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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)

Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/7909 Reply

2013-08-23
Hallo

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

Sincerely Erwin Sonderegger

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

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 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)
Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/7811 Reply

2012-11-20
This thought experiment has echoes of QM physicist John Wheeler's famous diagram of an emergent eye looking at itself.

_____________________________________________
Consider a very extensive medium which may be either finite or infinite in expanse
and which is totally composed of a surface of bubbles of varying scale.

Phenomena in this media occur as displacements of combinations of these bubbles taking
on an array of geometric forms- lumps of bubbles if you like.

Consider a being composed of those same bubbles emerging from the bath just as other
phenomena do.

Ignore for a moment the mechanism by which both phenomena and the being emerge from
the surface of the bath.

Ignore the issue of consciousness or other unknown qualities of the being.

Consider that neither the being nor other phenomena are ever completely separate
from the bath.

I ask:

* What phenomena could such a being observe in this universe and to what detail?

*Can such a being identify its own boundaries?

*Is such a being able to observ ... (read more)
Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/7449 Reply

2012-11-12
I am delighted that someone of Kitcher's ability has tackled the meta-ethical implications of understanding morality as an evolutionary adaptation. Further, Christine Clavien has advanced that good cause by providing an inspiringly insightful and clear review of important implications of his work. 

However, the science of the matter actually supports a much stronger hypothesis than Kitcher's "morality evolved to overcome altruism failures".That stronger hypothesis may have different meta-ethical implications.

Relevant criteria for scientific truth regarding morality as an evolutionary adaptation Include explanatory power for descriptive facts and puzzles, no contradiction with known facts, simplicity, and integration with the rest of science. By these criteria, a superior hypothesis can be stated as "morality overcomes a universal cooperation-exploitation dilemma by motivating or advocating altruistic cooperation strategies". That is, morality is composed of assemblies of biolog ... (read more)

Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/7433 Reply

2012-08-08
Excellent paper first and foremost Mr. MacLeod! As I was reading your thoughts on plurality and the nature of the individual conscious, it made me think of the ideal of Solipsism. For those who don't know, Solipsism is defined as: The view or theory that the self is all that can be known to exist. Would you say that your case for a plurality of consciousness "immediately present." defeats the ideal of a Solipsistic Philosophy? 
Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/7182 Reply

2011-09-10
I couldn't find Tim's email so am instead posting here a link to my critical discussion of his paper (which may also be of interest to other readers):
Moral Judgments, 2Dism, and Attitudinal Commitments.


Cheers,
Richard

2011-04-18
Recently I started reading Ronald Giere's Scientific perspectivism but it turned out to be a demanding task: I became bogged in Chapter 2 and havent been able to go much farther. In a philosophy book one expects down to earth examples to bring some clarity about but here, rather the obverse, they turn out to be the problem.

Chapter 2 is entirely devoted to Color vision, which is presented in the first sentence (p.17) as "the best exemplar I know for the kind of perspectivism that characterizes modern science." And on the next page (18) we are told: "The fact that hues have a circular rather than linear structure means that there is no simple linear relationship between wavelength and color".

As I get it "circular structure" means that we percieve colors in a limited range and anything beyond is black.But should we say that  a sound dissolving in low frequency rumble is at the same time an inaudible piercing screech? Our field of vision is also limited, so  it might be ... (read more)
Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/5719 Reply

2011-02-27
There is a curious statement made by Philonous to Hylas in George Berkeley's Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous in the third dialogue.

Here is what Philonous says: "The question between the materialists and me is not, whether things have a real existence out of the mind of this or that person, but whether they have an absolute existence, distinct from being perceived by God, and exterior to all minds."

I think we can modify this quote a little to say: The question between a materialist and an idealist is not, whether things have a real existence out of the mind of this or that human being, but whether have an existence outside of a mind.

The quote itself grants that there is a world exterior to the human mind that is either perceiving it, and this over looks the problem of an external world. However, why do we hold that there is a world that exists independent of a nonhuman mind?

Why should we believe that there is a world that exists independent of a mind instead of the world t ... (read more)
Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/5447 Reply

2010-08-06

I have not yet read the full version of Joseph's book, but I can tell this ties directly into my own theoretical perspectives involving assessment, learning, behavior, and consciousness. To me, as laid out in my Education PhD dissertation at Colorado State University (2005), the core essence of being (reality) is individual and collective consciousness interacting and interconnecting with consciousness at every level of existence (seen and unseen) as an ongoing here and now creative process." Thus, primary learning is intuitive and secondary learning is rational-objective.

