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Profile: Fred Ablondi (Hendrix College)
  1. Fred Ablondi (2013). Newtonian Vs. Newtonian: Baxter and MacLaurin on the Inactivity of Matter. Journal of Scottish Philosophy 11 (1):15-23.
    In my essay I look at the specifics of the dispute between the Scottish metaphysician Andrew Baxter and the mathematician Colin MacLaurin in an attempt to identify the source or sources of their contradictory, yet in both cases Newtonian, positions regarding occasionalism. After some general introductory remarks about each thinker, I examine the metaphysical implications that Baxter sees as following from Newton's concept of vis inertiæ. Following this, I look at MacLaurin's commitment to the role of sense experience in natural (...)
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  2. Fred Ablondi (2012). Hutcheson, Perception, and the Sceptic's Challenge. British Journal for the History of Philosophy 20 (2):269-281.
    Francis Hutcheson's theory of perception, as put forth in his Synopsis of Metaphysics, bears a striking similarity to that of John Locke. In particular, Hutcheson and Locke both have at the centre of their theories the notion of ideas as representational entities acting as the direct objects of all of our perceptions. On first consideration, one might find this similarity wholly unremarkable, given the popularity of Locke's Essay. But the Essay was published in 1689 and the Synopsis in 1742, and (...)
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  3. Fred Ablondi (2012). James Beattie, Practical Ethics, and the Human Nature Question. Journal of Scottish Philosophy 10 (1):1-12.
    This article begins by examining James Beattie's conception of speculative ethics, which he regards as the study of the foundation and nature of virtue. This leads to a discussion of the moral sense, or conscience, which Beattie claims is part of the nature of every rational being and which is designed to lead us to a virtuous life. Given this, I ask why Beattie thought himself warranted, or even needed, to dispense practical ethical advice. Answering this involves looking at Beattie's (...)
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  4. Fred Ablondi (2012). On the Ghosts of Departed Quantities. Metascience 21 (3):681-683.
    On the ghosts of departed quantities Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-3 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9606-5 Authors Fred Ablondi, Department of Philosophy, Hendrix College, Conway, AR, USA Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
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  5. Fred Ablondi & J. Aaron Simmons (2011). Gabriel Biel and Occasionalism: Overcoming an Apparent Tension. History of Philosophy Quarterly 28 (2):159.
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  6. Fred Ablondi (2010). Absolute Beginners: Learning Philosophy by Learning Descartes and Berkeley. [REVIEW] Metascience 19 (3):385-389.
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  7. Fred Ablondi & J. Aaron Simmons (2010). Heretics Everywhere. Philosophy and Theology 22 (1-2):49-76.
    By carefully considering Galileo’s letters to Castelli and Christina, we argue that his position regarding the relationship between Scripture and science is not only of historical importance, but continues to stand as a perspective worth taking seriously in the context of contemporary philosophical debates. In particular, we contend that there are at least five areas of contemporary concern where Galileo’s arguments are especially relevant: (1) the supposed conflict between science and religion, (2) the status and stakes of evidence, (3) the (...)
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  8. Fred Ablondi (2009). Epistemic vagueness? Think 8 (22):47-50.
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  9. Fred Ablondi (2009). Millar on Slavery. Journal of Scottish Philosophy 7 (2):163-175.
    John Millar's The Origin of the Distinction of Ranks is best known for its first chapter in which Adam Smith's favorite student traces the social status of women as it changed at various historical stages. Millar's concern is strictly with description and explanation. In the less discussed final chapter he examines the authority of a master over his servants. His treatment of slavery differs from the account of the rank of women in several notable ways, most significantly, perhaps, by including (...)
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  10. Fred Ablondi (2008). François Lamy, Occasionalism, and the Mind-Body Problem. Journal of the History of Philosophy 46 (4):pp. 619-629.
    There is a long-standing view that Malebranche and his fellow occasionalists accepted occasionalism to solve the problem of interaction between immaterial souls and extended bodies. Recently, however, scholars have shown this story to be a myth. Malebranche, Geulincx, La Forge, and Cordemoy adopted occasionalism for a variety of reasons, but none did so because of a need to provide a solution to a perceived mind-body problem. Yet there is one Cartesian for whom the “traditional” reading is largely on the mark. (...)
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  11. Fred Ablondi, Geraud de Cordemoy. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
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  12. Fred Ablondi (2008). Retroactive Identity Ascriptions, Empty Questions, and Intrinsic Relations. Think 7 (20):93-96.
    If a statue and lump of clay have the same life-histories, are they numerically identical?
