Metaphysics

Discrimination and coin tosses

Bob is deciding whom to hire for a job where race is clearly irrelevant to job performance. There are two clear front-runners. Bob hires the white front-runner because that candidate is white. ¶ Bob has done something very wrong. Why was it wrong? A naive thought is that what he did wrong was to take into account something irrelevant to job performance while deciding whom to hire. But that can’t be right. For suppose that all the job-performance related facts were on par as far as Bob could tell. And then suppose that Alice when dealing with a similar case just said to herself “Heads, A, and tails, B”, tossed a coin, got tails, and hired candidate B. Alice didn’t do anything wrong. But Alice also made a decision on the basis of something irrelevant to job performance, namely whether the prior heads/tails assignment to a candidate matched the outcome of the coin toss. ¶ In terms of deciding on irrelevancies, the paradigm of a fair tie-breaking procedure—a coin flip—and the paradigm of an unfair tie-breaking procedure—a racist decision—look very similar. ¶ Here is a standard thing to say about this (cf. Scanlon): When the job-performance related facts are tied, and we still have to choose, we just have to choose on the basis of something not related to job performance. But that something had better not be something that forms the basis for large-scale patterns of dominance in society. Both Alice’s and Bob’s procedures are based on something not... -

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Preparing for the end of the world as we know it

From the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures Collective ¶ Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures (GTDF) is a collective of researchers, artists, educators, activists and Indigenous knowledge keepers from the Global North and South. Our collective focuses on how artistic and educational practices can gesture towards the possibility of decolonial futures. We work at the interface of questions related to historical, systemic and on-going violence and questions related to the unsustainability of “modernity-coloniality”. We use the term modernity-coloniality to mark the fact that modernity cannot exist without expropriation, extraction, exploitation, dispossession, destitution, genocides and ecocides. ¶ Drawing on Indigenous critiques and practices from the communities we collaborate with in Brazil, Peru, Mexico and Canada, we propose that a decolonial future requires a different mode of (co-) existence that will... -

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The Legacy of Schopenhauer’s Metaphysics

The general attitude towards Arthur Schopenhauer’s metaphysics is rather fiercely critical and at times even tendentious. It seems that the figure of Schopenhauer as an irredeemably flawed, stubborn, and contradictory philosopher serves as a leitmotiv among scholars. Julian Young describes Schopenhauer as “a stubborn personality unwilling to admit that... -

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G.A. Barnard’s 105th Birthday: The Bayesian “catch-all” factor: probability vs likelihood

G. A. Barnard: 23 Sept 1915-30 July, 2002 ¶ Yesterday was statistician George Barnard’s 105th birthday. To acknowledge it, I reblog an exchange between Barnard, Savage (and others) on likelihood vs probability. The exchange is from pp 79-84 (of what I call) “The Savage Forum” (Savage, 1962).[i] A portion appears... -

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Preparing for the end of the world as we know it From the Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures Collective Gesturing Towards Decolonial Futures (GTDF) is a collective of researchers, artists, educators, activists and Indigenous knowledge keepers from the Global North and South. Our collective focuses on how artistic and educational practices can gesture towards the possibility of decolonial futures. We work at the interface of questions related to historical, systemic and on-going violence and questions related to the unsustainability of “modernity-coloniality”. We use the term modernity-coloniality to mark the... Synthetic Zero -


G.A. Barnard’s 105th Birthday: The Bayesian “catch-all” factor: probability vs likelihood G. A. Barnard: 23 Sept 1915-30 July, 2002 Yesterday was statistician George Barnard’s 105th birthday. To acknowledge it, I reblog an exchange between Barnard, Savage (and others) on likelihood vs probability. The exchange is from pp 79-84 (of what I call) “The Savage Forum” (Savage, 1962).[i] A portion appears on p. 420 of my Statistical Inference as Severe Testing: How to Get Beyond the Statistics Wars (2018, CUP). Six other posts on Barnard are linked... Error Statistics -


Speech Acts [Revised entry by Mitchell Green on September 24, 2020. Changes to: Main text, Bibliography, notes.html] We are attuned in everyday conversation not primarily to the sentences we utter to one another, but to the speech acts that those utterances are used to perform: requests, warnings, invitations, promises, apologies, predictions, and the like. Such acts are staples of communicative life, but only became a topic of sustained investigation, at least in the English-speaking world, in the... Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


The Legacy of Schopenhauer’s Metaphysics The general attitude towards Arthur Schopenhauer’s metaphysics is rather fiercely critical and at times even tendentious. It seems that the figure of Schopenhauer as an irredeemably flawed, stubborn, and contradictory philosopher serves as a leitmotiv among scholars. Julian Young describes Schopenhauer as “a stubborn personality unwilling to admit that the central claim of his philosophy–that […] The post The Legacy of Schopenhauer’s Metaphysics first appeared on Blog of the APA. Blog of the APA -


Discrimination and coin tosses Bob is deciding whom to hire for a job where race is clearly irrelevant to job performance. There are two clear front-runners. Bob hires the white front-runner because that candidate is white. Bob has done something very wrong. Why was it wrong? A naive thought is that what he did wrong was to take into account something irrelevant to job performance while deciding whom to hire. But that can’t be right. For suppose that all... Alexander Pruss -


The Ethics and Epistemology of Trust The Ethics and Epistemology of Trust Trust is a topic of long-standing philosophical interest because it is indispensable to the success of almost every kind of coordinated human activity, from politics and business to sport and scientific research. Even more, trust is necessary for the successful dissemination of knowledge, and, by extension, for nearly any … Continue reading The Ethics and Epistemology of Trust → Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy -


