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09:00-11:00 Session 22C: 26-1-Section 3: Metaphysics of Science II
Location: E 004
Can Conceptual Engineering Learn Something from Conceptual Change in Science?

ABSTRACT. Conceptual engineering is a relatively new project (and possibly an emerging trend) currently confined mostly to philosophy of language and ethics. Philosophy of science has been only marginally involved despite that in science concepts are regularly revised or replaced by new ones. Brigandt & Rosario (2018) offer an example of how investigation of concept change in biology can give guidance on how conceptual engineering can be done. I will follow suit and suggest further ways in which examining conceptual change in exact sciences can give useful insight into the practice of conceptual engineering.

What is Real in Levels of Reality: Fundamentality, Dependence and Minimal Ontology

ABSTRACT. Recent debates about Ontic Structural Realism (OSR) suggest that the scientific realist ought to be committed to the structures proposed by our best scientific theories, which give rise to a hierarchized meta structure of different levels of reality, from coarse-grained to fine-grained. The aim of this paper is to explore the meaning of this “levels” talk (section 1), to analyze the dependence and priority relations between levels (section 2) and put forward a claim about what a minimalist ontology that agrees with contemporary science should look like (section 3).

The Problem of Induction: Is a Metaphysical Solution Possible?

ABSTRACT. Hume’s problem of induction concerns its justification. One way to understand the problem is the following: if there is some time-invariant regularity in nature, can we know it (or have some degree of justification for believing it) from experience? Recently there is a serious effort to provide a metaphysical solution to it: some argue that “dispositionalism”, according to which there are dispositional properties or essences in nature’s ontology, is the key to overcome it. In this paper, I examine these dispositionalist solution proposals, and argue that none of them is successful at setting the skeptic’s mind at ease.

Specific, Higher-Level, and Downward Causation

ABSTRACT. The interventionist analysis of causation can be modified so as to provide empirical criteria for higher-level and downward causal statements. All cases of higher-level and downward causation are accompanied by lower-level causation. However, I elaborate a concept of specific causation (similar to proportional causation), such that there are situations in which 1) a higher-level causal statement has its own specific empirical content, 2) there is underlying lower-level causal influence, but 3) only the higher-level influence is specific. I show that specific causation avoids objections against the possibility of justifying higher-level and downward causation with the concept of proportional causation.

09:00-11:00 Session 22E: 26-1-Section 4: Symposium

To view the symposium's extended abstract, please click here (PDF, 185 Kb).

Location: E 120
Group Knowledge and Mathematical Collaboration

ABSTRACT. In this symposium, we will bring together interdisciplinary insights to explore the social dimensions of mathematics: to connect new work in social epistemology, mathematical practice, and sociology to gain a better understanding of how collaboration in mathematics relates to mathematical knowledge, proofs and understanding.

09:00-11:00 Session 22I: 26-1-Section 6B: Philosophy of Action II
Location: M 001
Why Causalist Theories of Action Are Wrong

ABSTRACT. Causalists of agency think that actions are effects of causes, either of mental causes of their own sort or of a physical, mainly neurological sort. This picture is fuelled from several ideas: 1) that actions are physical events, 2) that actions are physical events accompanied by volitional mental occurrences, 3) that these volitional mental occurrences are entities of some kind that cause actions. In my talk I want to show that these assumptions are mistaken. Positively, I will argue that the connection between intentions and actions is conceptual, thereby presenting a overhauled version of the “Logical Connection Argument”.

A Non-Reductive Notion of Action

ABSTRACT. I propose a non-reductive notion of action. Such a notion is non-reductive in the sense that it does not take the action to coincide with the movement of the agent’s body (in the intransitive sense of the term movement), or with the agent’s moving of her body (in the transitive sense of the term movement). Rather, the action is identified by means of its description. We may refer to a certain agent’s behavior by means of different descriptions, taking into consideration different effects of her performance, the description identifying the action is selected on the basis of its appropriateness.

Davidsonian Practical Reason and the Explanation of Action

ABSTRACT. I defend Davidson’s account of practical reason and the explanation of action against McDowell’s objection that it is simply theoretical reasoning and not practical. I argue that practical reason can result in normative beliefs because our desires are typically conditioned by them. I further argue that McDowell’s criticism is consistent with Davidson’s position because Davidson is concerned with practical reason from a formal, non-phenomenological perspective. The formal description of practical reason and action is justified because it results from Davidson’s account of interpretation: an agent is interpreted as acting intentionally insofar as a normative belief is attributed to her.

