Relying upon real life examples of human suffering--including torture, genocide, and warfare--as opposed to thought experiments, Corbi proposes a novel approach to self-knowledge that runs counter to standard Kantian approaches to morality.
La claridad y la argumentación sirven de refugio frente a la charlatanería en el filosofar, pero quienes enfatizan tales principios metodológicos tienden a identificar la claridad con la literalidad y la argumentación con la formalización. En este trabajo, considero los límites de una elucidación filosófica de nuestras prácticas morales que descanse en tal identificación; para ello, examino la relevancia de la posición original de John Rawls para la determinación de los principios de la justicia y, en general, de los experimentos (...) mentales para el estudio de la moralidad. La relevancia de la posición original depende, a mi entender, de un supuesto de concordancia según el cual, a menos que incurramos en algún error deliberativo, no puede haber discrepancia alguna entre nuestros juicios relativos a la justicia acerca de una situación hipotética y nuestros juicios cuando nos enfrentamos realmente a la misma. A lo largo del texto, trato de mostrar que tal supuesto es insostenible a partir del examen de una experiencia moral particular: a saber, la experiencia del soldado; y, para ello, revindico las virtudes deliberativas de la conciencia expresiva de ciertos hechos frente a una mera conciencia declarativa de los mismos; finalmente, extraigo algunas consecuencias de esta distinción para la definición de un estilo filosófico. Astress on clarity and argumentation may serve as a refuge against quackery, but often those who focus on such methodological principles tend to identify clarity with literalness and argumentation with formalization. My reflection upon the limits of a philosophical style inspired in such an identification is mainly concerned with the use of thought experiments in the elucidation of our moral practices and, more specifically, with the relevance of John Rawls' original position for the determination of the basic principles of justice. To this purpose, I emphasize that the relevance of the original position rests on a matching assumption according to which, if agents deliberate appropriately, there should not be any gap between our judgments concerning justice about a hypothetical situation and our judgments whenever we are actually confronted with it. I will, nevertheless, explore a particular moral experience, namely, that of the soldier, only to conclude that such an assumption is untenable. More specifically, I will defend the deliberative virtues of an expressive awareness of certain facts as opposed to a mere declarative awareness of them. In the last section, I will derive some implications of this distinction as to the articulation of a philosophical style. (shrink)
Abstract: There is much that I admire in Richard Moran's account of how first-person authority may be consistent with self-knowledge as an achievement. In this paper, I examine his attempt to characterize the goal of psychoanalytic treatment, which is surely that the patient should go beyond the mere theoretical acceptance of the analyst's interpretation, and requires instead a more intimate, first-personal, awareness by the patient of their psychological condition.I object, however, that the way in which Moran distinguishes between the deliberative (...) and the theoretical attitudes is ultimately inconsistent with a satisfactory account of psychoanalytic practice; mainly because, despite Moran's claims to the contrary, such a distinction is still inspired by a Cartesian picture of the self. I argue that, in the light of his distinction, Moran may emphasize that an agent's psychological dispositions should be permeable to her decisions and projects, but is forced to reject the idea that permeability could go the other way too. I explore Bernard Williams' notion of acknowledgment and Simone Weil's distinction between two notions of necessity, in order to articulate a notion of receptive passivity which may help us to characterize this second direction of permeability. I finally outline why receptive passivity (and, thereby, the double direction of permeability) is crucial in order to identify the goal of psychoanalytic treatment and, derivatively, to understand how a certain kind of awareness may have a significant therapeutic effect. (shrink)
In Authority and Estrangement Richard Moran takes some rather illuminating steps towards getting rid of the Cartesian picture of self-knowledge. I argue, however, that Moran’s crucial distinction between deliberative and theoretical attitude is seriously contaminated by that traditional picture. More specifically, I will point out why some crucial aspects of the phenomena that Moran describes in terms of the interplay between the theoretical and the deliberative attitude, should rather be interpreted as a process that takes place within the deliberative attitude (...) itself. The theoretical attitude will, as a result, constitute a rather marginal attitude towards one’s own psychological dispositions and experiences, the adoption of which only makes sense in rather peculiar, often pathological, situations. (shrink)
Nondescriptivist Cognitivism vindicates the cognitive value of moral judgements despite their lack of descriptive content. In this paper,I raise a few worries about the proclaimed virtues of this new metaethical framework Firstly, I argue that Nondescriptivist Cognitivism tends to beg the question against descriptivism and, secondly, discuss Horgan and Timmons' case against Michael Smith's metaethical rationalism. Although I sympathise with their main critical claims against the latter, I am less enthusiastic about the arguments that they provide to support them.
