Metaphysics and Epistemology


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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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2014-05-29
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)
Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/8170 Reply

2014-04-07

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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2014-04-07
(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

TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN

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.

Sincerely,

Mark Bridge
Conferences Department

2014-02-07
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: http://pantheon.yale.edu/~jk762/ResponseCritics.pdf ).

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.

2013-11-19
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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2013-11-12

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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2013-09-12
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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2013-08-23
Hallo

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

Sincerely Erwin Sonderegger

2013-08-09

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?)

Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/7866 Reply

2013-08-09

Can there be linguistics without ontology?

The context principle and some Indian controversies over Meaning is a milestone in Indian studies, and in the history of their interaction with mainstream (i.e. Western) philosophy. Since it was published in 1988 on Mind (one of the top-5 journals in Philosophy, inaccessible for most authors), virtually everyone (in Indian philosophy) has read it.

Have you also re-read it?

I re-read it after some years this Summer and I have to admit that it was again a surprise. The article starts with a discussion of the Context principle in Frege and Quine (does the principle mean that words HAVE no meaning outside a sentence, or that their meaning can only be UNDERSTOOD within a sentence?). In this connection, Matilal and Sen discuss a strong and a weak interpretation of the Context principle (according to whether it should answer the first or the second question). They end up saying that the strong interpretation clashes with Frege's later work (see belo ... (read more)

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2013-08-08
Many philosophers hold that not all logical possibilities are metaphysically possible. Does anyone likewise hold that there is a space of rational possibilities such that not all rational possibilities are logically possible?

2013-07-25
All comments are welcome!
Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/7858 Reply

2013-07-11
Your article is very interesting.

In the same spirit I propose a more modal formalism to speak about "true announcements" and "learning" : http://philpapers.org/rec/MARFPS

This representation allow to make the difference between a world before and after the learning act. Then it becomes easier to deal with expression about knowledge and learning.




2013-06-14
Here's the place to be critical!  Anything that can help me develop this argument is much appreciated.  This is something I develop a bit in my dissertation and the hope is to develop it more here and eventually have something worthy of publication.
Latest replies:
  • Jim Stone, 2013-06-23 : Here are some comments. Thanks for t 1. It will help your reader to say early on what nonreductive physicalism is, and w... (read more)
  • John Altmann, 2013-06-24 : I just wanted to say first and foremost before I go any further that I am not a Professor of Philosophy nor have I ever... (read more)
  • Andrew Russo, 2013-06-24 : First of all, thanks for taking the time to read my paper and provide me with comments.  This is what I hoped would... (read more)
  • Andrew Russo, 2013-06-24 : Thank you for reading my paper and commenting on it.  Whatever comments you give, whether or not they are from some... (read more)
  • Jim Stone, 2013-06-24 : Thanks for answering. The dialectic between us is for me now a little complicated. I follow this protocol in commenting... (read more)
Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/7816 Reply

2013-06-11
Hi Matt,

This is a very interesting paper.  I am in agreement with the basic premise, namely, that we should be suspicious of moral intuitions which are highly contingent or "flippable".  However, I have one or two questions about the argument.

In one section, you're dealing with the problem of "typing" mechanisms.  The point, as I understand it, is to show that your argument defeats demandingness intuitions but does not defeat other moral intuitions (such as those concerning the wrongness of slavery).  You say:

Given these considerations, how generally should we type the testimonial process behind my moral belief that slavery is wrong? The reliability of (say) my mother’s anti-racist moral testimony in the actual world should not necessarily be impugned by the unreliability of her moral testimony were she a racist bigot, for her epistemic situation (i.e., her foundational moral beliefs) in the latter case would be radically mistaken. The two types of testimonial processes, then, are plausibl ... (read more)

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2013-06-11
Hi Professor Demetriou,

I've just read the draft of your paper, and I really enjoyed it, especially the bits where you complicate the somewhat simplistic just-so cultural-evolutionary story provided by Ross and Nisbett.  One rarely sees such deep engagement with actual anthropological data in moral-philosophical papers about disagreement, and I think your reflections here are a valuable contribution to this literature.

However, I have a question about the "pluralism" that is on offer, which is "a view urging the moral correctness of  multiple and mutually irreducible comprehensive ethical  outlooks , each suited to  its own dimension  of social life ."  A familiar worry emerges here, which is that you are covertly drawing on a kind of monism which serves to make each of the competing moral systems appear attractive.  The trouble begins with the word "suited": what does it mean to say that a moral outlook is "suited" t ... (read more)
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2013-06-11
This was a solid paper guys I really must commend you for the excellent work. With that said, I do agree with you about Raz's arguments. They seemed to possess little to no substance whatsoever and his argument of self-interest towards the end seemed to be more of a forfeiture of his premise than anything else. I will at least credit him for attempting to untangle the knots in this complex field we call moral philosophy but I had some major objections while reading. Please do correct me if I speak ignorantly or from a misinformed position.

1. Raz says to be moral is to see value in others and one's self. This value is derived from the virtue of being a person. Are we to take it that the recognition of this value disregards how we cultivate that value through action which subsequently has consequences? If I see value in someone, but still decide to take away their life because I perceive myself to be more valuable, am I moral or not.

2. A refutation of point 1 would be that to see value ... (read more)
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2013-05-02
One of the correlations I find interesting in the survey is of a predominance (among the target group) of atheists with a predominance of moral cognitivists. This conforms to the several books that have come out in the last decade by so-called New Atheists who nevertheless continue staunchly to defend morality (and often as well their particular moral take on things). While the correlation in the survey is therefore not surprising to me, it is surprising to me in a kind of normative sense, in that I have latterly come to see morality as but a relic of "that old time religion." Of course the correlation has an honored and ancient pedigree, beginning with Plato's "Euthyphro." But isn't it about time that the analytic consensus moved towards a robust moral abolitionism, in the manner of, say, Richard Garner, rather than forever attempting to salvage a way of speaking that perpetuates attitudes we seem more than happy to discard in the case of religion?
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