’ capacities to discriminate visually among stimuli. My arguments for this view of color are abductive: I propose that quality-space functionalism best captures our commonsense conception of color, fits with many experimental findings, coheres with the phenomenology of color experience, and avoids many issues for standard theories of color such as color physicalism and color relationalism.

  • What Do We Want From Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI)? – A Stakeholder Perspective on XAI and a Conceptual Model Guiding Interdisciplinary XAI Research. Markus Langer, Daniel Oster, Timo Speith, Lena Kästner, Kevin Baum, Holger Hermanns, Eva Schmidt & Andreas Sesing - 2021 - Artificial Intelligence 296:103473.
    Previous research in Explainable Artificial Intelligence (XAI) suggests that a main aim of explainability approaches is to satisfy specific interests, goals, expectations, needs, and demands regarding artificial systems (we call these “stakeholders' desiderata”) in a variety of contexts. However, the literature on XAI is vast, spreads out across multiple largely disconnected disciplines, and it often remains unclear how explainability approaches are supposed to achieve the goal of satisfying stakeholders' desiderata. This paper discusses the main classes of stakeholders calling for explainability of artificial systems and reviews their desiderata. We provide a model that explicitly spells out the main concepts and relations necessary to consider and investigate when evaluating, adjusting, choosing, and developing explainability approaches that aim to satisfy stakeholders' desiderata. This model can serve researchers from the variety of different disciplines involved in XAI as a common ground. It emphasizes where there is interdisciplinary potential in the evaluation and the development of explainability approaches.

  • Group Belief: Defending a Minimal Version of Summativism. Domingos Faria - 2021 - Epistemology and Philosophy of Science 58 (1):82-93.
    Beliefs are commonly attributed to groups or collective entities. But what is the nature of group belief? Summativism and nonsummativism are two main rival views regarding the nature of group belief. On the one hand, summativism holds that, necessarily, a group g has a belief B only if at least one individual i is both a member of g and has B. On the other hand, non-summativism holds that it is possible for a group g to have a belief B even if no member of g has B. My aim in this paper is to consider whether divergence arguments for non-summativism and against summativism about group belief are sound. Such divergence arguments aim to show that there can be a divergence between belief at the group level and the corresponding belief at the individual level. I will argue that these divergence arguments do not decisively defeat a minimal version of summativism. In order to accomplish this goal, I have the following plan: In section 2, I will analyze the structure of two important counterexamples against the summativist view, which are based on divergence arguments. Such counterexamples are based on the idea that a group decides to adopt a particular group belief, even if none of its members holds the belief in question. However, in section 3, I will show that these counterexamples fail, because they can be explained without the need to posit group beliefs. More specifically, I argue that in these apparent counterexamples, we have only a ‘group acceptance’ phenomenon and not a ‘group belief’ phenomenon. For this conclusion, I advance two arguments: in subsection 3.1, I formulate an argument from doxastic involuntarism, and in subsection 3.2, I develop an argument from truth connection. Thus, summativism is not defeated by divergence arguments. Lastly, in section 4, I will conclude with some advantages of summativism.

  • Between Vulnerability and Resilience: A Contextualist Picture of Protective Epistemic Character Traits. Alice Monypenny - forthcoming - Journal of Philosophy of Education.
    In this paper, I argue that focusing on resilience education fails to appropriately reflect the socio-political nature of character. I define protective epistemic character traits (PECTs) as epistemic character traits which aid students in avoiding, limiting or mitigating harm in the classroom. I argue that the relationship between epistemic character and protection in hostile classrooms is importantly influenced by context in two main ways: (1) the exercise and development of some PECTs may carry significant cost for some students and (2) social and developmental factors may promote or obstruct the development of virtuous PECTs for individual students. I employ two principles from Ian James Kidd’s Critical Character Epistemology – aetiological sensitivity and normative contextualism – and propose a revised approach to resilience education. I argue that this revision requires an increased focus on changing underlying structures of oppression and cautions against teaching a standardised list of epistemic virtues.

