Wittgenstein conceived of philosophy as an activity rather than a subject. Thus, his work is highly relevant to the contemporary philosophical counseling movement. This paper explores the ways in which his views on how to do philosophy shed light on how we can approach philosophical counseling. First, Witgenstein's anti-theoretical approach to conceptual analysis highlights the dangers of interpreting clients? symptoms in light of theory. Second, his notion that "pictures hold us captive" underscores the need to help clients recognize unfounded assumptions (...) underlying their apparent dilemmas. Finally, Wittgenstein's Socratic conception of philosophy as a means to lead an authentic life shows the value of philosophizing beyond the confines of the academy. (shrink)
How should common schools in a liberal pluralist society approach sex education in the face of deep disagreement about sexual morality? Should they eschew sex education altogether? Should they narrow its focus to facts about biology, reproduction, and disease prevention? Should they, in addition to providing a broad palette of information about sex, attempt to cover a range of alternative views about sexual morality in a “value-neutral” manner? Should they seek to impart a “thick” conception of sexual morality, which precisely (...) articulates how individuals should lead their sexual lives? In this essay, Josh Corngold cautions against the adoption of each of these various approaches. He argues that schools should instead adopt an “autonomy-promoting” approach, which will aim to empower students, cognitively and emotionally, to exercise sovereignty over their own sexuality. (shrink)
Metaphysicians of space and time are fond of talking about objects being present at, wholly present at, or existing at certain times, or occupying certain regions of space, or even regions of space-time. Take, for example, this famous set of definitions due to Mark Johnston and David Lewis: Let us say that something persists, iff, somehow or other, it exists at various times; this is the neutral word. Something perdures iff it persists by having different temporal parts, or stages, at (...) different times, though no one part of it is wholly present at more than one time; whereas it endures iff it persists by being wholly present at more than one time. (Lewis 1986, p. 202) A great deal of debate has been conducted in this terminology: debates about whether anything does endure or perdure; about the ontology of temporal parts; about whether it makes sense to apply this kind of thinking to space, as well as to time (we can ask, for example, the analogous questions whether things are extended by being entended, or pertended); about whether it can be applied to space-time, and if so, to relativistic space-time. These debates have been fruitful, but cursed with a certain amount of imprecision. People sometimes talk past each.. (shrink)
This paper discusses a distinctive kind of property that I call “distributional” properties, which include, for example, the property of being polka-dotted (a colour-distributional property) and the property of being hot at one end and cold at the other (a heat-distributional property). I argue that distributional properties exist in whatever sense other properties exist, that they do not simply reduce to the non-distributional properties of points, and that they are implicated in the correct analysis of change.
An important objection to the "higher-order" theory of consciousness turns on the possibility of higher-order misrepresentation. I argue that the objection fails because it illicitly assumes a characterization of consciousness explicitly rejected by HO theory. This in turn raises the question of what justifies an initial characterization of the data a theory of consciousness must explain. I distinguish between intrinsic and extrinsic characterizations of consciousness, and I propose several desiderata a successful characterization of consciousness must meet. I then defend the (...) particular extrinsic characterization of the HO theory, the "transitivity principle," against its intrinsic rivals, thereby showing that the misrepresentation objection conclusively falls short. (shrink)