Weakness of Will: A Systematization and Explanation

ABSTRACT. The article discusses the classic form of weakness of will, defined by Plato, and here called "akrasia": A person recognizes the better very well, but does not want to do it, although she could; but she does something else. Akrasia is actually a problem of cognitivist theories of action, whose most topical version is the optimality judgment theory (intentions are judgments of the type: 'Action a is best for me '). The paper provides a systematization of the various types of weakness of will, the solutions proposed and develops a new explanation, which relies on the concept of managing attention.

09:00-11:00 Session 22J: 26-1-Section 7: Properties and Objects
Location: A 119
Formal, not Internal, Relations Allow Rich Ontologies to Avoid Bradley’s Regress

ABSTRACT. Bradley’s regress is held to be problematic for rich ontologies positing both universals and particulars. Armstrong argued that the relation of instantiation (e.g. Socrates is a Human) is an internal relation, and thus invulnerable to Bradley’s regress. Expanding upon Lowe, we argue that some dependence-relations involved in instantiation cannot be internal relations. Specifically, a temporally relativized non-rigid dependence relation is involved when a universal goes from being instantiated by two particulars at t1, to only being instantiated by one particular at t2. Instead, we argue that instantiation is a formal relation, rather than a material (internal or external) relation.

Responses as Properties

ABSTRACT. Response-dependent properties are usually considered properties fitting something like the following definition: “Something, x, is F (falls under the concept ‘F’ or has the property F) ↔ x would elicit response R from subjects S in circumstances C.” (Busck Gundersen) I propose to place greater weight on responses. Among the properties that depend ontologically on other objects only, or at least far more than on the object they are ascribed to, there are those that consists in all and only the response of such another object. I give an outline of those properties and propose to call them response-dependent.

Powerful Qualities and the Question of Realism (for Powers)

ABSTRACT. Should we understand the bone of contention between friends and enemies of causal powers as an existence question regarding a specific kind of property called ‘dispositional property’? Exploring recent literature, we see that friends of powers vastly disagree on the intrinsic nature ad make-up of (dispositional) properties, yet usually agree that properties wholly ground nomic and modal facts. This invites the thought that the debate between foes and friends of powers is best understood as the debate around the existence of something, be it a kind of property or a fundamental ‘directionality’ relation, but rather a debate about metaphysical hierarchy.

Money as an Interactive and Subjective Social Kind

ABSTRACT. I argue that we have strong reasons to consider money an example of an ontologically subjective kind. The basis for my argument is to be found in the distinction between so-called interactive and indifferent kinds, famously made by Ian Hacking. While Hacking claims that only human kinds can be interactive, others have argued that there can be other examples of social interactive kinds. I explain why money why I consider money such an example. Furthermore, I argue that interactive social kinds are ontologically subjective.

09:00-11:00 Session 22K: 26-1-Section 8: Symposium

To view the symposium's extended abstract, please click here (PDF, 269 Kb).

Location: Audi Max - A 030
Virtuous Adversariality: Exploring Virtues in Philosophical Practice

ABSTRACT. This symposium explores an ideal of philosophical practice called ‘virtuous adversariality’, drawing on social and virtue epistemology, ancient Greek philosophy, and argumentation theory. The ideal relies on the familiar conception of philosophy as a form of disciplined intellectual practice organized around dialogical engagement between two or more interlocutors. Its key feature is the idea that a certain form of adversariality, more specifically disagreement and debate, is indeed at the heart of philosophy, but that philosophical inquiry also has a strong cooperative, virtuous component that regulates and constrains the adversarial component.

09:30-11:00 Session 22A: 26-1-Section 1: Carnap
Location: E 006
Carnap's, Ajdukiewicz's and Quine's Views on Ontology

ABSTRACT. The aim of this paper is to analyze the views of Rudolf Carnap and Willard van Orman Quine and compare them with the views of Kazimierz Ajdukiewicz. In the paper I will argue that Ajdukiewicz's approach to ontology is deflationary. I would like to refer to Price's interpretation in which he indicates that Quine’s views were deflationary and to compare Carnap's and Quine’s ontological views. This will allow to to highlight the similarity between Ajdukiewicz's views and Carnap’s and Quine’s stances on ontology.

