In 1908, Zermelo defended the axiom of choice partly on the grounds that it was “necessary for science.” (van Heijenoort 1967, 187-189) I had thought that indispensability arguments were a more recent invention.
"I have no intuition, for example, that that tells against a sharp line between the definitely definitely definitely definitely red and the not definitely definitely definitely definitely red. As a result, accord with intuition cannot guide us in settling the issue; other virtues of the available theories must point the way. And one virtue of a precisificationalist theory which accepts a sharp line in the extreme case of an infinite stack of ‘definitely’ operators is that it allows us to avoid accept- ing weird objects like tower-noses. The appeal of such a theory is therefore undeniable, at least to commonsense moderates about composition, who like precisificational accounts but find tower-noses absurd." [Carmichael 2011]
Grant that accord with intuition cannot guide us in settling the issue of vague existence.
But what, then, is the virtue exhibited by the moderate precisifcationalist account of composition that Carmichael endorses? He finds tower-noses “absurd.” Why?
Historically, the key virtue of moderate / restrictivist views of composition has been that they accord with our intuitions about what exists. The proposition that there is a tower-nose is presumed false because our intuition says so. But if we grant that we have inconsistent intuitions about definiteness (especially higher-order definiteness) and so should not rely on intuition as a deciding vote, then the crucial source of appeal for moderate composition is gone.
Carmichael could respond by backing out of this paragraph and accepting a) the value of intuition and b) a traditional sort of epistemicism. But traditional epistemicism also conflicts with moderate composition.
Amidst widespread public ignorance about economics, values, and what makes for a just distribution of resources in society, the primary public-facing advocacy among academic philosophers concerns our self-policing of conferences.
What are the potential repercussions of China’s economic situation on the U.S. and global economies?
It depends where you sit relative to the Chinese economy. There are countries and companies that have been riding this investment boom that has been driving Chinese growth, but I would argue that is not sustainable and is now collapsing under its own weight. And for those countries–like Australia selling iron ore, Chile selling copper, Brazil selling iron ore, Germany selling machinery–they’re very exposed to this economic adjustment that’s taking place, this correction.
But if your goal over the long term is to sell to the Chinese consumer, and if you have an economy positioned to do that–if you’re a producer of finished goods or a producer of food–then this economic adjustment could be a good thing if it unlocks the buying power of the Chinese consumer. For any economy around the world that wants to sell more to China, that wants to have a more balanced trade relationship with China, a meaningful economic adjustment that resulted in a more balanced domestic economy in China would be a very positive thing.
Here’s a good feeling: you form some beliefs about a topic, rejecting arguments you see as flawed and so on, and then you come across an article in a top journal that directly engages the topic and the same literature. And the author rejects the same arguments that you reject, regards your preferred solution as the best of the lot, and makes an objection to the solution you favor.
And your account already includes an answer to that objection! That’s a good feeling.
"[C]onsider Hud Hudson’s defense of another revisionary ontological view, universalism, against the objection that it has counterintuitive implications. Hudson’s strat- egy for handling the objection is to contend that our intuitions about which composite objects exist have an unreliable source:
‘we simply mistake a strategy for identifying objects that are likely to concern us in some way or other for a guide to which composite objects exist. Furthermore, the mistake is so deeply ingrained in our casual inventory of the world’s furniture … that it illegitimately becomes the source of powerful intuitions that speak against Universalism … Once we fully recognize the source of these intuitions, however, they seem to lose much of their force.’
He then offers the following explanation of why he prefers universalism to eliminativism:
'The costs [of eliminativism] are too high. Once again, I possess a much stronger intuition in favor of the existence of chairs than I do against the existence of that thing which is the fusion of all the extant copies of The Gutenberg Bible, the ruin at Stonehenge, and all the world’s silk.’
But if intuitions about which material objects exist are (as Hudson thinks) the products of a deeply ingrained mistake, it is hard to see why the anti-eliminativist intuitions should be given any credence, whatever their strength.”