Cosmological arguments attempt to prove the existence of God by appeal to the necessity of a first cause. Schematically, a cosmological argument will thus appear as: (1) All contingent beings have a cause of existence. (2) There can be no infinite causal chains. (3) Therefore, there must be some non-contingent First Cause. Cosmological arguments come in two species, depending on their justification of the second premiss. Non-temporal cosmological arguments, such as those of Aristotle and Aquinas, view causation as requiring explanatory (...) or conceptual priority, and thus insist that there can be no infinite regresses in such priority. Temporal cosmological arguments, also called kalam cosmological arguments due to their historical roots in Islamic kalam philosophers such as Abu Yusuf Ya'qub b. Ishaq al-Kindi and Abu Ali al-Hussain ibn Sina, view causation as requiring temporal priority, and thus insist that there can be no infinite temporal regresses.1 The kalam cosmological argument thus requires some supporting argument showing the incoherence of an infinite temporal regress of causally related events. William Lane Craig, in "The Finitude of the Past and the Existence of God"2, attempts to provide such an argument: (4) An actual infinite cannot exist. (5) An infinite temporal regress of events is an actual infinite. (6) Therefore an infinite temporal regress of events cannot exist. (9) I will not be concerned here with the general status of cosmological arguments, kalam or otherwise, or with contesting Craig's assumption that an infinite past would (unlike an infinite future) constitute a problematic actual infinity. I am rather concerned with Craig's general working principle, embodied in (4) above, that actual infinities are impossible. Craig, of course, is not alone in denying the possibility of the actually infinite. Resistance to such infinities is at least as old as Aristotle (Physics 3.5.204b1 – 206a8), and, as Craig rightly points out, persists through much of modern (i.e., post-scholastic, pre-twentieth-century) philosophy.. (shrink)
This paper begins with a response to Josh Gert’s challenge that ‘on a par with’ is not a sui generis fourth value relation beyond ‘better than’, ‘worse than’, and ‘equally good’. It then explores two further questions: can parity be modeled by an interval representation of value? And what should one rationally do when faced with items on a par? I argue that an interval representation of value is incompatible with the possibility that items are on a par (a (...) mathematical proof is given in the appendix). I also suggest that there are three senses of ‘rationally permissible’ which, once distinguished, show that parity does distinctive practical work that cannot be done by the usual trichotomy of relations or by incomparability. In this way, we have an additional argument for parity from the workings of practical reason. (shrink)
The debate between A-theory and B-theory in the philosophy of time is a persistent one. It is not always clear, however, what the terms of this debate are. A-theorists are often lumped with a miscellaneous collection of heterodox doctrines: the view that only the present exists, that time ﬂows relentlessly, or that presentness is a property (Williams 1996); that time passes, tense is unanalysable, or that earlier than and later than are deﬁned in terms of pastness, presentness, and futurity (Bigelow (...) 1991); or that events or facts (as opposed to language) are “tensed” (Mellor 1993). B-theorists then argue that the A-theory is incoherent, using variants on J.M.E. McTaggart’s argument for the unreality of time (McTaggart 1927, ch. 33). (shrink)
It’s now commonplace — since Korsgaard (1996) — in ethical theory to distinguish between two distinctions: on the one hand, the distinction between value an object has in virtue of its intrinsic properties vs. the value it has in virtue of all its properties, intrinsic or extrinsic; and on the other hand, the distinction between the value has an object as an end, vs. the value it has as a means to something else. I’ll call the former distinction the distinction (...) between intrinsic and nonintrinsic value; the latter is between value as-an-end and instrumental value. (shrink)
I want to join Dummett in saying that the reality of the past (and, by analogy, the reality of the future) is an issue of realism versus anti-realism: (Dummett 1969) If you affirm the reality of the past, you are a realist about the past. If you deny the reality of the past, you are an anti-realist about the past. (And likewise, in each case, for the future). It makes sense to think of these issues by analogy with realism about (...) the external world, unobservable objects, mathematical objects, universals, and so on. These are all properly described as ontological issues. (shrink)
To say that this lump of sugar is soluble is to say that it would dissolve, if submerged anywhere, at any time and in any parcel of water. To say that this sleeper knows French, is to say that if, for example, he is ever addressed in French, or shown any French newspaper, he responds pertinently in French, acts appropriately or translates correctly into his own tongue.