Quine and Carnap on Explication

ABSTRACT. Explication plays a role in a wide range of philosophical projects, both implicitly and explicitly. Few philosophers, however, have provided insight into the nature of explication. Quine and Carnap are two notable exceptions to this trend, a fact which is especially interesting given the close connections between their work. In this paper I examine Quine's and Carnap's attitudes to explication and argue that important similarities \textit{and} important contrasts are illuminated by considering this part of their thought. This comparison proves relevant to current pressing questions in metaphysics about what sort of metaphysical project is possible.

Methodological Developments in Hempel's Analysis of Science

ABSTRACT. In this paper I reconstruct the methodological developments in Carl Hempel’s work on explanation, specifically how his use of logic as a tool to analyze scientific language and practice shifted throughout his career. These shifts are representative for broader methodological developments in 20th century philosophy. I distinguish three phases. During the first phase Hempel transforms natural language into formal language to clarify its empirical consequences. In the second phase the goal is to use a formal scheme as a model for a target concept. In the final phase Hempel reinterprets his former attempts within the framework of Carnapian explication.

09:30-11:00 Session 22F: 26-1-Section 5A: Pragmatics and Context Sensitivity III
Location: A 021
In What Sense (if Any) Can Assertion Be Said to Be social?

ABSTRACT. This paper analyses whether and, if so, how assertion can be said to be social from a speech-act theoretical point of view, distinguishing different ways in which social aspects may be taken to be involved in the making of an assertion. In particular, my aim will be to show that, on the basis of an Austin-inspired conception of illocutionary act, one can provide a specific kind of social approach to assertion and its effects, which can be shown to be immune to a well-known argument put forth by Peter Pagin against standard analyses of assertion as a social act.

Knowledge and Anaphora

ABSTRACT. How should we account for the contextual variability of knowledge ascriptions? Here, I develop a semantic account of the context-sensitivity of 'know that' on which the Logical Form of 'know that' includes a variable for a function from individuals to epistemic standards (based on ideas in Huvenes (2012)). I provide two new kinds of arguments for the view: one from parallels in the context-sensitive uses of 'know that' with pronouns and adjectives such as 'local', and another one from the systematic context-sensitivity of occurrences of 'know that' when embedded in larger constructions (such as conditionals, attitude verbs, comparatives, ...).

Subordinating Speech and Austin's Illocutionary Acts

ABSTRACT. This contribution focuses on subordinating speech, understood as a type of communicative action that incites and promotes discrimination, hatred and violence. Its aim is to critically examine the thesis according to which (an act of) subordinating speech can be seen as an illocution in Austin (1962)’s terms. My intuition is that subordinating speech cannot generally be seen as a correctly performed illocutionary act. Instead, my contention will be that some relevant cases of subordinating speech should be seen as a type of abuse in Austin’s original sense.

10:00-11:00 Session 22B: 26-1-Section 2: Epistemic Justification II
Location: F 107
A New Proposal for Conee and Feldman's Evidentialism

ABSTRACT. Conee and Feldman (2004, 2008, 2011) developed recently an Explanationist Evidentialism (EE) proposal to the problem of epistemic justification. It says that a person S with evidence e is justified in believing p at t iff p is part of the best explanation available to S for e. This theory is confronted with two central objections: (1) the objection about beliefs deductively inferred and (2) the objection of beliefs about the future. My aim is to offer a new way out to Conee and Feldman to deal with these two objections.

No Need for a Secret Ballot?: How to Reduce Reputational Cascades in Expert Committees

ABSTRACT. People sometimes misrepresent their opinions because others have expressed opposite views and public disagreement comes with costs. Arguably, this also affects experts in committees, who may align with other speakers beyond what their trust for them should allow. To assess this effect, we propose a model of sequential deliberation, which enables us to analyse the influence of various parameters, and suggests four ways to reduce the effects of opinion misrepresentation: (i) allow experts to express fine-grained opinions; (ii) have experts speak in specific orders; (iii) hold a sufficient number of table rounds ; (iv) encourage a friendly deliberative atmosphere.

10:00-11:00 Session 22G: 26-1-Section 5B: Semantics and Subjectivity
Location: A 022
Evaluation and Experience: Semantics of Predicates of Personal Taste

ABSTRACT. In my talk, I propose a classification of evaluative expressions. I modify Ch. Kennedy’s proposal (2012, 2016) according to which gradable adjectives can express two kinds of subjectivity (associated with vagueness and associated with evaluation) by postulating another sub-kind of subjective terms which are not necessarily evaluative but experiential. Further, I propose a linguistic test which allows to identify them. Finally, I check where my classification places the predicate “tasty”. I claim that it is a thin term which is both evaluative and experiential. It carries positive evaluation and encodes the condition of its use but no description whatsoever.

