In this new book, Alessandra Tanesini demonstrates that feminist thought has a lot to offer to the study of Wittgenstein's philosophical work, and that -at the same time-that work can inspire feminist reflection in new directions. In Wittgenstein, Tanesini offers a highly original interpretation of several themes in Wittgenstein's philosophy. She argues that when we look at his work through feminist eyes we discover that he is not primarily concerned with providing solutions to technical problems in the philosophy of (...) mind, mathematics, and language. Instead, his remarks on these topics are intended to offer insights about human finitude, the loneliness of the modern autonomous self, and our relations to other human beings. Thus, the modern conception of the individual emerges as the critical target of Wittgenstein's philosophical work, both early and late. This conception has also been one of the dominant concerns of contemporary feminist philosophy. In this book, Wittgenstein's insights are deployed to further feminist debates on issues such as identity, difference, the masculine character of the modern self. (shrink)
This book considers the semantic and syntactic nature of indexicals - linguistic expressions, as in I, you, this, that, yesterday, tomorrow , whose reference shifts from utterance to utterance.There is a long-standing controversy as to whether the semantic reference point is already present as syntactic material or whether it is introduced post-syntactically by semantic rules of interpretation. Alessandra Giorgi resolves this controversy through an empirically grounded exploration of temporal indexicality, arguing that the speaker's temporal location is specified in the (...) syntactic structure. She supports her analysis with theoretical and empirical arguments based on data from English, Italian, Chinese, and Romanian. Professor Giorgi addresses some difficult and longstanding issues in the analysis of temporal phenomena - including the Italian imperfect indicative, the properties of the so-called future-in-the-past, and the properties of Free Indirect Discourse - and shows that her framework can account elegantly for all of them. Carefully argued, succinct, and clearly written her book will appeal widely to semanticists in linguistics and philosophy from graduate level upwards and to linguists interested in the syntax-semantics interface. (shrink)
Traditional accounts of perception endorse an input–output model: perception is the input from world to mind and action is the output from mind to world. In contrast, enactive accounts propose action to be constitutive of perception. We focus on Noë's sensorimotor version of enactivism, with the aim of clarifying the proper limits of enactivism more generally. Having explained Noë's particular version of enactivism, which accounts for the contents of perceptual experience in terms of sensorimotor knowledge, we use taste as a (...) test for his central thesis. We conclude that taste and other similar senses do not display the central features which Noë claims apply to all perceptual experience. (shrink)
In this paper I offer an innovative interpretation of Nietzsche's metaethical theory of value which shows him to be a kind of constitutivist. For Nietzsche, I argue, valuing is a conative attitude which institutes values, rather than tracking what is independently of value. What is characteristic of those acts of willing which institute values is that they are owned or authored. Nietzsche makes this point using the vocabulary of self-mastery. One crucial feature of those who have achieved this feat, and (...) have consequently become agents, is that they possess a diachronic or long will and are consequently capable of the rational governance of future behaviour. The possession of a will of this sort is crucial because it is a necessary condition for engaging in temporally unified activities which are a requisite of authorship. Nietzsche, I argue, makes these points in his doctrine of eternal recurrence which provides a test that acts of will must pass to count as laws. In the final section of the paper I argue for the superiority of this interpretation over some of its competitors. (shrink)
Empathy is the phenomenal experience of mirroring ourselves into others. It can be explained in terms of simulations of actions, sensations, and emotions which constitute a shared manifold for intersubjectivity. Simulation, in turn, can be sustained at the subpersonal level by a series of neural mirror matching systems.
In their excellent book The Phenomenological Mind Shaun Gallagher and Dan Zahavi demonstrate that analytic philosophy of mind and cognitive science have much to learn from work conducted in the phenomenological tradition. In particular, they show how discussions about embodied cognition, about the self, and about mind-reading could be greatly enhanced if the lessons of phenomenology were heeded to. However, their discussion of the structure of intentionality is, in my view, less successful in this regard.