This book is a survey, fortified by original material, of metaphysical theories of modality set in terms of possible worlds. Those theories include what Divers calls “genuine realism”, or “GR” — this is David Lewis’s “genuine modal realism” — and what Divers calls “actualist realism”, or “AR” — this seems to be the same as what Lewis called “ersatz modal realism”, which has also become widely know as “ersatzism”. Two important kinds of theory are not included: those that treat modality (...) by means not involving possible worlds at all (for example, modalism, various kind of non-cognitivism, and Quinean eliminativism about modality); and those that, while treating modality by talking about possible worlds, go on to deny that there are any possible worlds in one way or another (for example, Rosen’s fictionalism, and Divers’ own agnosticism about possible worlds). These get a short discussion towards the end of the introductory part of the book (sections 2.4–2.6), and Divers is planning to write a companion volume covering them. (shrink)
In his two recent books on ontology, Universals: an Opinionated Introduction, and A World of States of Affairs, David Armstrong gives a new argument against nominalism. That argument seems, on the face of it, to be similar to another argument that he used much earlier against Rylean behaviourism: the Truthmaker Argument, stemming from a certain plausible premise, the Truthmaker Principle. Other authors have traced the history of the truthmaker principle, its appearance in the work of Aristotle , Bradley , and (...) even Husserl . But that is not my task — in this paper I argue that Armstrong’s new argument is not logically analogous to the old, and, in particular, that it is quite possible to be a thoroughgoing nominalist, and hold a truthmaker principle. (shrink)
Most materialist responses to the zombie argument against materialism take either a ?type-A? or ?type-B? approach: they either deny the conceivability of zombies or accept their conceivability while denying their possibility. However, a ?type-Q? materialist approach, inspired by Quinean suspicions about a priority and modal entailment, rejects the sharp line between empirical and conceptual truths needed for the traditional responses. In this paper, I develop a type-Q response to the zombie argument, one stressing the theory-laden nature of our conceivability and (...) possibility intuitions. I argue that our first-person access to the conscious mind systematically misleads us into thinking that the distinctive qualities of conscious experience?qualia?are nonfunctional. Qualia, I contend, are functional, even though they do not seem to be. To support my claim, I introduce the ?meditations? of Rene Descartes? zombie twin. This establishes the plausibility of an appearance/reality distinction for consciousness and it undermines various anti-materialist objections based on privileged first-person access. I conclude that the best overall theory posits an appearance/reality distinction for qualia, and this, for the type-Q materialist, is decisive. (shrink)
The semantic puzzles posed by propositional attitude contexts have, since Frege, been understood primarily in terms of certain substitution puzzles. We will take as paradigmatic of such substitution puzzles cases in which two coreferential proper names cannot be intersubstituted salva veritate in the context of an attitude verb. Thus, for example, the following sentences differ in truth value: (1) Lois Lane believes Superman can fly. (2) Lois Lane believes Clark Kent can fly. despite the fact that "Superman" and "Clark Kent" (...) pick out the same individual.1 Equivalently, the following sentence may be true: (3) Lois Lane believes that Superman can fly, but that Clark Kent cannot fly. despite the coreferentiality of the names. (It will at times be convenient to appeal to this conjunctive attitude report in order to fix a single context of utterance.) Substitution failures such as these create a puzzle when conjoined with the assumptions (a) that attitude reports report a binary relation between an individual and some object of that individual's attitude and (b) that that object of the attitude is determined by the content of the complement sentence in the attitude report. If all of the terms in two complement sentences (e.g., "Superman can fly" and "Clark Kent can fly") have the same semantic content, then, prima facie, they ought to generate the same object of believe and, a fortiori, materially equivalent attitude reports. Frege, famously, attempts to defuse the puzzle by positing a semantic value of sense in addition to that of reference, and thereby distinguishing the semantic contents of the two complement sentences. (shrink)
The following quotation, from Frank Jackson, is the beginning of a typical exposition of the debate between those metaphysicians who believe in temporal parts, and those who do not: The dispute between three-dimensionalism and four-dimensionalism, or more precisely, that part of the dispute we will be concerned with, concerns what persistence, and correllatively, what change, comes to. Three-dimensionalism holds that an object exists at a time by being wholly present at that time, and, accordingly, that it persists if it is (...) wholly present at more than one time. For short, it persists by enduring. Four-dimensionalism holds that an object exists at a time by having a temporal part at that time, and it persists if it has distinct temporal parts at more than one time. For short, it persists by perduring (Jackson 1998, p. 138). In the light of these comments, some readers will perhaps ﬁnd the question that forms the title of this paper a little puzzling. They may have learned to use the terms ‘fourdimensionalism’ ‘perdurantism’ and ‘belief in temporal parts’ interchangeably; or perhaps even to deﬁne one in terms of the other. Such a usage, however, is inapposite. We might imagine a Flatland-like world of two spatial dimensions and one temporal, whose philosophers are divided between a theory of persistence on which they persist by having temporal parts, and a theory on which they persist by being wholly located in each of several times. This is just the same issue we face, but at least the label ‘four-dimensionalism’ seems inapposite: the four-dimensionalist Flatlanders believe in only three dimensions! (shrink)
This paper discusses the handicapped child case and some other variants of Derek Parfit's non-identityproblem (Parfit, 1984) The case is widely held to show that there is harmless wrongdoing, and that amoral system which tries to reduce wrongdoing directly to harm (``person-affecting morality'')is inadequate.I show that the argument for this does not depend (as some have implied it does) on Kripkean necessity of origin. I distinguish the case from other variants (``wrongful life cases'') of the non-identityproblem which do not bear (...) directly on person-affecting morality as I understand it. And finally, I describe a respect in which the handicapped child case is puzzling and counter-intuitive, even on the supposition that it is a case of harmless wrongdoing. I conclude that the case is ``hard'': it will take more than the rejection of person-affecting morality to remove its puzzling character. (shrink)
“Under what circumstances do things add up to or compose something?” This is what Peter van Inwagen (1990, p. 31) calls the Special Composition Question. Everyone, it seems, has a different answer. Van Inwagen’s, famously, is “when the activities of those things constitute a life”. Other people — nihilists about composition — say “never!” Other people — universalists about composition — say “always!”. Yet other people — brutalists about composition — say that there is no answer.