  • Self-Knowledge, Perception, and Margaret Cavendish’s Metaphysics of the Individual. Laura Georgescu - 2021 - Early Science and Medicine 25 (6):618-639.
    For Margaret Cavendish, every single part of matter has self-knowledge, and almost every part has perceptive knowledge. This paper asks what is at stake for Cavendish in ascribing self-knowing and perceptive properties to matter. Whereas many commentators take perception and self-knowledge to be guides to Cavendish’s epistemology, this paper takes them to be guides to her metaphysics, in that it shows that these categories account for individual specificity and for relationality. A part of matter is a unique individual insofar as it is self-knowing – and it is a part in relation to other parts, and to the whole of matter, insofar as it is a perceptive part. This is so because self-knowledge is purely self-referential and complete, while perceptive knowledge is purely relational.

  • What Did Hooke Want From the Microscope? Magnification, Matter Theory and Mechanism. Ian Lawson - 2021 - Early Science and Medicine 25 (6):640-664.
    This article discusses Hooke’s microscopy in the context of the nature of his explanations of natural phenomena. It illustrates that while Hooke’s particular conception of microscopy certainly cohered with his general framework of mechanical philosophy, he thought of his microscope as an artisanal tool that could help him examine unknown natural machinery. It seems, however, that he never used magnifying lenses with the hope of confirming mechanism by glimpsing fundamental particles. Indeed, through a consideration of sources spanning from his 1665 Micrographia to a lecture delivered in the 1690s, it seems Hooke did not believe such particles existed and thought microscopic and macroscopic bodies arose through the same natural processes, though could have very different properties from one another.

  • Quantifications of the Secondary Qualities, Heat and Cold, on the Earliest Scales of Thermoscopes. Albrecht Heeffer - 2021 - Early Science and Medicine 25 (6):562-593.
    While scaled thermoscopes were developed only at the beginning of the seventeenth century, the medical tradition had already started to quantify some secondary qualities towards the end of sixteenth century. However, degrees of heat and cold were only meaningful in connection with Galenic-Aristotelean ontology, consisting of elements, temperaments and degrees of the four humours. The first graduated thermoscopes transformed the prevailing conceptualizations of heat and cold. By delegating some specific senses of heat and cold to an external contrivance, together with the evolution towards a linear numerical scale, these qualities became objectified as observable phenomena. The degree of expansion and compression of air, and later liquid, became an observable measure of temperature and narrowed down the existing conceptualizations of temperature. The paper also discusses the three types of scale that were used in the early thermoscopes between 1610 and 1640.

  • The Role of Sensory Qualities in Renaissance Natural History: The Case of Mattioli’s Herbal. Lucie Strnadová - 2021 - Early Science and Medicine 25 (6):543-561.
    The aim of this paper is to show how sensory qualities were used to identify, observe, and describe plants in the sixteenth century. Mattioli’s herbal is an example of Renaissance natural history, which was based on Dioscorides’ classical text. Each step of constructing a chapter of the herbal required a different approach to sensory qualities. The identification of the plants described by Dioscorides called for detailed philological work and a good knowledge of the meaning of each term used for tastes, smells or colours. Descriptions were compared with living plants, while all plant parts and their properties had to be thoroughly examined. Taste was an important tool in establishing an affinity of a new plant with a plant from Dioscorides’ text, because gustatory qualities were regarded as closely related to plant nature. Visual qualities such as shape and colour were then especially useful in distinguishing varieties of particular plants.

  • Introduction: Matter and Perception – Interactions Between Metaphysics, Epistemology, and Natural Philosophy. Doina-Cristina Rusu - 2021 - Early Science and Medicine 25 (6):537-542.
  • What's the Story With Blue Steak? On the Unexpected Popularity of Blue Foods. Charles Spence - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
    Is blue food desirable or disgusting? The answer, it would seem, is both, but it really depends on the food in which the color happens to be present. It turns out that the oft-cited aversive response to blue meat may not even have been scientifically validated, despite the fact that blue food coloring is often added to discombobulate diners. In the case of drinks, however, there has been a recent growth of successful new blue product launches in everything from beer to tea, and from wine to gin, arguing that coloring food products blue is more than simply a contemporary fad. In fact, the current interest in blue food coloring builds on the color's earlier appearance in everything from blue curacao to blue-raspberry candyfloss, and thereafter a number of soft drinks. Over the years, the combination of blue coloring with raspberry flavoring has also appeared in everything from bubble-gum to patriotic pop rocks. Ultimately, it is the rarity of naturally-blue foods that is likely what makes this color so special. As such, blue food coloring can both work effectively to attract the visual attention of the shopper while, at the same time, being linked to a range of different flavors depending on the food format in which it happens to appear. Note also that the basic descriptor “blue” covers a wide range of hues having a range of different associations, hence eliciting different reactions. While blue was once associated with artificiality, a growing number of natural blue food colorings have come onto the market in recent years thus perhaps changing the dominant associations that many consumers may have with this most unusual of food colors.

