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2014-09-09
I would be grateful for any feedback on the following unpublished note.

Zombies are inconceivable for the following reason.


In order to think that a is a zombie you have to think both that:


  1. a is exactly like a human from a third-person perspective;

  2. a has no qualia.


The problem lies in thinking (2). To see this, note that it is not enough to not think a has qualia. That is easy. You can do that just by imagining (1) and forgetting about (2). In other words, you just imagine all the required third-person facts about a—essentially what makes him indistinguishable from a human being—but don't bother to think about whether he has qualia or not. But clearly not thinking that a has some property is logically distinct form thinking that a does not have that property. To suppose otherwise would be to make an elementary scoping error. But if this right, then it is impossible in the deepest sense to think that a has no qualia. Therefore, zombies are inconceivable.


In case there is any doubt about this ... (read more)

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2014-08-31
Hi! I'm traying to translate a sentence from GA 28 (untranslated) and I need to contrast my interpretation with somebody elses.

The sentence goes like this:

Während aber die Art des Wissens nur ist, was sie sein kann, auf dem Grunde des eigenen Selbst, was selbst als das Sein bestimmt werden muß, wozu eine Offenbarkeit freilich gehört, die aber nur aus der spezifischen Seinsart des Daseins begriffen werden kann.

My version of this monstruosity would be the following (please note that the sentence is incomplete as there is no main clause, and that it has been copied literally from the book).

But while the kind of knowing only is what it can be on the ground of the own self, this itself, that is the own self, must be determined as Being, to which certainly a manifestness belongs, which it self can be understood however only from the specific mode of being of Dasein.

My biggest headache is "was selbst als das Sein bestimmt werden muß"

Is Heidegger saying

i. that the own self must be determined ... (read more)

Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/8792 Reply

2014-08-24
Dear all, I would be grateful for any comments on my paper 'Emergence from What? A Transcendental Understanding of the Place of Consciousness' (Journal of Consciousness Studies Vol 21 Issue 5-6, June 2014) and any directions to other attempts to use transcendental arguments in the philosophy of mind.Thanks
Kim Davies

2014-08-12
Hi,
I have a question about individuation of perceptual content. I am writing about individual perceptual experience and joint perceptual experience, under the light of Fregean or NeoFregean frame. I do not believe that objects of perception are sufficient to individuate perceptual content; we need something more: a mode of presentation. So, my question is how the mode of presentations of perceptual states is individuated? Gareth Evans had an intuitive criterion of difference for thoughts or beliefs, but I do not know of a similar criterion for perceptions.  

Two beliefs have different content, if it is possible for a subject take different attitudes to both and even still being rational. Is it possible to build a similar criterion for perceptions? Maybe, two perceptions have different content, if it is possible for a subject to be disposed to do different things (e.g. actions, routines, activities, judgments, and the like) and even still being actively fluent in the environment?

Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/8677 Reply

2014-08-18
What do people think of Qualia Logic? One keeps track of both 3rd-person and 1st-person information in the truth-value of a proposition.
Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/8669 Reply

2014-08-18

So I'm currently writing my thesis, which Andy Clark is supervising, and all seems to be going well, but I was just wondering if people had any critical thoughts on the topic. My current abstract is below:


In The Extended Mind (1998, p18), Clark and Chalmers wrote that ‘‘As with any reconception of ourselves, [the extended mind] will have significant consequences. There are obvious consequences for philosophical views of the mind and for the methodology of research in cognitive science, but there will also be effects in the moral and social domains. It may be, for example, that interfering with someone’s environment will have the same moral significance as interfering with their person.’ (my italics). Little has been done to explore the consequences in these so-called moral and social domains. Problematically, the Extended Mind literature tends to focus on the role of the immediate environment on cognition, typically demonstrating the crucial role ... (read more)

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2014-08-08
Philosophy of Mind is a topic fraught with ambiguity. People use terms such as "mind," "consciousness," "awareness," "experience" and so forth as if everyone knows what they mean.  But they can mean very different things to different people, and too often we end up with ambiguity, equivocation and misunderstanding.    

