Belgrade Philosophical Annual 29 / 2016

THE METAPHYSICS OF QUANTUM THEORY by Tim Maudlin

Abstract

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COMMON CAUSE COMPLETABILITY OF NON-CLASSICAL PROBABILITY SPACES by Zalan Gyenis and Miklos Redei

Abstract

We prove that under some technical assumptions on a general, non-classical probability space, the probability space is extendible into a larger probability space that is common cause closed in the sense of containing a common cause of every correlation between elements in the space. It is argued that the philosophical significance of this common cause completability result is that it allows the defence of the Common Cause principle against certain attempts of falsification. Some open problems concerning possible strengthening of the common cause completability result are formulated.

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SPACETIME AS A CAUSAL SET: UNIVERSE AS A GROWING BLOCK? by Aristidis Arageorgis

Abstract

The causal set programme towards a quantum theory of gravity is situated vis-à-vis the long-standing debate between eternalism (block theory) and past-presentism or possibilism (growing block theory) in the philosophy of time. It is argued that despite “appearances” and declarations to the contrary, the programme does not side with growing block theorists when it comes to harboring a robust notion of Becoming – at least, not more than familiar relativistic theories on continuous spacetime manifolds. The problem stems mainly from the postulate of discrete general covariance – a requirement imposed upon the only fully worked out kind of dynamics for causal sets to date, a dynamics of a classical stochastic process.

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THREE PRINCIPLES LEADING TO THE BELL INEQUALITIES by Gabor Hofer-Szabo

Abstract

In the paper we compare three principles accounting for correlations, namely Reichenbach’s Common Cause Principle, Bell’s Local Causality Principle, and Einstein’s Reality Criterion and relate them to the Bell inequalities. We show that there are two routes connecting the principles to the Bell inequalities. In case of Reichenbach’s Common Cause Principle and Bell’s Local Causality Principle one assumes a non-conspiratorial joint common cause for a set of correlations. In case of Einstein’s Reality Criterion one assumes strongly non- conspiratorial separate common causes for a set of perfect correlations. Strongly non-conspiratorial separate common causes for perfect correlations, however, form a non-conspiratorial joint common cause. Hence the two routes leading the Bell inequalities meet.

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SPACETIME SINGULARITIES AND INVARIANCE by O. Cristinel Stoica and Iulian D. Toader

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EXPERIMENTAL BACKGROUND AND THEORY-LADENNESS OF EXPERIMENTATION by V. S. Pronskikh

Abstract

In this work, I examine the roles of the experimental background (effects capable of mimicking the one under study) in cognition, and its relation to the problem of closedness of experimental system. Taking as examples the experiments in particle physics widely discussed in the philosophy of science (discoveries of muon and neutral currents), I suggest that determination of the experimental background often implies an explicit use of components of high-level theories. I argue that the neutron background in the neutral current experiments resulted from the same sort of phenomena as the events in the detector did although those phenomena occurred in the materials surrounding the detector rather than in the detector itself. Therefore, it is justified herein that due to the presence of background experimental outcomes are entertained with theory of phenomenon.

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ANTHROPIC ARGUMENTS OUTSIDE OF COSMOLOGY AND STRING THEORY by Milan M. Cirkovic

Abstract

Anthropic reasoning has lately been strongly associated with the string theory landscape and some theories of particle cosmology, such as cosmological inflation. The association is not, contrary to multiple statements by physicists and philosophers alike, necessary. On the contrary, there are clear reasons and instances in which the anthropic reasoning is useful in a diverse range of fields such as planetary sciences, geophysics, future studies, risk analysis, origin of life studies, evolutionary theory, astrobiology and SETI studies, ecology, or even strategic studies and global policy. The association of anthropic reasoning with string theory and particle cosmology has not only become the standard wisdom, but has been often construed in a negative way, in order to demonstrate or insinuate that such reasoning is too abstract or even belongs to “fringe science”, remote from run-of-the-mill research practices in any other more “mundane” and less theoretical scientific discipline. The purpose of this paper is to (i) analyse some of the counter-examples to the standard wisdom, (ii) suggest that the anthropic reasoning is more flexible, more general, and less fashion-driven than the detractors state. In addition, we consider some historical and/or extrascientific motivation for this persistent prejudice.

