Ergo is a general, 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.

Current Issue(s)

Betting, Risk, and the Law of Likelihood

Steven J. van Enk

When exactly does evidence E favor one hypothesis H1 over another hypothesis H2? I formulate an answer based on the expected utilities of bets on H1 and H2 and the variances therein (i.e., the risk inherent in those bets). This answer turns out to conflict with the Law of Likelihood and to agree with a solution based on Bayesian Confirmation Theory as proposed by Fitelson, but with a novel confirmation measure (with a clear operational meaning) underlying it. The account of favoring proposed here clarifies, I argue, the mechanism and intuition behind several recently proposed counterexamples to the Law of Likelihood.

Scientific Discovery: That-Whats and What-Thats

Samuel Schindler

In this paper I defend Kuhn’s view of scientific discovery, which involves two central tenets, namely (i) that a scientific discovery always requires a discovery-that (i.e., the observation of X) and a discovery-what (i.e., the correct conceptualisation of X); and (ii) that there are two kinds of scientific discovery, resulting from the temporal order of the discovery-that and the discovery-what. I identify two problems with Kuhn’s account and offer solutions to them from a realist stance. I also discuss alternatives to Kuhn’s account.

Maps, Pictures, and Predication

John Kulvicki

Failing to indicate the presence of something in a map is tantamount to indicating its absence. Blue indicates water, and a lack of blue suggests a lack of water. No lines for highways on part of a map, which can otherwise indicate highways, indicates a lack of highways in that area. Michael Rescorla (2009) calls this the absence intuition, and claims it shows that maps cannot employ predication as languages do. This paper offers a new account of maps that respects the absence intuition without abandoning predication. Maps, pictures, and diagrams differ from language not in whether they involve predication, but in how they organize predicates. Maps introduce predicates holistically, in groups, as degrees of freedom to which any location on a map must commit. This proposal uncovers norms for mapmaking, leads to the first new semantics for maps since Roberto Casati and Achille Varzi (1999), and offers a new perspective on how maps relate to pictures. Maps and pictures are alike not just in the way they represent space, but also in that they both introduce predicates holistically. This proposal relates in interesting ways to John Haugeland’s (1991) attempt to understand representational kinds in terms of features of their contents.