Herein I propose some definitions of salient terms.  I do not claim that these are the only correct definitions.  I merely claim that if we all agree to use words the same way we'll have a productive conversation rather than talking past each other. Your comments are welcome, as I would like to hone these recommendations to be as clear as possible.

Proposed Definitions

Of all the concepts relating to mind, I propose that we use experience as the most inclusive.  It means the subjective aspect of a person's taking into account his or her world.  By subjective I mean detectable or observable in principle by only one person, the one who is taking his or her world into account. This is ... (read more)
Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/8626 Reply

2014-08-04
TL;DR: Does anyone know of a resource where I can gain an understanding of what the current debates in the philosophy of social science are?

======
Hello!

I am a soon-to-be PhD student at Notre Dame in Western Australia.
My intended area of research is Marx's dialectical method. I am very interested in what has been described as Marx's critique of 'immediacy' in mainstream social science. Immediacy is when a particular study or social scientific theory takes empirical data at face value, and does not investigate whether or not that data has been distorted by previously-constructed systems of reasoning and thought. Perhaps even more simply, ideology (here meant in its technical Marxian sense) distorts the interpretation of empirical data.

I was wondering whether anyone knew of a resource where I might be able to find out what the current debates or issues in the philosophy of social science are, so I might be able to link this interest with a current debate that is going on, so my early syno ... (read more)
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2014-07-30
The PhilPapers Foundation and the Philosophy Documentation Center will be joining forces to bring the best possible research index to the community of philosophers. 

The Philosophy Documentation Center is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing affordable access to essential resources in the humanities and social sciences. PDC supports scholarly work in many fields with customized publishing and membership services, digitization solutions, and secure hosting. PDC produces Philosophy Research Index, a database of bibliographic information on articles, books, reviews, dissertations, and other documents in philosophy comprising over 1.3M entries. Philosophy Research Index is currently the largest research index in philosophy, with more entries than PhilPapers (1.1M entries) and Philosophers' Index (540,000 entries) 

The agreement between PDC and the PhilPapers Foundation has two main components: First, the Philosophy Research Index database will be incorporated as part of PhilPapers ... (read more)

2014-07-20
Are there contemporary philosophers who argue that logic is concrete and particular? (More precisely I think the view would have to be that logics are concrete particulars.)

I'm toying with the idea of advancing that thesis, and I'm sure I'm not the first or only person to think this. But I don't know much about the field and in particular don't know what the relevant names would be.
Any help here would be appreciated.

Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/8519 Reply

2014-06-26
Any disagreement, agreement, argument or any evaluation would do. Need a help from you all to write a critical review for this article.

2014-06-26
From september onwards I'll be teaching a course on epistemology at secondary school level. The approach to epistemology that I have to take (because of curricular demands) is mostly historical, starting with some Ancient philosophers (Plato, Aristotle), skipping the Middle Ages, and ending with Modern philosophy from Descartes to Kant.

I tend to think that the importance of the views espoused by all these historical thinkers lies not in the veracity of their theories, for clearly some things said by Plato or Locke are most likely false. Furthermore the questions they tend to concern themselves with appear in part to have moved over from philosophy to psychology which give them the appearance of unfounded armchair speculation. Rather in my opinion it is only against the background of the broader scientific developments during the time of these philosophers that we can begin to appreciate their significance. However I feel ill-equiped to talk about this background, because I simply don ... (read more)

2014-06-13
Recently I had an awareness that understanding is deeper than knowledge. Then I thought about it for a while. I realized that knowledge involves explanations, while understanding does not necessarily require explanations. for, we understand many things without being able to explain them. This made me very anxious about this problem because it concerns with the way human mind works. How is it possible to understand something without being able to explain it? The traditional notion of 'Intuition' or immediate and direct awareness is not satisfactory enough to clarify this problem. What concerns me is that human mind seems to me to be much more than what we have so far known through or traditional logic or even scientific parameters. By saying that understanding is deeper than knowledge, i mean that understanding is an aspect of Consciousness that seems to be distinct from what we call Mind, though both are connected. Although we are conscious of ourselves we do not need to talk t ... (read more)
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2014-05-30

It has recently occurred to me that the advocate of the Kantian Wille may, in significant measure, be victim of a kind of phenomenological illusion.  