  • Effects of Teleassistance on the Quality of Life of People With Rare Neuromuscular Diseases According to Their Degree of Disability. Oscar Martínez, Imanol Amayra, Juan Francisco López-Paz, Esther Lázaro, Patricia Caballero, Irune García, Alicia Aurora Rodríguez, Maitane García, Paula María Luna, Paula Pérez-Núñez, Jaume Barrera, Nicole Passi, Sarah Berrocoso, Manuel Pérez & Mohammad Al-Rashaida - 2021 - Frontiers in Psychology 12.
    Rare neuromuscular diseases are a group of pathologies characterized by a progressive loss of muscular strength, atrophy, fatigue, and other muscle-related symptoms, which affect quality of life levels. The low prevalence, high geographical dispersion and disability of these individuals involve difficulties in accessing health and social care services. Teleassistance is presented as a useful tool to perform psychosocial interventions in these situations. The main aim of this research is to assess the effects of a teleassistance psychosocial program on the QoL levels of people with RNMDs who have different levels of disability. A sample of 73 participants was divided into an experimental group, which participated in the intervention, and a control wait list group. QoL was evaluated through the SIP and the SF-36, and disability through the WHO-DAS II. The participants with a moderate to severe level of disability were those who most benefited from the intervention. The results also revealed that the psychosocial teleassistance program was suitable to improve physical and psychosocial aspects of people suffering from a rare neuromuscular disease with a moderate level of disability, but just psychosocial aspects in those with a severe level of disability.

  • The Nomological Argument for the Existence of God. Tyler Hildebrand & Thomas Metcalf - forthcoming - Noûs.
    According to the Nomological Argument, observed regularities in nature are best explained by an appeal to a supernatural being. A successful explanation must avoid two perils. Some explanations provide too little structure, predicting a universe without regularities. Others provide too much structure, thereby precluding an explanation of certain types of lawlike regularities featured in modern scientific theories. We argue that an explanation based in the creative, intentional action of a supernatural being avoids these two perils whereas leading competitors do not. Although our argument falls short of a full defense, it does suggest that the Nomological Argument is worthy of philosophical attention.

  • The Indeterminacy of Translation and Radical Interpretation. Ali Hossein Khani - 2021 - Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    The Indeterminacy of Translation and Radical Interpretation The indeterminacy of translation is the thesis that translation, meaning, and reference are all indeterminate: there are always alternative translations of a sentence and a term, and nothing objective in the world can decide which translation is the right one. This is a skeptical conclusion because what it … Continue reading The Indeterminacy of Translation and Radical Interpretation →.

Mar 1st 2021 GMT
  1. Weighing the Costs: The Epistemic Dilemma of No-Platforming. Uwe Peters & Nikolaj Nottelmann - forthcoming - Synthese.
    ‘No-platforming’ – the practice of denying subjects the opportunity to express their opinion at certain venues because of the perceived abhorrent or misguided nature of their views – is a hot topic. Several philosophers have advanced epistemic reasons for using the policy in certain cases. Here we introduce epistemic considerations against noplatforming that are relevant for the reflection on the cases at issue. We then contend that three recent epistemic arguments in favor of no-platforming fail to factor these considerations in and, as a result, offer neither a conclusive justification nor strong epistemic support for no-platforming in any of the relevant cases. Moreover, we argue that, taken together, our epistemic considerations against no-platforming and the three arguments for the policy suggest that no-platforming poses an epistemic dilemma (i.e., a difficult choice situation involving two equally undesirable options). While advocates and opponents of no-platforming alike have so far overlooked this dilemma, it should be addressed not only to prevent that actual no-platforming decisions create more epistemic harm than good, but also to put us into a better position to justify the policy when it is indeed warranted.

