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  • 1. Bradley, Richard
    et al.
    Stefánsson, H. Orri
    Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Filosofiska institutionen.
    Counterfactual Desirability2017Ingår i: British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, ISSN 0007-0882, E-ISSN 1464-3537, Vol. 68, nr 2, s. 485-533Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    The desirability of what actually occurs is often influenced by what could have been. Preferences based on such value dependencies between actual and counterfactual outcomes generate a class of problems for orthodox decision theory, the best-known perhaps being the so-called Allais paradox. In this article we solve these problems by extending Richard Jeffrey’s decision theory to counterfactual prospects, using a multidimensional possible-world semantics for conditionals, and showing that preferences that are sensitive to counterfactual considerations can still be desirability-maximizing. We end the article by investigating the conditions necessary and sufficient for a desirability function to be a standard expected-utility function. It turns out that the additional conditions imply highly implausible epistemic principles.

  • 2.
    Dawid, Richard
    Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Filosofiska institutionen.
    Does the No Alternatives Argument need Gerrymandering to Be Significant?2021Ingår i: British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, ISSN 0007-0882, E-ISSN 1464-3537Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    In a recent article, Menon has argued that the no alternatives argument can only be significantif the priors for numbers of alternatives are tuned in an implausible way (gerrymandered, as he calls it). In this article, I demonstrate that priors needed for making a no alternatives argument significant are in line with what can be plausibly assumed in a successful research field.

  • 3.
    Dawid, Richard
    et al.
    Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Filosofiska institutionen.
    Friederich, Simon
    Epistemic Separability and Everettian Branches: A Critique of Sebens and Carroll2022Ingår i: British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, ISSN 0007-0882, E-ISSN 1464-3537, Vol. 73, nr 3, s. 711-721Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    We discuss the proposal by Sebens and Carroll to derive the Born rule in Everettian quantum mechanics from a principle they call ‘ESP-QM’. We argue that the proposal fails: ESP-QM is not, as Sebens and Carroll argue, a ‘less general version’ of an independently plausible principle, ESP, and can only be motivated by the empirical success of quantum mechanics, including use of the Born rule. Therefore, ESP-QM cannot have the status of a meta-theoretical principle of reasoning and provides no viable basis for deriving the Born rule.

  • 4.
    Häggqvist, Sören
    et al.
    Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Filosofiska institutionen.
    Wikforss, Åsa
    Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Filosofiska institutionen.
    Natural Kinds and Natural Kind Terms: Myth and Reality2018Ingår i: British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, ISSN 0007-0882, E-ISSN 1464-3537, Vol. 69, nr 4, s. 911-933Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    The article examines the role of natural kinds in semantic theorizing, which has largely been conducted in isolation from relevant work in science, metaphysics, and philosophy of science. We argue that the Kripke–Putnam account of natural kind terms, despite recent claims to the contrary, depends on a certain metaphysics of natural kinds; that the metaphysics usually assumed—micro-essentialism—is untenable even in a ‘placeholder’ version; and that the currently popular homeostatic property cluster theory of natural kinds is correct only to an extent that fails to vindicate the Kripke–Putnam account. This undermines the metasemantics required for anti-descriptivist semantics.

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  • 5.
    Needham, Paul
    Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Filosofiska institutionen.
    Determining Sameness of Substance2017Ingår i: British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, ISSN 0007-0882, E-ISSN 1464-3537, Vol. 68, nr 4, s. 953-979Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    The idea that the extension of a chemical substance is fixed by determining what stands in the relation of being the same substance to a paradigm sample plays a substantial role in chemistry, and procedures of identification which don’t make direct use of the method can be traced back to ones that do. But paradigm samples are not typically selected by ostension, as in Putnam’s version of this procedure. The relevance of ostension is questioned after a discussion of the establishment of paradigm specimens in the analysis of some contents of crude oil and an examination of the general features of the same substance relation which takes into account the temporal dependency and the consequent role of characteristic features of substances.

  • 6.
    Needham, Paul
    Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Filosofiska institutionen.
    Process and Change: From a Thermodynamic Perspective2013Ingår i: British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, ISSN 0007-0882, E-ISSN 1464-3537, Vol. 64, nr 2, s. 395-422Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
  • 7.
    Needham, Paul
    Stockholms universitet, Humanistiska fakulteten, Filosofiska institutionen.
    Substance and Time2010Ingår i: British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, ISSN 0007-0882, E-ISSN 1464-3537, Vol. 61, nr 3, s. 485-512Artikel i tidskrift (Refereegranskat)
    Abstract [en]

    ‘Water is H2O’ is naturally construed as an equivalence. What are the things to which the two predicates ‘is water’ and ‘is H2O’ apply? The equivalence presupposes that substance properties are distinguished from phase properties. A substance like water (H2O) exhibits various phases (solid, liquid, gas) under appropriate conditions, and a given (say liquid) phase may comprise several substances. What general features distinguish substance from phase properties? I tackle these questions on the basis of an interpretation of a theorem of thermodynamics known as Gibbs' phase rule which systematically relates these two kinds of feature of matter. The interpretation develops the idea that the things substance and phase predicates apply to are quantities of matter which sustain mereological relations and operations and exploits these mereological features in distinguishing the two kinds of property. Gibbs' phase rule is a macroscopic principle applicable for macroscopic intervals of time. Bringing intervals of time into the picture calls for a more detailed consideration of the relation between macroscopic equilibria and the corresponding dynamic equilibria at the microlevel and throws into question the simple idea that quantities can always be regarded as collections of molecules. The account provides some insight into how the continuous, macroscopic conception of matter (‘gunk’) is reconciled with the discrete microscopic conception and illuminates the interpretation of substances present in mixtures.

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