We imagine the Kantian going serially down her list of desires -- "passive" matters of fact about what her experiences and behavior reveal to be her preferences -- and saying of each, "I could forebear that, if necessary.  So none of them, not one, is really me.  Me, my autonomous Wille, is distinct from every one of those desires."  A similar mistake led Newton to the postulation of Absolute Space; viz., relative effects are hypostatized into an independent existence.  What enables one to deny identity with any particular desire X is one's background awareness of all the other desires that are not X, whose cumulative preponderance overwhelms any particular desire.

Of course, the "background" cumulative awareness of all of one's desires is indeed separate from any particular desire, so in that sense there is indeed a Wille.  But it is not ... (read more)
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2014-05-29
I am bothered with the pressures of objectivity or lack there of as it relates to knowledge, truth and perfection. I ended up re-reading this paper and realized that the primary means of achieving knowledge, truth and perfection would be for there to be a state of absoluteness; which I believe is impossible and completely inapplicable. I am now wondering what are other opinions on the relationship that exist between absolutism and objectivity and there relationship to knowledge, truth and perfection.

2014-06-07
Hello,
This is a rehash of an old post. I'm hoping someone can settle my confusion, xor, confirm my brilliant insight.

Let's suppose that zombies are conceivable. Many argue against this, but let's suppose. What I want to call into question is that an entire zombie world is conceivable. There is just one problem with this allegedly conceivable world: the person doing the conceiving. That's you. You, if you are truly conceiving of anything at all, are not a zombie.

I am of course assuming that "having a conception" implies "having consciousness." But this seems very fair to me. I am also assuming that "you" can be a disembodied consciousness. But 2-d semantics seems unable to deny the conceivability of such a thing.

1. Having a conception of a complete zombie world implies having a conception. (assumption)
2. Having a conception implies having (some) consciousness. (assumption)
3. Having (some) consciousness implies that there is consciousness. (assumption)
c4. Having a conception of a complet ... (read more)
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2014-05-18
(1) That sentient life will one day come to an end is no solace for those sentients existing and suffering today.

(2) Whether it is better to have been or not to have been is a Cartesian koan I can ponder concrerning myself, but not one I have a right to decide concerning another sentient that is or has been; all the less right have I to create or support the creation of another sentient, out of nothing.

(3) Pain and pleasure are incommensurable; only pain is pertinent to moral musings like these: No number of orgasms (for me) compensates for one fallen sparrow; and, again, the sparrow’s pains or solaces are not for me to weigh -- for the sparrow.

(4) Christianity is particularly self-righteous and presumptuous on such questions, always ready to sanction temporal risk and suffering for the bodies of others for the salvation of their immaterial, immortal souls, sub specie aeternitatis.


Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/8166 Reply

2014-05-12
Oh dear. I changed my name from Peter Jones to Peter G. Jones to clear up some confusion caused by having such a common name and have promptly lost all my 'followers'. I assumed that it would be a citation/reference change only, but apparently not. 

Is there anything I can do about this?

Thanks.

Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/8165 Reply

2014-04-14
For PhilPapers to survive and thrive, it needs financial support.  In five years, PhilPapers has grown from a side project into the most widely used bibliographical resource in the field.  During this time, many changes have taken place.  David Bourget, the architect of PhilPapers, now has a tenure-track appointment with teaching, research, and service duties in addition to PhilPapers. We need technical staff that can assume David's many roles, from server maintenance and administrative support to application programming and user interface design. A whole team is needed for PhilPapers to thrive and develop to its full potential.

We have considered many different financial models, including asking for donations and requiring subscriptions.  After much consultation, it has become clear to us that the best way forward is a model involving annual subscriptions for large institutions.

Starting June 1, 2014, we ask large institutions (especially universities) to pay an annual subscription fee for ... (read more)

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