  • Cognitive Systems, Predictive Processing, and the Self. Robert D. Rupert - manuscript
    This essay presents the conditional probability of co-contribution account of the individuation of cognitive systems (CPC) and argues that CPC provides an attractive basis for a theory of the cognitive self. I proceed in a largely indirect way, by emphasizing empirical challenges faced by an approach that relies entirely on predictive processing (PP) mechanisms to ground a theory of the cognitive self. Given the challenges faced by PP-based approaches, we should prefer a theory of the cognitive self of the sort CPC offers, one that accommodates variety in the kinds of mechanism that, when integrated, constitute a cognitive system (and thus the cognitive self), to a theory according to which the cognitive self is composed of essentially one kind of thing, for instance, prediction-error minimization mechanisms. The final section focuses on one of the core functions of the cognitive self: to engage in conscious reasoning. It is argued that the phenomenon of conscious, deliberate reasoning poses an apparently insoluble problem for a PP-based view, one that seems to rest on a deep structural limitation of predictive-processing models. In a nutshell, conscious reasoning is a single-stream phenomenon, but, in order for PP to apply, two streams of activity must be involved, a prediction stream and an input stream. Thus, with regard to the question of the nature of the self, PP-based views must yield to an alternative approach, regardless of whether proponents of the predictive processing, as a comprehensive theory of cognition, can handle the various empirical challenges canvassed in preceding sections.

  • Coherence & Confirmation: The Epistemic Limitations to the Impossibility Theorems. Ted Poston - forthcoming - Kriterion - Journal of Philosophy.
    It is a widespread intuition that the coherence of independent reports provides a powerful reason to believe that the reports are true. Formal results by Huemer (1997), Olsson (2002, 2005), and Bovens and Hartmann (2003) prove that, under certain conditions, coherence cannot increase the probability of the target claim. These formal results, known as ‘the impossibility theorems’ have been widely discussed in the literature. They are taken to have significant epistemic upshot. In particular, they are taken to show that reports must first individually confirm the target claim before the coherence of multiple reports offers any positive confirmation. In this paper, I dispute this epistemic interpretation. The impossibility theorems are consistent with the idea that the coherence of independent reports provides a powerful reason to believe that the reports are true even if the reports do not individually confirm prior to coherence. Once we see that the formal discoveries do not have this implication, we can recover a model of coherence justification consistent with Bayesianism and these results. This paper, thus, seeks to turn the tide of the negative findings for coherence reasoning by defending coherence as a unique source of confirmation.

  • "I Am SO Humble!": On the Paradoxes of Humility. Brian Robinson - 2021 - In Mark Alfano, Michael Lynch & Alessandra Tanesini (eds.), The Routledge Handbook fo Philosophy of Humility. Routledge. pp. 26-35.
  • Being in Flux: A Post-Anthropocentric Ontology of the Self. Rein Raud - forthcoming - Cambridge, UK: Polity Books.
    Reality exists independently of human observers, but does the same apply to its structure? Realist ontologies usually assume so: according to them, the world consists of objects, these have properties and enter into relations with each other, more or less as we are accustomed to think of them.

    Against this view, Rein Raud develops a radical process ontology that does not credit any vantage point, any scale or speed of being, any range of cognitive faculties with the privilege to judge how the world ‘really’ is. In his view, what we think of as objects are recast as fields of constitutive tensions, cross-sections of processes, never in complete balance but always striving for it and always reconfiguring themselves accordingly. The human self is also understood as a fluctuating field, not limited to the mind but distributed all over the body and reaching out into its environment, with different constituents of the process constantly vying for control.

