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Profile: Alberto Vanzo (University of Warwick)
  1. Peter R. Anstey & Alberto Vanzo (forthcoming). Early Modern Experimental Philosophy. In Justin Sytsma & Wesley Buckwalter (eds.), A Companion to Experimental Philosophy. Blackwell.
    In the mid-seventeenth century a movement of self-styled experimental philosophers emerged in Britain. Originating in the discipline of natural philosophy amongst Fellows of the fledgling Royal Society of London, it soon spread to medicine and by the eighteenth century had impacted moral and political philosophy and even aesthetics. Early modern experimental philosophers gave epistemic priority to observation and experiment over theorising and speculation. They decried the use of hypotheses and system-building without recourse to experiment and, in some quarters, developed a (...)
     
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  2. Alberto Vanzo (forthcoming). Christian Wolff and Experimental Philosophy. In Daniel Garber & Donald Rutherford (eds.), Oxford Studies in Early Modern Philosophy. Oxford University Press. vol. 7.
    This chapter discusses the relation between Christian Wolff's philosophy and the methodological views of early modern experimental philosophers. The chapter argues for three claims. First, Wolff's system relies on experience at every step and his views on experiments, observations, hypotheses, and the a priori are in line with those of experimental philosophers. Second, the study of Wolff's views demonstrates the influence of experimental philosophy in early eighteenth-century Germany. Third, references to Wolff's empiricism and rationalism are best identified or replaced with (...)
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  3. Alberto Vanzo (2014). From Empirics to Empiricists. Intellectual History Review 24:1-22.
    Although the notion of empiricism looms large in many histories of early modern philosophy, its origins are not well understood. This paper aims to shed light on them. It examines the notions of empirical philosopher, physician, and politician that are employed in a range of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century texts, alongside related notions (e.g. "experimental philosophy") and methodological stances. It concludes that the notion of empiricism used in many histories of early modern thought does not have pre-Kantian origins. It first appeared (...)
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  4. Alberto Vanzo (2014). Kant on Existential Import. Kantian Review 19 (2):207-232.
    This article reconstructs Kant's view on the existential import of categorical sentences. Kant is widely taken to have held that affirmative sentences (the A and I sentences of the traditional square of opposition) have existential import, whereas negative sentences (E and O) lack existential import. The article challenges this standard interpretation. It is argued that Kant ascribes existential import only to some affirmative synthetic sentences. However, the reasons for this do not fall within the remit of Kant's formal logic. Unlike (...)
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  5. Alberto Vanzo (2013). Kant e la formazione dei concetti: Risposta a Claudio La Rocca. Studi Kantiani 26:147-151.
    This paper replies to Claudio La Rocca's criticisms of my account of Kant's views on concept formation. On my account, Kant holds that, although all conscious experiences of adult human beings are informed by the categories, it is possible to represent objects by means of non-conceptualized intuitions. La Rocca rejects that claim. In this paper, I first discuss the passages cited by La Rocca. I then argue that Kant's account of the formation of the categories presupposes that it is possible (...)
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  6. Alberto Vanzo (2013). Kant on Empiricism and Rationalism. History of Philosophy Quarterly 30 (1):53-74.
    Several scholars have criticized the histories of early modern philosophy based on the dichotomy of empiricism and rationalism. They view them as overestimating the importance of epistemological issues for early modern philosophers (epistemological bias), portraying Kant's Critical philosophy as a superior alternative to empiricism and rationalism (Kantian bias), and forcing most or all early modern thinkers prior to Kant into the empiricist or rationalist camps (classificatory bias). Kant is often said to be the source of the three biases. Against this (...)
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  7. Peter Anstey & Alberto Vanzo (2012). The Origins of Early Modern Experimental Philosophy. Intellectual History Review 22 (4):499-518.
    This paper argues that early modern experimental philosophy emerged as the dominant member of a pair of methods in natural philosophy, the speculative versus the experimental, and that this pairing derives from an overarching distinction between speculative and operative philosophy that can be ultimately traced back to Aristotle. The paper examines the traditional classification of natural philosophy as a speculative discipline from the Stagirite to the seventeenth century; medieval and early modern attempts to articulate a scientia experimentalis; and the tensions (...)
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  8. Alberto Vanzo (2012). Kant e la formazione dei concetti. Verifiche.
    How do we form concepts like those of three, bicycle and red? According to Kant, we form them by carrying out acts of comparison, reflection and abstraction on information provided by the senses. Kant's answer raised numerous objections from philosophers and psychologists alike. "Kant e la formazione dei concetti" argues that Kant is able to rebut those objections. The book shows that, for Kant, it is possible to perceive objects without employing concepts; it explains how, given those perceptions, we can (...)
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  9. Alberto Vanzo (2012). Kant on Experiment. In James Maclaurin (ed.), Rationis Defensor. Springer. 75-96.
    This paper discusses Immanuel Kant’s views on the role of experiments in natural science, focusing on their relationship with hypotheses, laws of nature, and the heuristic principles of scientific enquiry. Kant’s views are contrasted with the philosophy of experiment that was first sketched by Francis Bacon and later developed by Robert Boyle and Robert Hooke. Kant holds that experiments are always designed and carried out in the light of hypotheses. Hypotheses are derived from experience on the basis of a set (...)