Paper begins: Chapter 4 of Hud Hudson’s stimulating book The metaphysics of hyperspace contains an discussion of the notion of location in a container spacetime. Hudson uses this idea to define a number of what we might call modes of extension or ways of being extended. A pertended object is what most people think of as a typical extended object — it is made up of spatial parts, one part for each region the object pervades. An entended object is an (...) extended simple (or a complex object made up of extended simples). Elsewhere, I’ve argued that entended objects are conceptually possible; that nothing about the concept of “extended” rules out entention. (More about how this argument works below). Hudson thinks that I did not go far enough. Besides pertended and entended objects, he also sees conceptual room for what he calls spanners and multiply located objects. These last two ways of being extended are even more exotic than extended simples. …. (shrink)
This paper began life as a short section of a more general paper about non-classical mereologies. In that paper I had a mereological theory that I wanted to show could be applied to all sorts of different metaphysical positions — notably, to those positions that believe in mereological vagueness in re — in “vague individuals”. To do that I felt I first had to dispatch the leading rival theory of vague individuals, which is due to Peter van Inwa-gen, and holds (...) that the part-whole relation admits of degrees. It seemed to me that this theory had a serious technical problem, or at best a serious gap. I sat down to write a paragraph or two highlighting the gap, preferably showing that it couldn’t be filled. This paper is the result. (shrink)
Graeme Forbes (2011) raises some problems for two-dimensional semantic theories. The problems concern nested environments: linguistic environments where sentences are nested under both modal and epistemic operators. Closely related problems involving nested environments have been raised by Scott Soames (2005) and Josh Dever (2007). Soames (forthcoming) goes so far as to say that nested environments pose the “chief technical problem” for strong two-dimensionalism. We might call the problem of handling nested environments within two-dimensional semantics the nesting problem. We first (...) lay out the basic principles of two-dimensional semantics and a simple treatment of necessity and apriority operators, and spell out how Forbes' puzzle arises within this framework. We then show how a generalized version of the puzzle arises independently of two-dimensional semantics. We go on to spell out a two-dimensional treatment of attitude verbs and spell out a two-dimensional treatment of the apriority operator that fits the two-dimensional treatment of attitude verbs and show how these handle Forbes' puzzles. (shrink)
Nevertheless, any competent speaker will know what it means. What explains our ability to understand sentences we have never before encountered? One natural hypothesis is that those novel sentences are built up out of familiar parts, put together in familiar ways. This hypothesis requires the backing hypothesis that English has a compositional semantic theory.
Normally this is not how we think material objects work. I, for example, am a material object that is located in multiple places: this place to my left where my left arm is, and this, distinct, place to my right, where my right arm is. But I am only partially located in each place. My left arm is a part of me that fills exactly the place to my left, and my right arm is a distinct part of me that (...) fills exactly the place to my right. I am located in multiple places by virtue of having distinct parts in those places. So entension is not happening to me — I do not entend. (shrink)
I argue that Colin Cheyne and Charles Pigden's recent attempt to find truthmakers for negative truths fails. Though Cheyne and Pigden are correct in their treatment of some of the truths they set out to find truthmakers for (such as 'There is no hippopotamus in S223' and 'Theatetus is not flying') they over-generalize when they apply the same treatment to 'There are no unicorns'. In my view, this difficulty is ineliminable: not every truth has a truthmaker.