    The need for such a process philosophy has often been voiced, but rarely has there been an effort to develop it in a systematic and rigourous manner that leads to original accounts of identity, continuity, time, change, causality, agency and other topics. Throughout his new book, Raud engages with an unusually broad range of philosophical schools and debates, from New Materialism and Object-Oriented Ontology to both phenomenological and analytical philosophy of mind, from feminist philosophy of science to neurophilosophy and social ontology.


  • The Making of AI Society: AI Futures Frames in German Political and Media Discourses. Lea Köstler & Ringo Ossewaarde - forthcoming - AI and Society.
    In this article, we shed light on the emergence, diffusion, and use of socio-technological future visions. The artificial intelligence future vision of the German federal government is examined and juxtaposed with the respective news media coverage of the German media. By means of a content analysis of frames, it is demonstrated how the German government strategically uses its AI future vision to uphold the status quo. The German media largely adapt the government´s frames and do not integrate alternative future narratives into the public debate. These findings are substantiated in the framing of AI futures in policy documents of the German government and articles of four different German newspapers. It is shown how the German past is mirrored in the German AI future envisioned by the government, safeguarding the present power constellation that is marked by a close unity of politics and industry. The German media partly expose the government´s frames and call for future visions that include fundamentally different political designs less influenced by the power structures of the past and present.

  • Social Exclusion Down-Regulates Pain Empathy at the Late Stage of Empathic Responses: Electrophysiological Evidence. Min Fan, Jing Jie, Pinchao Luo, Yu Pang, Danna Xu, Gaowen Yu, Shaochen Zhao, Wei Chen & Xifu Zheng - 2021 - Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 15.
    Social exclusion has a significant impact on cognition, emotion, and behavior. Some behavioral studies investigated how social exclusion affects pain empathy. Conclusions were inconsistent, and there is a lack of clarity in identifying which component of pain empathy is more likely to be affected. To investigate these issues, we used a Cyberball task to manipulate feelings of social exclusion. Two groups participated in the same pain empathy task while we recorded event-related potentials when participants viewed static images of body parts in painful and neutral situations. The results showed early N2 differentiation between painful and neutral pictures in the central regions in both groups. The pattern at the late controlled processing stage was different. Parietal P3 amplitudes for painful pictures were significantly smaller than those for neutral pictures in the social exclusion group; they did not differ in the social inclusion group. We observed a parietal late positive potential differentiation between painful and neutral pictures in both groups. LPP amplitudes were significantly smaller in the social exclusion group than those in the social inclusion group for painful stimuli. Our results indicate that social exclusion does not affect empathic responses during the early emotional sharing stage. However, it down-regulates empathic responses at the late cognitive controlled stage, and this modulation is attenuated gradually. The current study provides neuroscientific evidence of how social exclusion dynamically influences pain empathy.

  • My Friend’s True Self: Children’s Concept of Personal Identity. Michaela Jirout Košová, Robin Kopecký, Pavel Oulovský, Matěj Nekvinda & Jaroslav Flegr - 2021 - Philosophical Psychology 34 (1):47-75.
    Our study explores the folk concept of personal identity in the developmental context. Two hundred and seventeen Czech children participated in an interview study based on a hypothetical scenario about a sudden change in their friend, someone they know, or some other unspecified person. The children were asked to judge to what extent particular changes (from six categories of traits) would change the identity core of their friend or some other person on a seven-point scale. We introduced both positive and negative versions of the changes. Our data suggest that children considered moral traits connected to interpersonal relationships crucial for preserving personal identity. Memory connected to personal experiences also scored highly. On the other hand, a change in physical appearance seemed to have the least important impact on personal identity. Negative changes turned out to have a significantly greater impact than positive changes in all categories, except the physical. Possible effects of scenario and the participants’ age and sex were further explored. We discuss the possible causes of the effect of negative moral change and the role of social dimension in the development of the concept of personal identity.

