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  • 1.
    Buijsman, Stefan
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy.
    Learning the Natural Numbers as a Child2019In: Noûs, ISSN 0029-4624, E-ISSN 1468-0068, Vol. 53, no 1, p. 3-22Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    How do we get out knowledge of the natural numbers? Various philosophical accounts exist, but there has been comparatively little attention to psychological data on how the learning process actually takes place. I work through the psychological literature on number acquisition with the aim of characterising the acquisition stages in formal terms. In doing so, I argue that we need a combination of current neologicist accounts and accounts such as that of Parsons. In particular, I argue that we learn the initial segment of the natural numbers on the basis of the Fregean definitions, but do not learn the natural number structure as a whole on the basis of Hume's principle. Therefore, we need to account for some of the consistency of our number concepts with the Dedekind‐Peano axioms in other terms.

  • 2.
    Glüer, Kathrin
    et al.
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy.
    Pagin, Peter
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy.
    General Terms and Relational Modality*2012In: Noûs, ISSN 0029-4624, E-ISSN 1468-0068, Vol. 46, no 1, p. 159-199Article in journal (Refereed)
  • 3.
    Needham, Paul
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy.
    Microessentialism: What is the Argument?2011In: Noûs, ISSN 0029-4624, E-ISSN 1468-0068, Vol. 45, no 1, p. 1-21Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    According to microessentialism, it is necessary to resort to microstructure in order to adequately characterise chemical substances such as water. But the thesis has never been properly supported by argument. Kripke and Putnam, who originally proposed the thesis, suggest that a so-called stereotypical characterisation is not possible, whereas one in terms of microstructure is. However, the sketchy outlines given of stereotypical descriptions hardly support the impossibility claim. On the other hand, what naturally stands in contrast to microscopic description is description in macroscopic terms, and macroscopic characterisations of water are certainly possible. This suffices to counter the claim that microdescriptions are necessary. Whether it counters the impossibility claim depends on whether all macroscopic descriptions are stereotypical (stereotypical descriptions presumably being macroscopic). In so far as systematic import of “stereotypical” can be determined, it would seem not. But some macroscopic characterisations have definite affinity with everyday knowledge, which presumably stands in conflict with the spirit of the impossibility claim. Since what is characterised are properties expressed by predicates like “is water”, the necessity of identity has no bearing here, and matters of interpretation pose problems for claims to the effect that science fixes the extension of “water” as ordinarily understood.

  • 4.
    Stefánsson, H. Orri
    Stockholm University, Faculty of Humanities, Department of Philosophy.
    Identified person bias as decreasing marginal value of chances2023In: Noûs, ISSN 0029-4624, E-ISSN 1468-0068Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Many philosophers think that we should use a lottery to decide who gets a good to which two persons have an equal claim but which only one person can get. Some philosophers think that we should save identified persons from harm even at the expense of saving a somewhat greater number of statistical persons from the same harm. I defend a principled way of justifying both judgements, namely, by appealing to the decreasing marginal moral value of survival chances. I identify four desiderata that, I contend, any such justification should satisfy, and explain how my account meets these desiderata, unlike some previous accounts.

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