The same-order representation theory of consciousness holds that conscious mental states represent both the world and themselves. This complex representational structure is posited in part to avoid a powerful objection to the more traditional higher-order representation theory of consciousness. The objection contends that the higher-order theory fails to account for the intimate relationship that holds between conscious states and our awareness of them--the theory 'divides the phenomenal labor' in an illicit fashion. This 'failure of intimacy' is exposed by the possibility (...) of misrepresentation by higher-order states. In this paper, I argue that despite appearances, the same-order theory fails to avoid the objection, and thus also has troubles with intimacy. (shrink)
Since Kaplan’s "Demonstratives", it has become a common-place to distinguish between the character and content of an expression, where the content of an expression is what it contributes to "what is said" by sentences containing that expression, and the character gives a rule for determining, in a context, the content of an expression. A tacit assumption of theories of character has been that character is autonomous from content – that semantic evaluation starts with character, adds context, and then derives content. (...) One consequence of this autonomy thesis is that the rules for character can contain no variables bound by content-level operators elsewhere in the sentence. Tacit appeal to this consequence features essentially both in Jason Stanley’s recent argument that all contextual ambiguity must be linked to "elements in the actual syntactic structure of the sentence uttered" in his "Context and Logical Form" and in my arguments against character-based theories of complex demonstratives in my "Complex Demonstratives". However, I argue here that the autonomy thesis is unmotivated, and show that we can separate Kaplan’s notion of character into two independent components: an aspect of meaning which is context-sensitive, and an aspect of meaning that is exempted from scopal interactions with other operators. The resulting semantic framework allows constructions similar to Kaplan’s rejected notion of "monsters begat by elegance", but which are both more empirically adequate and more theoretically versatile. Having made the distinction between context-sensitivity and autonomy from scopal interaction, I show how it allows binding into the character of expressions and hence undermines the immediate success of both Stanley’s argument and my former argument against character-based theories of complex demonstratives, and discuss briefly the prospects for reinstating modified versions of those arguments. Finally, I show how that same distinction allows a defusing of Kripke’s modal argument against a descriptive theory of names. Once autonomy from semantic interaction is separated from context-sensitivity, the first of those two alone can be used to capture the modal rigidity of proper names.. (shrink)
Analytic philosophers usually think about modality in terms of possible worlds. According to the possible worlds framework, a proposition is necessary if it is true according to all possible worlds; it is possible if it is true according to some possible world. There are as many possible worlds as there are ways the actual world might be. Only one world is actual.
In this paper, I argue against the claim recently defended by Josh Weisberg that a certain version of the self-representational approach to phenomenal consciousness cannot avoid a set of problems that have plagued higher-order approaches. These problems arise specifically for theories that allow for higher-order misrepresentation or—in the domain of self-representational theories—self-misrepresentation. In response to Weisberg, I articulate a self-representational theory of phenomenal consciousness according to which it is contingently impossible for self-representations tokened in the context of a conscious (...) mental state to misrepresent their objects. This contingent infallibility allows the theory to both acknowledge the (logical) possibility of self-misrepresentation and avoid the problems of self-misrepresentation. Expanding further on Weisberg’s work, I consider and reveal the shortcomings of three other self-representational models—put forward by Kreigel, Van Gulick, and Gennaro—in order to show that each indicates the need for this sort of infallibility. I then argue that contingent infallibility is in principle acceptable on naturalistic grounds only if we attribute (1) a neo-Fregean kind of directly referring, indexical content to self-representational mental states and (2) a certain ontological structure to the complex conscious mental states of which these indexical self-representations are a part. In these sections I draw on ideas from the work of Perry and Kaplan to articulate the context-dependent semantic structure of inner-representational states. (shrink)