A subject is a being who has a life to lead. In this paper, I explore the array of resources that are available to us (i.e., Westerners at the turn of the millennium) to articulate and assess our lives. Specifically, I shall reflect on the impact that such matters may have on our naturalist conviction that the world ultimately consists of a causal network where notions such as sense and value have no direct bearing. Sometend to assume that an implication (...) of our naturalist world-view is that the notions of sense and value are inevitably relative to the subject’s desires and inclinations. This is, however, a line of reasoning that I would like to resist. For I am convinced that this approach unnecessarily restricts the number of resources to which we can legitimately appeal in order to lead our lives. This restriction will turn out to be quite serious because, as we shall see, it dramatically distorts our perception of the relevance that social ties may have in the life of a subject, as well as the conditions under which a human life may escape the absurd. (shrink)
In the ongoing debate, there are a set of mind-body theories sharing a certain physicalist assumption: whenever a genuine cause produces an effect, the causal efficacy of each of the nonphysical properties that participate in that process is determined by the instantiation of a well-defined set of physical properties. These theories would then insist that a nonphysical property could only be causally efficacious insofar as it is physically implemented. However, in what follows we will argue against the idea that fine-grained (...) mental contents could be physically implemented in the way that functional properties are. Therefore, we will examine the metaphysical conditions under which the implementing mechanism of a particular instance of a functional property may be individuated, and see how genuine beliefs and desires—insofar as they track the world—cannot meet such conditions. (shrink)
I discuss, in this paper, the view of value that is associated with Humean motivational theories. I argue that these theories unjustifiably constrain the kind of element that may contribute to our motivational economy and, thereby, unduly reduce our capacity to recognize certain sources of value. To this purpose, I will examine some axiological experiences that, if I am right, are inaccessible to a Humean analysis of our motivational structure. I will insist, for instance, on a sense in which social (...) links may be important in the life of a human being which the Humean notion of desire cannot apprehend. (shrink)
To begin, I introduce an analysis of interlevel relations that allows us to offer an initial characterization of the debate about the way classical and connectionist models relate. Subsequently, I examine a compatibility thesis and a conditional claim on this issue. With respect to the compatibility thesis, I argue that, even if classical and connectionist models are not necessarily incompatible, the emergence of the latter seems to undermine the best arguments for the Language of Thought Hypothesis, which is essential to (...) the former. I attack the conditional claim of connectionism to eliminativism, presented by Ramsey et al. (1990), by discrediting their discrete characterization of common-sense psychological explanations and pointing to the presence of a moderate holistic constraint. Finally, I conclude that neither of the arguments considered excludes the possibility of viewing connectionist models as forming a part of a representational theory of cognition that dispenses with the Language of Thought Hypothesis. (shrink)
To begin, I introduce an analysis of interlevel relations that allows us to offer an initial characterization of the debate about the way classical and connectionist models relate. Subsequently, I examine a compatibility thesis and a conditional claim on this issue.With respect to the compatibility thesis, I argue that, even if classical and connectionist models are not necessarily incompatible, the emergence of the latter seems to undermine the best arguments for the Language of Thought Hypothesis, which is essential to the (...) former. (shrink)