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AMERICAN PHILOSOPHICAL QUARTERLY: Vol. 56, No. 4, October 2019.

Evidence and Self-Fulfilling Belief, GREGORY ANTHILL

This paper considers the relationship between evidence and self-fulfilling beliefs--beliefs whose propositional contents will be true just in case, and because, an agent believes them. Following Grice, many philosophers hold that believing such propositions would involve an impermissible form of bootstrapping. This paper argues that such objections get their force from a popular but problematic function-model of theoretical deliberation, and that attending to the case of self-fulfilling belief can help us see why such a model is mistaken. The paper shows that on a revised model of theoretical deliberation our evidence will problematically underdetermine any appropriate doxastic attitude: when belief in a proposition is self-fulfilling, our evidence is insufficient to support belief, disbelief, or even suspended judgment toward that proposition.

Concept Designation, ARVID BAVE

The paper proposes a way for adherents of Fregean structured propositions to designate propositions and other complex senses/concepts using a special kind of functor. The author considers some formulations from Peacocke's works and highlight certain problems that arise as we try to quantify over propositional constituents while referring to propositions using "that"-clauses. With the functor notation, by contrast, we can quantify over senses/concepts with objectual, first-order quantifiers and speak without further ado about their involvement in propositions. The functor notation also turns out to come with an important kind of expressive strengthening and is shown to be neutral on several controversial issues.

On Christian Theism and Unrestricted Composition, ROSS INMAN and ALEXANDER PRUSS

The aim in this paper is to bring to light two sources of tension for Christian theists who endorse the principle of unrestricted composition (UC), that necessarily, for any objects, the xs, there exists an object, y, such that the xs compose y. In Value, the authors argue that a (concrete) composite object made of wholly valuable parts is at least as valuable as its most valuable part, and so the mereological sum of God and a wholly valuable part would be at least as valuable as God; but Christian theism arguably demands that no concrete object other than God can be as valuable as God. And in Creation, the authors argue that the conjunction of theism and unrestricted composition, together with the claim that every concrete entity that is numerically distinct from God is created by God, implies that God is created by God. They conclude by examining the prospects of restricting the thesis of unrestricted composition to the domain of material or spatiotemporal objects as a way to sidestep the above arguments against the conjunction of Christian theism and unrestricted composition.

Mastering Mary, GABRIEL OAL RABIN

In this article, the author makes three claims about the interactions between concept mastery and the knowledge argument. First, he argues that, contra Ball, the concept mastery response to the knowledge argument does not suffer from the heterogeneity of concept mastery. Second, he argues that, when doing metaphysics by relating propositions on the basis of whether a hypothetical agent who knew a base collection could infer a target proposition, it is legitimate to rely on propositions that are not contained in the base, as long as those propositions are required for mastery of relevant concepts. One upshot is that, when checking whether the physical truths a priori entail the consciousness truths, it is fair game to rely on substantive truths about consciousness. Third, the author argues that the only version of the knowledge argument that has any hope of succeeding against physicalism completely lacks the argument's driving intuition: that Mary learns something new when she emerges from the black and white room.

A Capacity Account of Memory, MARY SALVAGGIO

In this paper, the author argues for a capacity account of memory, according to which memory is a neurocognitive capacity to encode, store, and retrieve information. Phenomenal accounts classify memory as having a certain phenomenal character. However, the mental processes generating that phenomenal character are separate from the processes that generate content. Causal accounts require a causal connection between the subject's current representation and their original representation. However, when memory is constructed, this connection does not exist. Unlike its major competitors, the capacity account picks out an epistemically interesting class of memory beliefs while accommodating the constructive nature of memory.

Epistemological Disjunctivism and the Internalist Challenge, KEGAN SHAW

The paper highlights how a popular version of epistemological disjunctivism labors under a kind of internalist challenge--a challenge that seems to have gone largely unacknowledged by disjunctivists. This is the challenge to vindicate the supposed internalist insight that disjunctivists claim their view does well to protect. The paper argues that if we advance disjunctivism within a context that recognizes a distinction between merely functional and judgmental belief, we get a view that easily overcomes the internalist challenge.

Ability and the Past, BOKAI YAO

Two principles regarding agents' specific ability are proposed. The first claims that ordinary agents (that is, agents who are not backward time travelers) always lack the ability to do otherwise in the past, while the second principle observes that it is at least possible for some agent to have the ability to perform some action in the past. These two principles further give rise to three desiderata for a true account of ability. Two accounts of ability in the literature--the conditional analysis and the dispositional account--are then examined, but they both fail to meet the desiderata simultaneously. A modal principle of ability is motivated at the end.
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Title Annotation:CURRENT PERIODICAL ARTICLES: PHILOSOPHICAL ABSTRACTS
Publication:The Review of Metaphysics
Date:Dec 1, 2019
Words:901
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