  • What is the Point of Being Your True Self? A Genealogy of Essentialist Authenticity. Muriel Leuenberger - forthcoming - Philosophy.
    This paper presents a functional genealogy of essentialist authenticity. The essentialist account maintains that authenticity is the result of discovering and realizing one’s ‘true self’. The genealogy shows that essentialist authenticity can serve the function of supporting continuity in one’s individual characteristics. A genealogy of essentialist authenticity is not only methodologically interesting as the first functional genealogy of a contingent concept. It can also deepen the functional understanding of authenticity used in neuroethics, provide a possible explanation for the prevalence of the idea of an essentialist true self and justify the use of the ideal of authenticity. First, essentialist authenticity is defined and explained through the work of Jean-Jacques Rousseau. Second, a general need to have steady characteristics is derived from basic human practices. Third, circumstances that make it more challenging to steady oneself are identified and shown to have become more prevalent in the age of modernity when the ideal of authenticity emerged. Finally, it is shown how essentialist authenticity helps to steady the self.

  • How to Get Necessity From Essence Via Identity (or Not?). Yannic Kappes - manuscript
    Jessica Leech ("From Essence to Necessity via Identity") has recently challenged proponents of the essentialist theory of modality (ETM) to show why essence "should generate necessity". In particular, she argues that Correia’s and Skiles’ ("Grounding, Essence, and Identity") theory of essence in terms of generalized identity, while initially promising for proponents of ETM, cannot solve the challenge.

    On the surface, the challenge is to justify the assumption that essence claims (and hence generalized identities) are necessary. The first part of this paper shows how this epistemic challenge can be addressed given Correia’s and Skiles’ theory. After suggesting some available justificatory strategies, it argues that rejecting the necessity of generalized identities requires (sentential) higher order contingentism (HOC). While HOC is compatible with the necessity of essence and generalized identities, a proposal is made as to how to ground necessities in certain essence involving conditionals given HOC and the contingency of essence.

    Aspects of Leech’s discussion point towards a further, explanatory challenge. The second part of this paper identifies such a challenge for ETM given Correia’s and Skiles’ theory, namely to provide grounds for the necessity of generalized identities themselves. It then proposes a solution by combining Correia’s and Skiles’ definition of grounding in terms of generalized identity with the idea that some necessities are grounded in zero-grounding facts, resulting in the proposal that the necessity of generalized identities is grounded in their being zero-grounded, which in turn is accounted for in terms of generalized identity. In the end, a potential residual problem is proposed.


  • Information and Explanation: An Inconsistent Triad and Solution. Mark Povich - forthcoming - European Journal for Philosophy of Science.
    An important strand in philosophy of science takes scientific explanation to consist in the conveyance of some kind of information (e.g., Lewis 1986; Railton 1981). Here I argue that this idea is also implicit in some core arguments of mechanists, some of whom (e.g., Craver 2014) are proponents of an ontic conception of explanation that might be thought inconsistent with it (Piccinini and Craver 2011; Zednik 2015). However, informational accounts seem to conflict with some lay and scientific commonsense judgments and a central goal of the theory of explanation, because information is relative to the background knowledge of agents (Dretske 1981). Sometimes we make lay judgments about whether a model is an explanation simpliciter, not just an explanation relative to some particular agent. And as philosophers of explanation, we would like a philosophical account to tell us when a model is an explanation simpliciter, not just when a model is an explanation relative to some particular agent. Thus, even if one’s account of explanation is not concerned with explanation qua communicative or speech act, the account’s reliance on the concept of information generates a prima facie conflict between the claims that 1) explanation is the conveyance of information, 2) information is relative to the background knowledge of an agent, and 3) some models are explanations not relative to the background knowledge of any particular agent. I sketch a solution to this puzzle by distinguishing informationally what I call “explanation simpliciter” from what I call “explanation-to,” relativizing the latter to an individual’s background knowledge and the former to what I call “total scientific background knowledge”.

  • After Pascal’s Wager: On Religious Belief, Regulated and Rationally Held. Jack Warman & David Efird - forthcoming - International Journal for Philosophy of Religion:1-18.
    In Pascal’s famous wager, he claims that the seeking non-believer can induce genuine religious belief in herself by joining a religious community and taking part in its rituals. This form of belief regulation is epistemologically puzzling: can we form beliefs in this way, and could such beliefs be rationally held? In the first half of the paper, we explain how the regimen could allow the seeking non-believer to regulate her religious beliefs by intervening on her evidence and epistemic standards. In the second half of the paper, we argue that regulated religious beliefs can be rationally held.

