New releases

Interventionism and Non-Causal Dependence Relations: New Work for a Theory of Supervenience
Vera Hoffmann-Kolss
Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 2021

Causes must be distinct from their effects. If the temperature in a room is 15°F, this can cause water pipes to freeze. However, the temperature’s being 15°F is not a cause of the temperature’s being below the freezing point. In general, conceptual, logical, mathematical, and other non-causal dependence relations should not be misclassified as causal. In this paper, I discuss how interventionist theories of causation can meet the challenge of distinguishing between (direct or indirect) causal relations and dependence relations that are due to non-causal factors. I survey several approaches to solving this problem, and propose a novel criterion based on the notion of supervenience. According to this criterion, variables are sufficiently distinct to qualify as the relata of a causal relation iff they do not have overlapping minimal supervenience bases.


Buchcover Handbuch Philosophie und Armut

Chancengleichheit und Armut
Marcel Twele
Handbuch Philosphie und Armut, J.B. Metzler Verlag, 2021

Die Phänomene Armut und Chancengleichheit sowie die mit ihnen verbundenen moralischen Prinzipien können auf vielfältige Weise zusammenhängen. Dabei spielen sowohl begriffliche, normative als auch empirische Aspekte eine Rolle. Im öffentlichen Diskurs werden die verschiedenen Aspekte und Beziehungen häufig nicht deutlich genug voneinander unterschieden. Dieses Kapitel soll Abhilfe schaffen. Hierzu werden wir zunächst klären, was Philosoph*innen unter Chancengleichheit und unter Armut verstehen. Anschließend wenden wir uns den normativen Prinzipien zu, auf welche uns die beiden Konzepte verweisen, nämlich auf das Prinzip der Chancengleichheit und das Prinzip der Suffizienz. Hier werden sechs verschiedene Positionen vorgestellt, die man mit Blick auf die Existenz und das fundamentale Verhältnis dieser beiden Prinzipien einnehmen kann. Zum Abschluss wird der Frage nachgegangen, welche instrumentellen Verhältnisse zwischen beiden Prinzipien in der Praxis (d.h. unter Berücksichtigung zusätzlicher empirischer Annahmen) bestehen.


Empirical Studies on Truth and the Project of Re-Engineering Truth
Kevin Reuter, Georg Brun
Pacific Philosophical Quarterly, 2021

Most philosophers have largely downplayed any relevance of multiple meanings of the folk concept of truth in the empirical domain. However, confusions about what truth is have surged in political and everyday discourse. In order to resolve these confusions, we argue that we need amore accurate picture of how the term ‘true’ is in fact used. Our experimental studies reveal that the use of ‘true’ shows substantial variance within the empirical domain, indicating that ‘true’ is ambiguous between a correspondence and a coherence reading. We then explore the consequences of these results for the project of re-engineering truth.



What Is the Folk Concept of Life?
Claus Beisbart & Kevin Reuter
Australasian Journal of Philosophy, 2021

This paper details the content and structure of the folk concept of life, and discusses its relevance for scientific research on life. In four empirical studies, we investigate which features of life are considered salient, universal, central, and necessary. Functionings, such as nutrition and reproduction, but not material composition, turn out to be salient features commonly associated with living beings (Study 1). By contrast, being made of cells is considered a universal feature of living species (Study 2), a central aspect of life (Study 3), and our best candidate for being necessary for life (Study 4). These results are best explained by the hypothesis that people take life to be a natural kind subject to scientific scrutiny.

The Routledge Handbook of Philosophy and Improvisation in the Arts
Alessandro Bertinetto, Marcello Ruta (Editors)
Taylor&Francis, 2021

Over the last few decades, the notion of improvisation has enriched and dynamized research on traditional philosophies of music, theatre, dance, poetry, and even visual art. This Handbook offers readers an authoritative collection of accessible articles on the philosophy of improvisation, synthesizing and explaining various subjects and issues from the growing wave of journal articles and monographs in the field. Its 48 chapters, written specifically for this volume by an international team of scholars, are accessible for students and researchers alike. 


Climate modelling and structural stability
Vincent Lam
European Journal for Philosophy of Science, 2021

Climate modelling plays a crucial role for understanding and addressing the climate challenge, in terms of both mitigation and adaptation. It is therefore of central importance to understand to what extent climate models are adequate for relevant purposes, such as providing certain kinds of climate change projections in view of decision-making. In this perspective, the issue of the stability of climate models under small relevant perturbations in their structure (or small relevant ‘structural model errors’ with respect to the target system) seems particularly important. Within this framework, a debate has emerged in the philosophy of science literature about the relevance for climate modelling of the mathematical notion of structural stability. This paper adresses several important foundational and epistemological questions that arise in this context, in particular about the the role of abstract mathematical considerations of a qualitative nature (in some precise, topological sense) for concrete modelling projects with mainly quantitative purposes.


Arbitrary Grounding
Jonas Werner
Philosophical Studies, 2021

The aim of this paper is to introduce, elucidate and defend the usefulness of a variant of grounding, or metaphysical explanation, that has the feature that the grounds explain of some states of affairs that one of them obtains without explaining which one obtains. I will dub this variant arbitrary grounding. After informally elucidating the basic idea in the first section, I will provide three metaphysical hypotheses that are best formulated in terms of arbitrary grounding in the second section. The third section will be concerned with the relation between arbitrary grounding and non-arbitrary grounding. The fourth section will compare arbitrary grounding to two extant proposals in the literature.


Kants Freiheitsbegriff
Silvan Imhof, Jörg Noller (Hrsg.)
Meiner, 2021

Diese Quellenedition erschließt einen rund 15 Jahre umfassenden, dichten Diskussionszusammenhang aus der Zeit vor 1800. Sie macht nicht nur deutlich, welche Brisanz Kants neuartige Freiheitskonzeption hatte, sondern lässt auch das Ringen um deren angemessene Interpretation erkennen sowie die breite Palette systematischer Positionen, die ihre zeitgenössischen Anhänger und Kritiker vertraten.


Making Reflective Equilibrium Precise. A Formal Model
Claus Beisbart; Gregor Betz; Georg Brun
Ergo 8/15, 441–72, 2021

Reflective equilibrium (RE) is often regarded as a powerful method in ethics, logic, and even philosophy in general. Despite this popularity, characterizations of the method have been fairly vague and unspecific so far. It thus may be doubted whether RE is more than a jumble of appealing but ultimately sketchy ideas that cannot be spelled out consistently. In this paper, we dispel such doubts by devising a formal model of RE. The model contains as components the agent’s commitments and a theory that tries to systematize the commitments. It yields a precise picture of how the commitments and the theory are adjusted to each other. The model differentiates between equilibrium as a target state and the dynamic equilibration process. First solutions to the model, obtained by computer simulation, show that the method allows for consistent specification and that the model’s implications are plausible in view of expectations on RE. In particular, the mutual adjustment of commitments and theory can improve one’s commitments, as proponents of RE have suggested. We argue that our model is fruitful not only because it points to issues that need to be dealt with for a better understanding of RE, but also because it provides the means to address these issues.

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