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  13. Fred Ablondi (2007). Knowing Our Nature: A Note on Régis' Response to Malebranche. History of European Ideas 33 (2):135-141.
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  14. Fred Ablondi (2007). Why It Matters That I'm Not Insane: The Role of the Madness Argument in Descartes's First Meditation. International Philosophical Quarterly 47 (1):79-89.
    Descartes’s First Meditation employs a series of arguments designed to generate the worry that the senses might not provide sufficient evidence to justify one’staking as certain one’s beliefs about the way the world is. As the meditator considers what principle describes the conditions under which it is possible to attain certain knowledge, one after another doubt-generating device is ushered in, until at last he finds himself like someone caught in a whirlpool, able neither to stand firm nor to swim out. (...)
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  15. Fred Ablondi (2006). Descartes Reinvented. Review of Metaphysics 60 (2):426-427.
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  16. Fred Ablondi (2005). Almog's Descartes. Philosophy 80 (3):423-431.
    The answer which Joseph Almog gives to the question which serves as the title of his recent book What Am I? (subtitled: Descartes and the Mind-Body Problem) is based upon his interpretation of (1) and objection to Descartes' argument for the distinction of the mind and the body raised by Antoine Arnauld, as well as Descartes' response to it, and (2) Descartes' letters of 9 February 1645 to Denis Mesland. I will argue that both of these interpretations are incorrect, and (...)
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  17. Fred Ablondi (2005). Berkeley, Archetypes, and Errors. Southern Journal of Philosophy 43 (4):493-504.
  18. Fred Ablondi (2002). A Note on Hahn's Philosophy of Logic. History and Philosophy of Logic 23 (1):37-42.
    Hans Hahn, mathematician, philosopher and co-founder of the Vienna Circle, attempted to reconcile the validity and applicability of both logic and mathematics with a strict empiricism. This article begins with a review of this attempt, focusing on his view of the relation of language to logic and his answer to the question of why we need logic. I then turn to some recent work by Stephen Yablo in an attempt to show that Yablo's fictionalism, and in particular his use of (...)
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  19. Frederick R. Ablondi (2002). Kelly and McDowell on Perceptual Content. Electronic Journal of Analytic Philosophy 7.
    [0] In a recent issue of _EJAP_, Sean Kelly [1998] defended the position that perceptual content is non-conceptual. More specifically, he claimed that John McDowell's view that concepts involved in perception can be understood as expressible through the use of demonstratives is ultimately untenable. In what follows, I want to look more closely at Kelly's position, as well as suggest possible responses one could make on McDowell's behalf.
     
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  20. Fred Ablondi (1999). Malebranche and Knowledge of the Soul. American Catholic Philosophical Quarterly 73 (4):571-581.
  21. Fred Ablondi (1999). Overview. Philosophy Now 25:20-21.
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  22. Fred Ablondi (1998). Automata, Living and Non-Living: Descartes' Mechanical Biology and His Criteria for Life. [REVIEW] Biology and Philosophy 13 (2):179-186.
    Despite holding to the essential distinction between mind and body, Descartes did not adopt a life-body dualism. Though humans are the only creatures which can reason, as they are the only creatures whose body is in an intimate union with a soul, they are not the only finite beings who are alive. In the present note, I attempt to determine Descartes'' criteria for something to be ''living.'' Though certain passages associate such a principle with the presence of a properly functioning (...)
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  23. Fred Ablondi (1998). Le Spinoziste Malgré Lui?: Malebranche, De Mairan, and Intelligible Extension. History of Philosophy Quarterly 15 (2):191 - 203.
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  24. Fred Ablondi (1998). Malebranche's Theory of the Soul. Philosophical Review 107 (2):334-337.
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  25. Fred Ablondi (1997). Yolton, John W. Perception and Reality: A History From Descartes to Kant. Review of Metaphysics 50 (4):928-929.
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  26. Fred Ablondi (1996). Causality and Human Freedom in Malebranche. Philosophy and Theology 9 (3-4):321-331.
    In that it holds God to be the only true efficient cause, Malebranche’s occasionalism would seem to deny human freedom and to make God responsible for our sins. I argue that Malebranche’s occasionalism must be considered within its Cartesian framework; once one understands what it is to be an occasional cause in this context, Malebranche can be seen as saving a place for human freedom, and he can consistently hold that we are morally responsible for our actions.
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  27. Fred Ablondi (1994). Malebranche, Solipsism, and Divine Revelation. Sophia 33 (1):43-50.
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  28. Frederick Ablondi (1994). Individual Identity in Descartes and Spinoza. Studia Spinozana: An International and Interdisciplinary Series 10:69-92.
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