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  10. Alberto Vanzo (2012). Kant on Truth-Aptness. History and Philosophy of Logic 33 (2):109-126.
    Many scholars claimed that, according to Immanuel Kant, some judgements lack a truth-value: analytic judgements, judgements about items of which humans cannot have experience, judgements of perception, and non-assertoric judgements. However, no one has undertaken an extensive examination of the textual evidence for those claims. Based on an analysis of Kant's texts, I argue that: (1) according to Kant, only judgements of perception are not truth-apt. All other judgements are truth-apt, including analytic judgements and judgements about items of which humans (...)
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  11. Alberto Vanzo (2010). Kant on the Nominal Definition of Truth. Kant-Studien 101 (2):147-166.
    Kant claims that the nominal definition of truth is: “Truth is the agreement of cognition with its object”. In this paper, I analyse the relevant features of Kant's theory of definition in order to explain the meaning of that claim and its consequences for the vexed question of whether Kant endorses or rejects a correspondence theory of truth. I conclude that Kant's claim implies neither that he holds, nor that he rejects, a correspondence theory of truth. Kant's claim is not (...)
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  12. Alberto Vanzo (2010). Kant, Skepticism, and the Comparison Argument. In Pablo Muchnick (ed.), Rethinking Kant, vol. 2. Cambridge Scholars Publishers.
    Kant's writings on logic illustrate the comparison argument about truth, which goes as follows. A truth-bearer p is true if and only if it corresponds, or it agrees, with a portion of reality: the object(s), state(s) of affairs, or event(s) p is about. In order to know whether p agrees with that portion of reality, one must check if that portion of reality is as p states. Using the terms of the comparison argument, one must compare p with that portion (...)
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  13. Antonio-Maria Nunziante & Alberto Vanzo (2009). Representing Subjects, Mind-Dependent Objects: Kant, Leibniz, and the Amphiboly. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 17 (1):133-151.
    This paper compares Kant’s and Leibniz’s views on the relation between knowing subjects and known objects. Kant discusses Leibniz’s philosophy in the ‘Amphiboly’ section of the first Critique. According to Kant, Leibniz’s main error is mistaking objects in space and time for mind-independent things in themselves, that is, for monads. The paper argues that, pace Kant, Leibniz regards objects in space and time as mind-dependent. A deeper divergence between the two philosophers concerns knowing subjects. For Leibniz, they are substances. For (...)
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  14. Alberto Vanzo (2008). A Correspondence Theory of Objects? On Kant's Notions of Truth, Object, and Actuality. History of Philosophy Quarterly 25 (3):259-275.
    Ernst Cassirer claimed that Kant's notion of actual object presupposes the notion of truth. Therefore, Kant cannot define truth as the correspondence of a judgement with an actual object. In this paper, I discuss the relations between Kant's notions of truth, object, and actuality. I argue that's notion of actual object does not presuppose the notion of truth. I conclude that Kant can define truth as the correspondence of a judgement with an actual object.
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  15. Alberto Vanzo (2008). Sull'interpretazione coerentista della concezione kantiana della verità. Studi Kantiani 21:77-95.
    This paper argues that Kant, in his Critical period, did not have a coherence theory of truth. The paper outlines three coherence theories of truth and two coherence theories of empirical truth that Kant might have adopted. The three theories of truth are incompatible with Kant's texts. The two theories of empirical truth are compatible with the texts. However, there are no convincing reasons to hold that Kant adopted those theories.
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  16. Gabriele Tomasi & Alberto Vanzo (2006). Frege, Kant e le Vorstellungen. Rivista di Storia Della Filosofia 61 (supplement):227-238.
    Gottlob Frege criticized Kant's use of the term "representation" in a footnote in the Foundations of Arithmetics. According to Frege, Kant used the term "representation" for mental images, which are private and incommunicable, and also for objects and concepts. Kant thereby gave "a strongly subjectivistic and idealistic coloring" to his thought. The paper argues that Kant avoided the kind of subjectivism and idealism which Frege hints in his remark. For Kant, having "Vorstellungen" requires the capacity of synthesis, by virtue of (...)
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  17. Predrag Sustar, Luca Illetterati, Alberto Vanzo & Gabriele Tomasi (2005). Kant Revisited. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 5 (15):485-567.
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  18. Alberto Vanzo (2005). Kant's Treatment of the Mathematical Antinomies in the First Critique and in the Prolegomena: A Comparison. Croatian Journal of Philosophy 5 (3):505-531.
    This paper discusses an apparent contrast between Kant’s accounts of the mathematical antinomies in the first Critique and in the Prolegomena. The Critique claims that the antitheses are infinite judgements. The Prolegomena seem to claim that they are negative judgements. For the Critique, theses and antitheses are false because they presuppose that the world has a determinate magnitude, and this is not the case. For the Prolegomena, theses and antitheses are false because they presuppose an inconsistent notion of world. The (...)
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