Problems of Compositionality is a revised version of Zolt´an Szab´o’s 1995 doctoral dissertation. Of its five chapters, three have appeared (in heavily modified form) in print independently1, so I will concentrate most of my remarks on the second and third chapters, which remain unpublished outside the book. As it happens, I find these two chapters to be the most philosophically rewarding of the book. The principle of compositionality is a general constraint on the shape of a theory of meaning. Szab´o (...) gives the following initial formulation of the principle: The meaning of a complex expression is determined by the meanings of its constituents and by its structure. (3) Recent discussion of compositionality branches in a number of different directions, including (at least) disputes over the precise formulation of the principle, investigations of the mathematical features of various such formulations, exploration of a plethora of apparent counterexamples to the compositionality of natural languages, scholarly work on the history of the principle (especially its role in Frege), and employment of the principle as a tool in other philosophical disputes. Szab´o’s path through this thicket begins, in the first chapter, with a defense of an idiosyncratic version of the compositionality principle against some more traditional alternatives, proceeds in the second and third chapters to the oft-neglected and philosophically crucial task of asking why the principle of compositionality ought to be one we seek to impose, and concludes in the fourth and fifth chapters by considering and rejecting two putative counterexamples (manifesting in the semantics of adjectives and of definite descriptions) to the principle. The principle of compositionality is most commonly given a functional implementation – a language L is compositional iff the meaning of a complex expression α of L is a function of the meanings of the parts of α and the syntactic structure of α. Equivalently, L is compositional iff synonyms can be intersubstituted salva significa- tio in complex expressions of L.2 Szab´o, however, rejects the functional/substitutional.... (shrink)
A total theory of linguistic understanding is often taken to require three subtheories: a syntactic theory, a semantic theory, and a pragmatic theory. The semantic theory occupies an intermediary role – it takes as input structures generated by the syntax, assigns to those structures meanings, and then passes those meanings on to the pragmatics, which characterizes the conversational 1 impact of those meanings. Semantic theories thus seek to explain phenomena such as truth conditions of and inferential relations among sentences/utterances, anaphoric (...) relations among terms, and ambiguity and incoherence of expressions. (shrink)
I discuss a problem for modal realism raised by John Divers and others. I argue that the problem is real enough but that Divers’ “advanced modalising” solution is inadquate. The problem can only be solved by 1) holding that modal realism is only contingently true, 2) embracing a kind of Meinongianism about ontological commitment, or 3) abandoning the project of “analysing modality”.
Supervaluational accounts of vagueness have come under assault from Timothy Williamson for failing to provide either a sufficiently classical logic or a disquotational notion of truth, and from Crispin Wright and others for incorporating a notion of higher-order vagueness, via the determinacy operator, which leads to contradiction when combined with intuitively appealing ‘gap principles’. We argue that these criticisms of supervaluation theory depend on giving supertruth an unnecessarily central role in that theory as the sole notion of truth, rather than (...) as one mode of truth. Allowing for the co-existence of supertruth and local truth, we define a notion of local entailment in supervaluation theory, and show that the resulting logic is fully classical and allows for the truth of the gap principles. Finally, we argue that both supertruth and local truth are disquotational, when disquotational principles are properly understood. (shrink)
Judgment aggregation problems are language dependent in that they may be framed in different yet equivalent ways. We formalize this dependence via the notion of translation invariance, adopted from the philosophy of science, and we argue for the normative desirability of translation invariance. We characterize the class of translation invariant aggregation functions in the canonical judgment aggregation model, which requires collective judgments to be complete. Since there are reasonable translation invariant aggregation functions, our result can be viewed as a possibility (...) theorem. At the same time, we show that translation invariance does have certain normatively undesirable consequences (e.g. failure of anonymity). We present a way of circumventing them by moving to a more general model of judgment aggregation, one that allows for incomplete collective judgments. (shrink)
Conditionality is a modal feature (in only the trivial sense, in the case of the material conditional). For φ to be conditioned on ψ is for the appearance of φ and ψ to be connected in some way over some region of modal space.
The subject of consciousness, long shunned by mainstream psychology and the scientific community, has over the last two decades become a legitimate topic of scientific research. One of the most thorough attempts to formulate a theory of consciousness has come from Bernard Baars, a psychologist working at the Wright Institute. Baars proposes that consciousness is the result of a Global Workspace in the brain that distributes information to the huge number of parallel unconscious processors that form the rest of the (...) brain. This paper critiques the central hypothesis of Baars' theory of consciousness. (shrink)
subjective appearance of unity, but respects unity can be adequately dealt with by the theory. I the actual and potential disunity of the brain will close by briefly considering some worries about processes that underwrite consciousness. eliminativism that often accompany discussions of unity and consciousness.