Rational objective, is by my definition, fixtional thinking that allows one to "fix" or position relations "as if" they were separate and disconnected in a cause and effect relationship and in which they must of necessity substantiate existence "as if" it were true. It entails a sort of machine mentality of parts, in which the parts equals the whole and the whole is what the parts c ... (read more)


2010-05-27
We have many framing devices in the arts, and one thing that is consistent in their use is a metacognitive process which they seem to stimulate. We see the contents of a picture, and while we are occupied with processing these details we might come across another picture inside it, or we might see an artist painting a picture (as we do in Velazquez's Las Meninas); or there might be a mirror in the depicted space, all of these framing devices allow us to step out of our current thought process, and become aware of it, or self aware of our viewing. How fair is it to say that visual experience can be ordered in the form of HOTs as framing devices in the visual field, or that HOTs can be visualised in this way? 
Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/3969 Reply

2010-03-24
In "On Denoting" (1905), Russell presents a theory of denotation which relies on the notion of a variable.  Russell says very little about variables in this paper.  He says only that they are "fundamental," and that they are "essentially and wholly undetermined" constituents of propositional functions.  I think I understand the role of this notion in Russell's theory, and why Russell says what he does about it,  He appeals to non-denoting elements in propositions in order to avoid having to interpret "a=b" as "a=a."  By using variables, he can claim that no elements in a propositional function serve the role of the denoting phrase.  For example, in the fully explicit presentation of "Scott is the author of Waverley," we do not find anything for which we could substitute the phrase "the author of Waverley."  The meaning of the denoting phrase is only found when we interpret the proposition as a whole, and cannot be found in any of its parts. 

My problem is, I don't know what it means to say ... (read more)
Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/3357 Reply

2010-02-11
Hi, I'm writing an essay on whether George Bealer gives a good deductive argument for the existence of universals in this paper. I was wondering if any one has any thoughts on this?
Thanks
Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/2930 Reply

2009-12-24
Design explanations are explanations, or maybe just arguments, addressing questions about why certain organisms have some traits instead of others. For example, since tetrapods have lungs but don't have gills, it seems reasonable to ask why. Design explanations attempt to answer such questions by looking at functional dependencies and integration between different traits in the same organism. For example, we might start by looking at the functional requirements for respiration in a large organism living on land, invoke the relevant laws from physics or chemistry or biology, and show that having gills would make the organism less viable. 

Wouters proposes a schema for design explanations. In my words:

1) Specify the organism's properties and conditions of existence.
2) Assert that trait T possessed by the organism is more useful than alternative trait T'.
3) Provide an explanation of 2).

I see 2) as an undue limitation. Contrasting alternative traits is a very important strategy but we could ma ... (read more)
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2009-12-17
When we say that "P" is possible iff there is a possible world where "P" is true, we can continue and say that there is a possible world where "P" is true iff "A" is true, and "A" is not something about a non-actual possible world. Such an approach would allow us to use the vocabulary of possible worlds, while sustaining an agnostic or an anti-realist position about the the existence of non-actual possible worlds. Can such a reductive approach to possible worlds solve the problem of ontological commitmentt to the existence of non-actual possible worlds? And what do you think that "A" must be as non-actual possible worlds dont get implicated?

2009-09-27
I am currently working on a small paper on Frank Jackson's From Metaphysics to Ethics, which has gotten me into the discussion of two-dimensional semantics.

According to this approach, there are two ways a term or a sentence can be said to apply or to be true at different possible worlds. The first way one can consider what some term applies to in a possible world, is by supposing that that possible world is the actual world. The second way one can consider what some term applies to in a possible world, is by treating the world as a counterfactual world. Jackson calls a term's extension, in the first sense, the term's A-extension; and in the second sense, the term's C-extension. Likewise, the intension of a term in a world considered as actual, is called the A-intension of the term; and the intension of a term in a world considered as counterfactual is called the C-intension of the term. David Chalmers has summarized (or, at least, mentioned someone else's summary) thes ... (read more)
Latest replies: Permanent link: http://philpapers.org/post/1707 Reply

2009-08-16
On the Individuation of Artifacts.

Artifacts are concrete particulars with certain structure and function. The proper function of an artifact is a property of it; of course, this isn’t a perceptual property but a functional one; e.g. . Functional properties of artifacts are intrinsically associated with their design, i.e., with their structure. Functional properties and structural properties are constitutive of artifacts; there’s no artifacts lacking proper functions and/or structure. Imagine an object looking like a book but that, actually, is a chest. In one sense, this is a book that cannot be read; in other sense, this is a chest that looks likes a book. If we take into account its functional properties we are facing a chest; if we take into account its external visual perceptual properties (appearance) we are facing a book. How should we call this object? ‘book’ or ‘chest’?

If we know structural properties of such an object we could find that this is a chest looking (visually) like ... (read more)


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