Subjectivity and Evaluativity

ABSTRACT. Evaluative predicates are often thought to be a subclass of subjective predicates: predicates whose extension is up to the speaker. The present paper draws on the embedding behavior of evaluative predicates under subjective attitude verbs, especially English 'find', to challenge that assumption. According to some authors, 'find' requires subjective predicates in their complement. However, certain evaluative predicates, like 'important', or 'ethical', do not embed easily under 'find'. We venture that the reason why that is so is that such predicates are not subjective. We conclude by looking at the consequences that this observation might have for metaethics.

10:00-11:00 Session 22H: 26-1-Section 6A: First Person Thoughts
Location: A 125
Action Explanation and Mental Simulation

ABSTRACT. In developing William Dray’s idea of “empathetic understanding,” Jaegwon Kim (1998, 2010) and Robert Gordon (2000, 2001) present simulation-based accounts of action explanation. In this paper, I evaluate these approaches and argue that they fail as an account of the explanatory role of reasons. This does not mean, however, that the idea of empathetic understanding is totally wrong. I propose another way of looking at the role of mental simulation in action explanation and argue that it has to do with how our reason ascriptions work, so that simulation provides a basis for the rules that govern our reason ascriptions.

First-Person Thought and Rational Action

ABSTRACT. Many philosophers in the tradition of Perry (1977; 1979), Lewis (1979) and Castañeda (1966) believe that first-person thought is essential for rational action. Recently this line of thought has been questioned by so called “De Se Sceptics”, such as Cappelen/Dever (2013) and Magidor (2015). Cappelen/Dever (2013) maintain that their Action-Inventory-Model (AIM) is able to account for all rational actions without an appeal to indexical thought. In my talk I will offer counterexamples to their AIM model and will propose with an inference to the best explanation a model for rational action that involves first-person thoughts about the action inventory.

11:00-11:30Coffee Break
11:30-12:30 Session 23B: 26-2-Section 2: Transparency
Location: F 107
Transparency as a Rational Relation

ABSTRACT. Some philosophers hold that we are entitled to answer questions about our attitudes by answering questions about the world—the so-called transparency procedure—because of the reliable connection between answering a worldly question and being in a target mental state. This paper argues against this view and offers an alternative. An adequate Transparency theory must be able to explain why the procedure works when it does and why it doesn’t when it doesn’t. The view under discussion cannot explain why the procedure fails for the case of emotion, but the alternative offered can.

The Intelligibility of the Transparency of Beliefs

ABSTRACT. It is widely accepted that the question about whether one believes p is for oneself normally ‘transparent’ to, answered in the same way as, the question as to whether p. However, many philosophers have objected that this is mistaken because the transition from p to the self-ascription ‘I believe p’ will be unintelligible to a subject. I introduce a novel account of belief self-ascription that makes the transition intelligible. The main idea is that upon concluding that p, p is presented to a subject as a practical reason, and, as such, supports an inference to the self-ascription ‘I believe p’.

11:30-12:30 Session 23C: 26-2-Section 3A: Miscellaneous Topics in Philosophy of Science II
Location: E 004
The Inadequacy of the Linear Model of Basic-Applied Distinction in Nanoscale Research

ABSTRACT. Based on a traditional distinction in science and technology policy, Research and Development activities are divided into three categories, i.e. basic research, applied research and experimental development. Although the justification for doing applied research due to its practical usefulness is straightforwardly provided, the justification for doing basic research, which its production is just scientific knowledge, has had some difficulties for philosophers and policy practitioners. In this article, I will try to show that the linear model of the distinction is inadequate for nanoscale research. Therefore, “why should we do nanoscale research?” cannot be addressed within this model.

Probability Aggregation and Optimal Scoring

ABSTRACT. In this paper we discuss the problem of optimizing probability aggregation with the help of different scoring rules or loss measures. By this we intend to combine basic insights of probabilistic opinion pooling with optimality results of formal learning theory. The framework can be applied, e.g., to Hans Reichenbach's best alternative approach on the problem of induction.

