Sunday, February 10, 2013

Philosopher's Carnival #148

Hi all! This month, I have the honor of hosting the monthly blog review, Philosopher's Carnival. This reviews some of the best philosophy postings of the previous month.

Two Metaphysical Pictures
, by Richard Yetter Chappell of Philosophy et cetera, outlines a broad classification of metaphysical theories into two different types. (For the record, I prefer the second type! However, as one comment rightly points out, we should avoid lumping views together to create false dichotomies in this way.)

Special relativity and the A-theory
, at Alexander Pruss's Blog, discusses the relationship between the philosophical view of time and what we know from physics. (This is related to the two views of the previous post, at least to the extent that you buy the false dichotomy.)

A Question About Religious Experience and Safety Accounts of Knowledge, by ex-apologist, discusses the relationship between the safety condition for knowledge and Christian epistemology.

Metaphysical Skepticism a la Kriegel, by Eric Schwitzgebel of The Splintered Mind, reviews a paper by Uriah Kriegel which suggests that although there may be meaningful metaphysical questions about which there are true and false answers, we cannot arrive at knowledge of those answers by any means. In particular, there is no means by which we can come to know if sets of objects have a literal existence or are merely mental constructs.

A pair of posts by Jeffrey Ketland of M-Phi discuss the Quine-Putnam Indispensability Argument: The Quine-Putnam Indispensability Argument and Other Formulations of the Quine-Putnam Indispensability Argument. The indispensability argument also deals with the question of whether sets (and other mathematical constructions) have a literal existence. The idea is that our best scientific theories make use of sets of objects (and other mathematical constructs), so we must either accept their existence or reject our best science.

Grim Reapers vs. Uncaused Beginnings, by Joshua Rasmussen of Prosblogion, gives a discussion of some "grim reaper" arguments. The Grim Reaper argument is an argument which is supposed to show the implausibility of an infinite past. Joshua shows that a very similar argument would conclude that a finite past with an uncaused beginning is equally implausible.

A Modification to Lewis's Theory of Counterfactualsby Tristan Haze of Sprachlogik, questions the role that "similarity" of possible worlds should play in our evaluation of counterfactuals.

Computational Metaphysics, by Tomkow, provides a metaphysical companion to computational physics. The idea is illustrated by giving a computational-metaphysics account of counterfactuals, including Lewis's "similarity".

Substitution and Models, Part 1: Bolzano, Quine, Tarski and Boolos
, by Jason of Metaphysical Values, reviews the debate between substitution-based understanding of quantifiers and model-theoretic accounts (in preparation for a series of posts about the issue).

That's it for this month! Tune in for the next carnival at, March 10. If you spy any interesting philosophy articles, submit them for the carnival!

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