Argumenta – Journal of Analytic Philosophy

 

Towards a Particularistic Metaphysics of Recipes [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 10 • Author/s: Giulio Sciacca
Topics: Metaphysics, Ontology

In this paper, I attempt to offer a new metaphysical account of recipes and to make sense of their relations with the authenticity of dishes. In doing so, I first show the untenability of any Platonistic characterisation of recipes, according to which recipes are universals instantiated by dishes. I do this by showing that recipes play a critical explanatory role for the sharing of culinary properties between dishes. That is, there are certain grounding relations between recipes and dishes that would not hold if recipes were Platonic universals. Then, by…

Food, Food Substitutes and Food Supplements [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 10 • Author/s: Helena Siipi
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ontology

Distinguishing between food, food substitutes and supplements is common in everyday life and academic work. The aim of this paper is to analyze this distinction. The question is approached from the point of view of functions. The hypothesis reads as follows: “Food has several nutritional, culinary, social, cultural, aesthetic and other functions. These functions are necessary and sufficient for something to be food. Food substitutes and supplements, serve some, but not many, functions of food. Thus, food substitutes and supplements are not food”. The contemplations of the paper speak against…

Experiments in Visual Perspective: Size Experience

Issue: Issue 10 • Author/s: Brentyn Ramm
Topics: Metaphysics, Philosophy of mind

Phenomenal objectivism explains perceptual phenomenal character by reducing it to an awareness of mind-independent objects, properties, and relations. A challenge for this view is that there is a sense in which a distant tree looks smaller than a closer tree even when they are the same objective size (perceptual size variation). The dual content view is a popular objectivist account in which such experiences are explained by my objective spatial relation to the tree, in particular visual angle (perspectival size). I describe a series of first-person experiments for investigating size…

Fiction and Imagination: Introduction [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 11 • Author/s: Carola Barbero, Matteo Plebani, Alberto Voltolini
Topics: Aesthetics, Metaphysics, Ontology, Philosophy of language, Philosophy of mind

Simulation Modelling in Fiction [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 11 • Author/s: Conrad Aquilina
Topics: Aesthetics, Metaphysics, Ontology, Philosophy of language, Philosophy of mind, Philosophy of science

This essay assesses the claim that model structures have features in common with narratology and fiction-making. It proposes that simulation—a form of modelling—is amenable to literary narratives which are hypermimetic, in the sense that their cognitive or material reception by the reader demands a phenomenology attained through the heightening of a mimetic secondary reality. Simulation models construct frames of reference for target systems through self-validating mechanisms, and the same is true of narratology. I specifically argue that the modelling of a world out of text, one which is written and…

Unlocking Limits [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 11 • Author/s: James Nguyen, Roman Frigg
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ontology, Philosophy of science

In a series of recent papers we have developed what we call the DEKI account of scientific representation, according to which models represent their targets via keys. These keys provide a systematic way to move from model-features to features to be imputed to their targets. We show how keys allow for accurate representation in the presence of idealisation, and further illustrate how investigating them provides novel ways to approach certain currently debated questions in the philosophy of science. To add specificity, we offer a detailed analysis of a kind of…

Fiction, Models and the Problem of the Gap [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 11 • Author/s: Frederick Kroon
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ontology, Philosophy of science

An increasingly popular view holds that scientific modeling involves something akin to the imaginative construction of a fictional story along with its cast of fictional characters, not just the positing of entities (models) that yield a false but useful representation of their targets. The present paper focuses on the following problem for this view of models. If a model is a fiction how can it possibly be said to represent some aspect of the real world? How can the unreal represent the real, and in a way that allows modelers to…

Learning through the Scientific Imagination [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 11 • Author/s: Fiora Salis
Topics: Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ontology, Philosophy of science

Theoretical models are widely held as sources of knowledge of reality. Imagination is vital to their development and to the generation of plausible hypotheses about reality. But how can imagination, which is typically held to be completely free, effectively instruct us about reality? In this paper I argue that the key to answering this question is in constrained uses of imagination. More specifically, I identify make-believe as the right notion of imagination at work in modelling. I propose the first overarching taxonomy of types of constraints on scientific imagination that…

Spoiler Alert! Unveiling the Plot in Thought Experiments and other Fictional Works [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 11 • Author/s: Daniele Molinari
Topics: Aesthetics, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Philosophy of science

According to a recent philosophical claim, “works of fiction are thought experiments” (Elgin 2007: 47), though there are relevant differences, as the role of spoilers shows—they can ruin a novel but improve the understanding we can gain through a thought experiment. In the present article I will analyze the role of spoilers and argue for a more differentiated perspective on the relation between literature and thought experiments. I will start with a short discussion of different perspectives on thought experiments and argue that the mental-model view and the conception of…

From Fictional Disagreements to Thought Experiments [Special Issue]

Issue: Issue 11 • Author/s: Louis Rouillé
Topics: Aesthetics, Epistemology, Metaphysics, Ontology, Philosophy of science

In this paper, I present a conceptual connection between fictional disagreements and thought experiments. Fictional disagreements happen when two readers disagree about a fictional detail. The “great beetle debate” is a paradigmatic case. Nabokov once argued that Gregor Samsa, in The Metamorphosis, metamorphosed into a beetle. Yet many critics and readers imagine Gregor to be a big cockroach. Analysing a fictional disagreement is interesting because it exhibits the informational structure which is common to all fictions. First, it shows the distinction between the fictional foreground (what is expressed by the…
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