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  • 1. Coelho Mollo, Dimitri
    Against Computational Perspectivalism2021In: British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, ISSN 0007-0882, E-ISSN 1464-3537, Vol. 72, no 4, p. 1129-1153Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    Computational perspectivalism has been recently proposed as an alternative to mainstream accounts of physical computation, and especially to the teleologically-based mechanistic view. It takes physical computation to be partly dependent on explanatory perspectives and eschews appeal to teleology in helping individuate computational systems. I assess several varieties of computational perspectivalism, showing that they either collapse into existing non-perspectival views or end up with unsatisfactory or implausible accounts of physical computation. Computational perspectivalism fails, therefore, to be a compelling alternative to perspective-independent theories of computation in physical systems. I conclude that a teleologically-based, non-perspectival mechanistic account of physical computation is to be preferred.

  • 2.
    Williamson, Timothy Luke
    et al.
    School of Philosophy, Australian National University New Acton, Australia.
    Sandgren, Alexander
    Umeå University, Faculty of Arts, Department of historical, philosophical and religious studies.
    Law-abiding causal decision theory2023In: British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, ISSN 0007-0882, E-ISSN 1464-3537, Vol. 74, no 4, p. 899-920Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this paper we discuss how causal decision theory should be modified to handle a classof problematic cases involving deterministic laws. Causal decision theory, as it stands,is problematically biased against your endorsing deterministic propositions (for example it tells you to deny Newtonian physics, regardless of how confident you are of its truth).

    Our response is that this is not a problem for causal decision theory per se, but arises be-cause of the standard method for assessing the truth of certain counterfactuals. The truthof deterministic laws is ‘modally fragile’ on the standard semantics for counterfactuals: ifdeterminism is true and you were to do otherwise, the laws would be different. We provide two ways of avoiding this problem: (1) supplement the standard semantics for counter-factuals with impossible worlds, or (2) introduce rigid designators into the description of problematic decision situations. We argue that both of these approaches are well motivatedand can be readily incorporated into Lewisian causal decision theory.

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