The Copernican Principle of Consciousness According to the Copernican Principle in cosmology, we should assume that we do not occupy a special or privileged place in the cosmos, such as its exact center. According to the Anthropic Principle, we should be unsurprised to discover that we occupy a cosmological position consistent with the existence of intelligent life. The Anthropic Principle is a partial exception to the Copernican Principle: Even if cosmic locations capable of supporting intelligent life are extremely rare,... Splintered Mind -


I checked I called the Chatham County Board of Elections and I think I am okay.  The nice young lady at the other end of the phone told me that my vote has already been scanned into the system and will be reported on election day along with the votes cast that day. Now if only the rest of the country had the same system we would be in pretty good shape, but it doesn't, and we... The Philosopher’s Stone -


NOW I AM REALLY FRIGHTENED Well, I took the suggestion to read this article in the Atlantic and now I am really scared.  What can I do? The only thing I can think of is to call the Chatham County Board of Elections and make sure that my absentee ballot will actually be counted on election day.  If that is not the case, then I need to find out how I can take that back and vote early in person.  Some slight... The Philosopher’s Stone -


Gödel Without Tears, not quite the end I was intending to post Chapter 17 today — the final chapter, dealing with Löb’s Theorem and related results. But looking again at my draft version yesterday, I thought it was/is rather a mess, and that some of the material is even in the wrong chapter. So some not-quite-trivial rewriting is needed. It will be a day or two before I can get down to doing that. Meanwhile, many thanks to all those (some here,... Logic Matters -


The Music of Dan Fogelberg Peoria Riverfront Park Dan Fogelberg Memorial Site “To every man the mystery Sings a different song He fills his page of history Dreams his dreams and is gone.” A few weeks ago I wrote a post about an especially moving song about death by the American musician Dan Fogelberg whose lyrical rhymes often touch on existential themes. I have listened to his entire musical opus and virtually every song he wrote says something profound about... Reason and Meaning -


Make Arrangements with Yourself Reading Samuel Johnson’s poem reminded me of the enigmatic lines of Neil Young which may refer in an oblique way to hire purchase agreements/arrangements whereby when you have paid half the price of a vehicle you can sell it back, being young enough to sell or keep on paying until you own it as a metaphor for contemplating dropping out.loosened from the minor’s tether,free to mortgage or to sell,Wild as wind, and light as feather,Bid the... Ombhurbhuva -


DONE AND DONE Okay, I have donated $250 to each of four candidates or funds recommended by readers who offered suggestions. That takes care of my royalty check with a bit more added from what I save by only eating half a dinner each night with my wife eating the other half (it helps to keep my weight down.) Many thanks to all made who suggestions and let's hope it helps. The Philosopher’s Stone -


From doxastic obligations to obligations to imagine – An initial case study Chris is a PhD student at the Ruhr University Bochum in Germany. He is interested in semantics for expressions involving “imagination” and its variations, the imagery model, and the relation between imagination and belief. Photo Credit: Christian Schultz (Chris’s uncle) A post by Christopher BaduraAccording to Aaron Smuts prescriptions to imagine are rare:we might ask if we are ever morally required to imagine something or another. Some might think that we are occasionally morally required... The Junkyard -


A REQUEST FOR HELP I have a serious question for my readership. Because I am committed to keeping Susie and myself safe from the virus, and also because of physical considerations attendant upon my age, I cannot really get out and do door-to-door campaigning. I have given a fair amount of money to a variety of campaigns but I just received a check for $707 as royalties this year on my half-century old book In Defense of Anarchism, so... The Philosopher’s Stone -


What’s Utopian When The Status Quo is Unrealistic? (guest post by David Estlund) “In these moments, we should appreciate that unrealistic political thought, including political philosophy, is of profound practical importance, and that it is overly discouraged—both in the culture, and even in the halls of academia…. We, at least some of us, must always be thinking beyond what seems realistic or feasible, about what would be better. That’s how to be ready when the chance comes.” The following is a guest post* by David Estlund, Lombardo Family Professor of... Daily Nous -


NIGHTMARE SCENARIOS All right, I will admit it, I am terrified. I just listened to a discussion with two constitutional law experts about Trump’s plan to challenge the results of the election, presumably on the grounds of some imaginary mail-in ballot fraud. What happens if, on December 8, two competing slates of electors from a number of states are presented to the Senate and the lame-duck Republicans vote to throw the election to Trump? I actually believe... The Philosopher’s Stone -


Game Dissonance (1): What is Game Dissonance? Over on ihobo today, the start of a brand new three-part serial about cognitive dissonance, narrative design, and the aesthetic flaws of videogames. Here's an extract from the first part: In suggesting that an aspect of what went wrong in Bioshock was that the player lacked a choice, Hocking reveals a likely cause of his dissonance: the assumption that player choice is an essential missing link in bridging the gap between a game story and... Only a Game -


Gödel Without Tears, slowly, 16 Today’s chapter is optimistically entitled ‘Proving the Second Incompleteness Theorem’. Of course we don’t actually do that! But we do say something more about what it takes to prove it (stating the so-called derivability conditions, and saying what it takes to prove them). As an extra, we say how it can be that there are consistent theories which ‘prove’ their own inconsistency. The post Gödel Without Tears, slowly, 16 appeared first on Logic Matters. Logic Matters -


Live Exhibit: Bayes Factors & Those 6 ASA P-value Principles . Live Exhibit: So what happens if you replace “p-values” with “Bayes Factors” in the 6 principles from the 2016 American Statistical Association (ASA) Statement on P-values?  Does the one positive assertion hold? Are the 5 “don’ts” true?   P-values can indicate how incompatible the data are with a specified statistical model. P-values do not measure the probability that the studied hypothesis is true, or the probability that the data were produced by random chance... Error Statistics -