  • Were Experiments Ever Neglected? Ian Hacking and the History of Philosophy of Experiment. Massimiliano Simons & Matteo Vagelli - 2021 - Philosophical Inquiries 9 (1):167-188.
    Ian Hacking’s Representing and Intervening is often credited as being one of the first works to focus on the role of experimentation in philosophy of science, catalyzing a movement which is sometimes called the “philosophy of experiment” or “new experimentalism”. In the 1980s, a number of other movements and scholars also began focusing on the role of experimentation and instruments in science. Philosophical study of experimentation has thus seemed to be an invention of the 1980s whose central figure is Hacking. This article aims to assess this historical claim, made by Hacking himself as well as others. It does so first by highlighting how a broader perspective on the history of philosophy reveals this invention narrative to be incorrect, since experimentation was a topic of interest for earlier philosophers. Secondly, the article evaluates a revision of this historical claim also made by some philosophers of experiment: the rediscovery narrative, which frames Hacking and others as having rediscovered the work of these earlier authors. This second narratives faces problems as well. Therefore we develop a third narrative which we call the contextualist narrative. Rather than considering experimentation in an essentialist manner as a fixed research object that is either present or not in the work of specific authors, experimentation should be addressed through a narrative that asks in what way it becomes a philosophical problem for certain authors and for what purpose. Such contextualization enables a repositioning of Hacking’s philosophy of experiment in relation to the specific debates in which he intervened, such as the realism-antirealism debate, the Science Wars and the debate on incommensurability.

  • Emotion as High-Level Perception. Brandon Yip - forthcoming - Synthese.
    According to the perceptual theory of emotions, emotions are perceptions of evaluative properties. The account has recently faced a barrage of criticism recently by critics who point out varies disanalogies between emotion and paradigmatic perceptual experiences. What many theorists fail to note however, is that many of the disanalogies that have been raised to exclude emotions from being perceptual states that represent evaluative properties have also been used to exclude high-level properties from appearing in the content of perception. This suggests that (1) emotions are perceptions of high-level properties and (2) perceptual theorists can marshal the arguments used by proponents of high-level perception to defend the perceptual theory. This paper therefore defends an account of emotion as high-level perception.

Feb 28th 2021 GMT
  1. Radicalization Through the Lens of Situated Affectivity. Hina Haq, Saad Shaheed & Achim Stephan - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
  • Human Social Evolution: Self-Domestication or Self-Control? Dor Shilton, Mati Breski, Daniel Dor & Eva Jablonka - 2020 - Frontiers in Psychology 11.
  • Polycentric Limited Epistocracy: Political Expertise and the Wiki-Model. Aylon Manor - forthcoming - Episteme:1-20.
    Democracy has recently been criticized by several philosophers on grounds of poor epistemic performance. The proposed alternative – epistocracy – faces criticism for failing to uphold and express the core democratic values of civic equality and individual autonomy. In response, proposals have been offered that try to achieve epistocratic performance while retaining democratic inclusion. This paper raises two problems for such proposals, relating to the selection of experts and the incentive-compatibility of the system. Given these failures, I sketch what I call the Wiki-Model. I argue that the Wiki-Model has desirable epistemic properties; realizes our democratic ideals; while also avoiding the two problems that other hybrid models face.

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Hi Prasanth, All,


Thanks for your email, Prasanth. Cognitive science questions, and the English language, come together with precision and careful thought in other academic disciplines like philosophy (in the English language) - and will do so probably in Tamil too (if such questions, thinking, cognitive science, brain science, etc. aren't emerging in Tamil already). There's much both to read in English in cognitive science, as well as create digitally. Am a bit concerned that Tamil machine translation isn't far enough along science-wise to facilitate ease of learning from English ... but maybe it will develop rapidly in the future. 

Am hoping you can apply for a WUaS PhD program, beginning September 1, 2021, with preparatory edX courses beginning May 1, 2021 even. But it looks as if you may apply through edX rather than through MIT departments, per an email yesterday.

Stay tuned. 





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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Olympic_National_Park



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