Metaphysics and Epistemology


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Because of Copyright, I am not yet in a position to upload this article. If you have any interest, feel free to contact me anytime.  (Author)

I wonder if anyone could help me out?
I vaguely recall that Kim somewhere expresses reservations about metaphysical supervenience in the context of the mind-body relation - that supervenience in question might be only nomologically and not metaphysically necessary. Or something like that.

But I can't now find a good reference...  I wonder if my memory is failing me here...

(I found a brief remark in p. 49 of Physicalism, or Something Near Enough; but I thought there were better, more explicit passages.) 

I would be very grateful for good references.

All the Best

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Culture and Religion are not the same, though they are very close. There are various theories that suggest a model of relationship between them. One of them tries to see Religion as the soul of culture. This view doesn't consider the fact that there could also be non-religious cultures. Perhaps, one may quote the Pirahas as an example of such a culture. (Wiki) Of course, this doesn't rule out the fact that some kind of belief-system may be involved in a culture. However, perhaps, we can keep culture and religion totally separate. The cultural elements must not be confused with the religious elements. Thus, people having differing beliefs can still follow one culture and only disagree with regard to religious elements or belief-related elements (such heterogeneity is intense in metropolitan cities); however, there usually is a particular spirit of the age and world view in general. Also, certain cultural traits may be identified as grammatical directives of a particular cu ... (read more)
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Dear All, can anyone let me know of attempts to apply transcendental arguments to issues such as physicalism in the philosophy of mind. I would also be grateful of any comments on my attempt 'Emergence from What? A Transcendental Understanding of the Place of Consciousness' published in the Journal of Consciousness Studies this year, issue 5-6.Thank you
Kim DaviesDavies 2014

I would be grateful for any feedback on the following unpublished note.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

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?

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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.
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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)
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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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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.

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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In the effort to understand the Williams-Parfit dispute regarding internal and external reasons, I have found it useful to distinguish between pre-choice and post-choice normativity.  The literature being voluminous, it is not clear to me whether this or a similar distinction has already been drawn somewhere.  I'd much appreciate any feedback in that and indeed any other regard.

Deliberation is a process culminating (in normal circumstances) in choice, e.g. to do A rather than not.  For simplicity, assume cases in which an individual is practically able, i.e. there is no slip betwixt cup and lip, in which the individual does what he/she chooses, viz. A (what Parfit calls being "fully practically rational").  So the sequence is:  deliberation, choice, action.

A "reason", it seems plausible to suppose, is something that plays some significant role in deliberation.  Insofar as we are concerned with understanding happenings in the world, we are interested in persons’ actions.  ... (read more)
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(From Author) Sadly enough, this article has badly edited parts. Although I asked Editor to correct them many times, it seems that he did not have enough time to do that. I would like to apologize to readers for that.Editor, who sent me a letter afterwards, said as follows:

September 10, 2012


This is to apologize for the typographical errors in the article published by Yusuke Kaneko in our journal, 
the International Journal of Arts and Sciences.
The mistakes were few but they were committed at the printing phase and should not be held against Dr. Kaneko.
We profusely apologize to Dr. Kaneko about the above.


Mark Bridge
Conferences Department
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I have recently been discussing various interpretations of the Knobe effect with a friend of mine and we have been struck by the fact that all of the vignettes used in the empirical studies we have seen present subjects with conversations (or at least someone saying something to an audience, which may be the speaker herself, as in Knobe's terrorist case: ).

We are trying to find empirical studies that have used vignettes that *don't* do this, but which instead simply describe the mental states and decision of an agent. Does anyone know if such studies have been carried out? I would be grateful for pointers, thanks.

Here is an argument against reliabilism. Grateful for comments. Also, is this argument already out there? Wouldn’t be surprised. The argument proceeds in two parts. Here’s part A, an analogy.

1. Suppose I’m imprisoned permanently in a windowless prison cell. However there is a large TV screen. My jailer tells me it shows, by cameras that focus on various events in the world outside, what is really happening.

2. As my life continues I believe that the events on the screen are accurate, but naturally I have doubts–maybe I’m being shown old reruns or computer generated confabulations or...– and I wonder if what I’m seeing is really going on. Sometimes images appear on the screen of how the system itself works–the cameras, their construction, the lens, examples of them capturing events in the world, the way the images are relayed accurately to the screen in my cell...I believe these are accurate but it’s hardly unreasonable to continue to wonder whether what I’m seeing is really going on–th ... (read more)
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I am unsure if this is the correct forum for this. Kant is famous for asking what the conditions are for the possibility of knowledge in the Critique of Pure Reason. I  think that his answers are more right than not.

    How can we apply this question to the phenomenology of Sartre or Heidegger? That is, what, are the conditions for knowledge, if any, for some of the claims in Being and Time and Being and Nothingness. I refer to the assertions about Being, Dasein, Nothingness, authenticity and the terminology therein. I realize that this is a huge and difficult question that is worthy of a book. My reason for asking is to challenge the entire projects of these texts. Their conclusions, after all, are not empirical and little or no evidence is given because that is not the intention, except with Husserl, arguably. Their claims are speculative and perhaps fallacious.
. Would you consider their assertions non-propositional in that no definite truth or falsity can be known? I think Ayer would a ... (read more)
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Hi Jack,

Nice paper!. However, if I may, I wasn't convinced by your response to objection five. The objection, I take it, is that the intuitions you are marshaling about incoherence derive from a non-moral standpoint, that is, they are intuitions that arise when one is doing metaethics and not when one is actually moralizing.  And it seems undeniable that Moore paradoxical sentences are straightforwardly bizarre when uttered by persons in the context of actual moralizing (just imagine actually having the relevant conversation). At the outset of your paper, you correctly note that expressivism is a theory about actual moralizing, so it seems like this is one objection to which you should be very sensitive.  You respond:

This is not really a rejection of C3, but a rejection of C1, since it admits that it is not always the case that affective or conative attitudes are expressed by moral assertions. If non-cognitive mental states are only sometimes expressed by moral assertions, then the clai ... (read more)

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I am interested in further arguments pro  and in objections contra my distinction between world and culture.

Sincerely Erwin Sonderegger


Methodologically speaking, I wonder why Matilal and S's article has not been enough for  further studies of this sort to be the rule on Mind (and other philosophical journals). Does this failure depend on their style? (Or should we just start working as a task-force and submit many articles of this kind?)

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