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DETERMINISMS by Vladimir Marko

Abstract

Determinism is usually understood as a commonly clear and obvious thesis. In the most of the actual literature a character of determinism is rarely enough explicitly underlined and we believe that it is the reason why common uses of the term often leads to inconsistencies and present a source of misunderstandings of different sorts. Here we will try to show that that there are many forms of determinism; that the concept of determinism has a composite character; and that conceptions of determinism can be mutually discriminated and organized according to particular elements they are consisting of by applying the procedure of classification.

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CONTEMPORARY CHALLENGES IN MORAL AND LEGAL TREATMENT OF ANIMALS by Vlasta Sikimic and Andrea Berber

Abstract

The purpose of the present paper is to demonstrate the inconsistencies between ethical theory and legal practice of animal treatment. Specifically, we discuss contemporary legal solutions, based on three case studies – Serbian, German and UK positive law, and point out the inconsistencies in them. Moreover, we show that the main cause of these inconsistencies is anthropocentric view of moral relevance. Finally, when it comes to the different treatment of animals living in the wild and domestic animals, we show that the current theoretical explanations are unsatisfactory.

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DELIBERATION ACROSS DEEP DIVISIONS. TRANSFORMATIVE MOMENTS by Maria Clara Jaramillo, Rousiley C. M. Maia, Simona Mameli and Jurg Steiner

Abstract

In group discussions of any kind there tends to be an up and down in the level of deliberation. To capture this dynamic we coined the concept of Deliberative Transformative Moments (DTM). In deeply divided societies deliberation is particularly important in order to arrive at peace and stability, but deliberation is also very difficult to be attained. Therefore, we wanted to learn about the conditions that in group discussions across the deep divisions of such societies help deliberation. We organized such group discussions between ex-guerrillas and ex-paramilitaries in Colombia, Serbs and Bosnjaks in Srebrenica, and poor residents and local police officers in the favelas (slums) of Brazil. We could identify factors that help to transform discussions from low to high deliberation and risk transformations in the opposite direction. We could also identify factors that help to keep a discussion at a high level of deliberation, and, in a next step, we could determine to what extent long sequences of deliberation had a positive impact on the outcomes of the discussions. Finally, we show how our research results can have a long term effect if it is used in schools of such deeply divided societies.

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THE CONCEPT OF MIXED GOVERNMENT IN CLASSICAL AND EARLY MODERN REPUBLICANISM by Ivan Matic

Abstract

This paper will present an analysis of the concept of mixed government in political philosophy, accentuating its role as the central connecting thread both between theories within classical and early modern republicanism and of the two eras within the republican tradition. The first part of the paper will offer a definition of mixed government, contrasting it with separation of powers and explaining its potential significance in contemporary political though. The second part will offer a comprehensive, broad analysis of the concept, based on political theories of four thinkers of paramount influence: Aristotle, Cicero, Machiavelli and Guicciardini. 1 In the final part, the theories and eras of republican tradition will be compared based on the previous analysis, establishing their essential similarities and differences.

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THE PSYCHOLOGICAL PLAUSIBILITY OF RELIGIOUS FICTIONALISM by Nikola Djurkovic

Abstract

In this paper I explain the psychological plausibility of religious fictionalism by finding the proper form of fiction that is analogous in relevant aspects to religious practice. First I examine the forms of fiction that are commonly listed in literature and explain why participating in these forms does not resemble taking part in religious community. After that, I establish characteristics of religious practice that the appropriate form of fiction would have to share, and find that acting shares most of these features. However, I argue that acting is still significantly different in some aspects, and propose the method acting as practiced by Daniel Day-Lewis as the only form of fiction that is analogous in all relevant facets. Then, by exploring how a method actor relates to the objects of the fictional world and to the real objects that do not belong to that world, and by finding similarities in his method and in religious fictionalism, I explain how the religious fictionalist differs from the realist in the content of his belief. I also use this analogy to explain the motivation for being a religious fictionalist: namely, to still be able to participate in religious practice because we find something worthy in it, although some doctrines of religion directly contradict the facts of science and our moral ideals.

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