Machine generated contents note: Notes on contributors; Introduction; Acknowledgements; Method of citation and bibliography of Heidegger's works; Part I. Interpreting Heidegger's Philosophy: 1. Heidegger's hermeneutics: towards a new practice of understanding Holger Zaborowski; 2. Facticity and Ereignis Thomas Sheehan; 3. The null basis-being of a nullity, or between two nothings - Heidegger's uncanniness Simon Critchley; 4. Freedom Charles Guignon; 5. Ontotheology Iain Thomson; Part II. Interpreting Heidegger's Interpretation: 6. Being at the beginning: Heidegger's interpretation of Heraclitus Daniel O. Dahlstrom; 7. (...) Being-affected: Heidegger, Aristotle, and the pathology of truth Josh Hayes; 8. Heidegger's interpretation of Kant Stephan Ka;ufer; 9. The death of God and the life of being: Heidegger's confrontation with Nietzsche Tracy Colony; 10. Heidegger's poetics of relationality Andrew Mitchell; Part III. Interpreting Heidegger's Critics: 11. Analyzing Heidegger: a history of analytic reactions to Heidegger Lee Braver; 12. Le;vinas and Heidegger: a strange conversation Wayne Froman; 13. Derrida's reading of Heidegger Françoise Dastur. (shrink)
As tends to be the way with philosophical positions, there are at least as many two-dimensionalisms as there are two-dimensionalists. But painting with a broad brush, there are core epistemological and metaphysical commitments which underlie the two-dimensionalist project, commitments for which I have no sympathies. A sketch of three signi?cant points of disagreement.
“The truth,” Quine says, “is that you can bathe in the same river twice, but not in the same river stage. You can bathe in two river stages which are stages of the same river, and this is what constitutes bathing in the same river twice. A river is a process through time, and the river stages are its momentary parts.” (Quine 1953, p. 65) Quine’s view is four-dimensionalism, and that is what Theodore Sider’s book is about. In Sider’s usage, (...) four-dimensionalism is the view that, necessarily, anything in space and time has a distinct temporal part, or stage, corresponding to each time at which it exists (p. 59). (shrink)
ABSTRCT: In this commentary, I criticize Metzinger's interdisciplinary approach to fixing the explanandum of a theory of consciousness and I offer a commonsense alternative in its place. I then re-evaluate Metzinger's multi-faceted working concept of consciousness, and argue for a shift away from the notion of "global availability" and towards the notio ns of "perspectivalness" and "transparency." This serves to highlight the role of Metzinger's "phenomenal model of the intentionality relation" (PMIR) in explaining consciousness, and it helps to locate Metzinger's (...) theory in relation to other naturalistic theories of. (shrink)
s Gibson (1982) correctly points out, despite Quine’s brief flirtation with a “mitigated phenomenalism” (Gibson’s phrase) in the late 1940’s and early 1950’s, Quine’s ontology of 1953 (“On Mental Entities”) and beyond left no room for non-physical sensory objects or qualities. Anyone familiar with the contemporary neo-dualist qualia-freak-fest might wonder why Quinean lessons were insufficiently transmitted to the current generation.
Paper begins: I have two gloves, a left glove and a right glove. I can fit the left glove onto my left hand, but not the right glove. Why? Because the right glove is the wrong shape to go on my left hand. So the two gloves are different shapes….
An argument is usually said to be valid iff it is truth-preserving—iff it cannot be that all its premises are true and its conclusion false. But imperatives (it is normally thought) are not truth-apt. They are not in the business of saying how the world is, and therefore cannot either succeed or fail in doing so. To solve this problem, we need to find a new criterion of validity, and I aim to propose such a criterion.
This paper discusses “inclusionism” in the context of David Lewis’s modal realism (and in the context of parasitic accounts of modality such as John Divers’s agnosticism about possible worlds). This is the doctrine that everything is a world. I argue that this doctrine would be beneficial to Divers-style agnosticism; that it suggests a reconfiguration of the concept of actuality in modal realism; and finally that it suffers from an as-yet unsolved difficulty, the problem of the unmarried husbands. This problem also (...) shows that Stephen Yablo’s analysis of “intrinsic” is inadequate. (shrink)
It’s well known that one way to cure a hangover is by a “hair of the dog” — another alcoholic drink. The drawback of this method is that, so it would appear, it cannot be used to completely cure a hangover, since the cure simply induces a further hangover at a later time, which must in turn either be cured or suffered through.
In their paper “Defining ‘Intrinsic’” Rae Langton and David Lewis propose a definition of intrinsicality in terms of modality and naturalness. Their key idea, drawing on earlier work by Jaegwon Kim, was that an intrinsic property is one that is independent of accompaniment, which is to say that P is intrinsic iff the following four conditions are all met: 1. It is possible for a lonely object to have P. 2. It is possible for an accompanied object to have P.