After more than three centuries, Molyneux's question continues to challenge our understanding of cognition and perceptual systems. Locke, the original recipient of the question, approached it as a theoretical exercise relevant to long-standing philosophical issues, such as nativism, the possibility of common sensibles, and the empiricism-rationalism debate. However, philosophers were quick to adopt the experimentalist's stance as soon as they became aware of recoveries from congenital blindness through ophtalmic surgery. Such recoveries were widely reported to support empiricist positions, suggesting that (...) the question had found its empirical answer. Contrary to this common view, we argue that studies of patients recovering from early blindness through surgery cannot provide an answer. In fact, because of the very nature of such ophtalmological interventions it is impossible to test the question in the empirical conditions outlined by Molyneux. Thus we propose that Molyneux's question be treated as an early thought experiment of a specific kind. Although thought experiments of this kind cannot be turned into actual experimental conditions, they provide a conceptual restructuring of theories. Such restructuring in turn leads to new predictions that can then be tested by normal experiments. In accord with this interpretation, we show that Molyneux's question can be analyzed into a hierarchy of specific questions about vision in its phenomenal and sensory-motor components. Some of these questions do lead to actual experimental conditions that could be studied empirically. (shrink)
The paper argues that thumos, which is never explicitly mentioned as a part of the soul in the Symposium, plays a major role in the dialogue. In light of the Republic’s characterization of thumos as the source of emotions such as of love of honor, love of victory, admiration for courage, shame, anger, and the propensity to become indignant at real or imaginary wrongs, the paper argues that both Phaedrus’ speech and the speech of Alcibiades are shaped by thumoeidetic motivations. (...) While Phaedrus’ stress on shame, honor, glory and courage aims at proving that Eros inspires virtue, the speech of Alcibiades shows that thumoeidetic motivations are not sufficient to shape a noble character. The dependence on recognition, the ambiguous role played by shame, and the tension between what is admirable and what just happens to be admired are implicit shortcomings in Phaedrus’ speech. When the same themes come back in Alcibiades’ speech they work as negative counterpoints to Phaedrus’ main arguments. Alcibiades’ obsession with power and victory dominates his ambivalent encomium of Socrates. The speech does not reveal who Socrates really is. Rather, it shows how the philosophical life can be misunderstood when reason’s best ally takes over in the souls of men. (shrink)
In this article, we propose a belief revision approach for families of (non-classical) logics whose semantics are first-order axiomatisable. Given any such (non-classical) logic , the approach enables the definition of belief revision operators for , in terms of a belief revision operation satisfying the postulates for revision theory proposed by Alchourrrdenfors and Makinson (AGM revision, Alchourrukasiewicz's many-valued logic. In addition, we present a general methodology to translate algebraic logics into classical logic. For the examples provided, we analyse in what (...) circumstances the properties of the AGM revision are preserved and discuss the advantages of the approach from both theoretical and practical viewpoints. (shrink)
In this paper we introduce canonical extensions of partially ordered sets and monotone maps and a corresponding discrete duality. We then use these to give a uniform treatment of completeness of relational semantics for various substructural logics with implication as the residual(s) of fusion.
There is an exponential speed-up in the number of lines of the quantified propositional sequent calculus over Substitution Frege Systems, if one considers proofs as trees. Whether this is true also for the number of symbols, is still an open problem.
We investigate the semantics of the logical systems obtained by introducing the modalities and into the family of substructural implication logics (including relevant, linear and intuitionistic implication). Then, in the spirit of the LDS (Labelled Deductive Systems) methodology, we "import" this semantics into the classical proof system KE. This leads to the formulation of a uniform labelled refutation system for the new logics which is a natural extension of a system for substructural implication developed by the first two authors in (...) a previous paper. (shrink)
Diotima criticizes, but does not refute, Aristophanes’ thesis that love is desire for completeness. Her argument incorporates that thesis within a more complextheory: eros is desire for the permanent possession of the good, and hence also desire for immortality. Aristophanes cannot account for the aspirations entailed in the desire for fame or in the desire for knowledge. Such aspirations can be understood only with reference to the good. However, the paper shows how time plays a fundamental role in the original (...) pursuit of wholeness at the center of Aristophanes’ myth of the two halves. Diotima appropriates his thesis when she describes the urge to leave behind something similar to what one has been. The desire for immortality is nothing but a desire for completeness pursued by mortal nature against the never-ending destruction of time. (shrink)