11:30-12:30 Session 23D: 26-2-Section 3B: Theories and Models
Location: B 206
Against the Direct Fiction View of Scientific Models

ABSTRACT. The direct fiction view of scientific models is an account of the nature of models and of their representational capacity. First I present the claims that purport to show the superiority of this account over the indirect approaches and I then show in what respects these claims fail to deliver on their promises. Worse yet, direct fictionalism does not appear to be an account of scientific modeling and if taken to be one then it seems contradictory in its own terms. I argue that the direct fictionalism fails to enlighten the scientific practice and should be rejected on those grounds.

Reconstructing Theories in the Frame Model

ABSTRACT. The aim of my talk is to show that the frame model is an efficient instrument to represent and analyze scientific theories. For this, I will develop the notion of a theory frame and distinguish between theory frames for qualitative theories and quantitative theories in which measurement is based on ratio scales. I will apply frames to a linguistic and a physical theory, thereby showing that the frame model is a powerful and intuitive accessible instrument to analyze the laws of scientific theories, the explanatory role of theoretical concepts, and the distinction between qualitative and quantitative scientific concepts.

11:30-12:30 Session 23E: 26-2-Section 4: Deflationism
Location: A 016
The Deductive Weakness of Deflationary Truth

ABSTRACT. The critics of deflationism claim that deflationary truth theories are too weak to prove basic truth-theoretic generalisations. Nevertheless, in the talk we are going to present a defence of the weak (both conservative and disquotational) truth theories against those charges. Namely, it will be argued that the deflationist who accepts a given disquotational and conservative theory of truth has at his disposal sufficient means to account for any additional knowledge about truth that we may possess, including facts about truth which are not provable in his initial theory. In this way, the deflationary standpoint will be vindicated.

A Deflationary Account of the Significance of Reversals

ABSTRACT. It is a striking fact from reverse mathematics that almost all theorems of ordinary mathematics are provably equivalent to just five subsystems of second order arithmetic. The standard view is that the significance of these equivalences lies in demonstrating the set existence principles which are necessary and sufficient to prove a given theorem. This paper presents mathematically natural counterexamples to the standard view, and argues that a more deflationary account of the significance of these equivalences can incorporate the explanatory power of the standard view while avoiding these counterexamples.

11:30-12:30 Session 23H: 26-2-Section 6: Belief
Location: M 001
Indexical Beliefs, Propositional Contents and Propositional Representations

ABSTRACT. I discuss the distinction between propositions qua abstract entities (propositional contents) and propositions qua mental representations (propositional representations). I argue that propositional contents and propositional representations play distinct theoretical roles. I contend that the latter notion is required by the theory of indexical beliefs while the former has an important role to play in semantics. This provides a rationale for the heterogeneity hypothesis about propositions: objects philosophers traditionally call “propositions” have distinct theoretical roles to play and no single kind of entity plays all these diverse roles.

Giving Up Belief States

ABSTRACT. This paper advocates the dissolution of the conventional notion of belief-states in the theory of cognition and action. It is motivated by observations of incoherence within one and the same individual, e.g. between beliefs, between beliefs and actions or between actions (“actions” to include verbal actions). Instead of a static notion of belief I motivate a three-level construction-account of attitudes. At none of the levels we find anything that can be legitimately equated with the folk-psychological notion of belief.

11:30-12:30 Session 23J: 26-2-Section 8: Reflective Equilibrium
Location: A 022
Turning the Trolley in Reflective Equilibrium

ABSTRACT. Reflective equilibrium (RE) is a central method of justification in normative ethics. Nonetheless, conceptions of RE typically stay sketchy and are seldom explicitly implemented. To close this gap, I use RE to reconstruct Thomson’s (2008) argumentation for why a bystander must not divert a runaway trolley from five workmen onto one.

My presentation has three main goals:

(1) To demonstrate the potential of RE for the justification of (moral) principles. (2) To show which insights for Thomson’s account can be gained from reconstructing it as an RE process. (3) To contribute to the further development of RE.

Reflective Equilibrium Fleshed Out: A Formal Model Using the Theory of Dialectical Structures

ABSTRACT. Reflective equilibrium (RE) is a popular method in ethics and philosophy more generally. But so far, RE has never been characterized in a rigorous way. This talk presents a formal model of the RE. We focus on the key idea, namely the elaboration of commitments under the pressure of systematic theories. We represent commitments and theories by means of dialectical structures, define RE-standards on sets of commitments and theories, and specify rules for adjusting commitments and theories. This model then is tested in applications to examples and in computer simulations. We conclude by discussing some of its assumptions and limitations.