Ergo is an open access philosophy journal accepting submissions on all philosophical topics and from all philosophical traditions. This includes, among other things: history of philosophy, work in both the analytic and continental traditions, as well as formal and empirically informed philosophy. Ergo is strongly committed to diversity and especially welcomes submissions from members of groups currently underrepresented in philosophy.
Submission and publication are free, and authors retain copyright under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 license. Generous support from the undergraduate departments of philosophy at the University of Toronto's St. George and Mississauga campuses and the University of Toronto's graduate department of philosophy make this arrangement possible.
Papers are published as they are accepted; there is no regular publication schedule.
This paper develops the Value-Based Theory of Reasons in some detail. The central part of the paper introduces a number of theoretically puzzling features of normative reasons. These include weight, transmission, overlap, and the promiscuity of reasons. I argue that the Value-Based Theory of Reasons elegantly accounts for these features. This paper is programmatic. Its goal is to put the promising but surprisingly overlooked Value-Based Theory of Reasons on the table in discussions of normative reasons, and to draw attention to a number of areas for fruitful further research.
The value of varied evidence, I propose, lies in the fact that more varied evidence is less coherent on the assumption of the negation of the hypothesis under consideration than less varied evidence. I contrast my own analysis with several other Bayesian analyses of the value of evidential diversity and show how my account explains cases where it seems intuitively that evidential variety is valuable for confirmation.
We tackle two open questions from Leitgeb and Pettigrew (2010b) regarding what the belief update framework described in that paper mandates as correct responses to two problems. One of them concerns credences in overlapping propositions and is known in the literature as the “simultaneous update problem”. The other is the well known “Judy Benjamin” problem concerning conditional credences. We argue that our results concerning the problems point to deficiencies of the framework. More generally, we observe that the method of minimizing inverse relative entropy seems to work better than (or at least equally well as) its competitors in many situations.
In this paper I develop a new account of the philosophical motivations for Descartes’s theory of judgment. The theory needs explanation because the idea that judgment, or belief, is an operation of the will seems problematic at best, and Descartes does not make clear why he adopted what, at the time, was a novel view. I argue that attending to Descartes’s conception of the will as the active, free faculty of mind reveals that a general concern with responsibility motivates his theory of judgment. My account avoids some unappealing features of the standard interpretation, renders the theory more plausible than many have suggested, and explains why his theory does not fall neatly into any current-day position on the issue of the control we have over belief.