It is plausible that the universe exists: a thing such that absolutely everything is a part of it. It is also plausible that singular, structured propositions exist: propositions that literally have individuals as parts. Furthermore, it is plausible that for each thing, there is a singular, structured proposition that has it as a part. Finally, it is plausible that parthood is a partial ordering: reflexive, transitive, and anti-symmetric. These plausible claims cannot all be correct. We canvass some costs of denying (...) each claim and conclude that parthood is not a partial ordering. Provided that the relevant entities exist, parthood is not anti-symmetric and proper parthood is neither asymmetric nor transitive. (shrink)
At first pass, internalism about justification is the view that there is no justificatory difference without an internal difference. Externalism about mental content is the view that there are differences in mental content without an internal difference. Assuming (complete) mental contents are the primary bearers of justificatory features, the two views are in obvious tension. The goal of this paper is to determine how the tension is best resolved. The paper proceeds as follows. In §1 I explain the threat to (...) justificatory internalism from content externalism in more detail. In §2 I present Earl Conee and Richard Feldman’s “counterpart propositions” reply to the problem of content externalism. §3 criticizes the counterpart propositions reply. §4 presents a view in the metaphysics of belief that is widely adopted by content externalists: one that appeals to vehicles of content, modes of presentation of content, or ways of believing propositions. §5 exploits this metaphysics of belief in order to better accommodate justificatory internalist insights in light of content externalism. §6 shows how the new view (‘the Vehicle View’) can be used to address problems that face Conee and Feldman’s account. Finally, §7 provides a new argument from the Vehicle View for the language of thought hypothesis. (shrink)
This paper addresses Peter Singer's claim that cognitive ability can function as a universal criterion for measuring moral worth. I argue that Singer fails to adequately represent cognitive capacity as the object of moral knowledge at stake in his theory. He thus fails to put forth credible knowledge claims, which undermines both the trustworthiness of his moral theories and the morality of the actions called for by these theories. I situate Singer's methods within feminist critiques of moral reasoning and moral (...) epistemology, and argue that Singer's methods are problematic for moral reasoning because they abstract from their object valuable contextual features. I further develop this claim by showing the importance of embodiment for the construal of objects of moral knowledge. Finally, I develop the moral and scholarly implications of this critique. By showing that the abstract, universal methods of reasoning Singer employs cannot credibly construe the objects of ethical inquiry, I call into question the validity of these methods as a means to moral knowledge in general. Furthermore, since moral reasoning takes place within an embodied moral landscape, it is itself a moral enterprise. Singer's moral reasoning, and ours, must be held accountable for its knowledge claims as well as its concrete effects in the world. (shrink)
In a series of recent publications, Jeffrey King (The nature and structure of content, 2007; Proc Aristot Soc 109(3):257–277, 2009; Philos Stud, 2012) argues for a view on which propositions are facts. He also argues against views on which propositions are set-theoretical objects, in part because such views face Benacerraf problems. In this paper, we argue that, when it comes to Benacerraf problems, King’s view doesn’t fare any better than its set-theoretical rivals do. Finally, we argue that his view faces (...) a further Benacerraf problem, one that threatens to undercut his explanation of why propositions have truth-conditions. If correct, our arguments undercut King’s main motivation for accepting his view over its rivals. (shrink)
The consensus is that musical works and other ‘multiple’ artworks are abstract objects of some sort. According to the standard objections to musical materialism, multiple artworks cannot be identified with any concrete manifestation since concrete manifestations are many, and one thing cannot be identical to many. Multiple artworks are particularly good, while particular concrete manifestations are particularly bad, at surviving the destruction of particular concrete manifestations. Finally, multiple artworks cannot be identified with a particular sum of concrete manifestations since sums (...) and works differ modally. This paper aims to show that by appealing to recent work on the metaphysics of material objects, musical materialists avoid the standard objections. (shrink)
Human altruistic behavior has received a great deal of scientific attention over the past forty years. Altruistic-like behaviors found among insects and animals have illumined certain human behaviors, and the revival of interest in group selection has focused attention on how sacrificial altruism, although not adaptive for individuals, can be adaptive for groups. Curiously, at the same time that sociobiology has placed greater emphasis on the value of sacrificial altruism, Protestant ethics in America has moved away from it. While Roman (...) Catholic ethics has a longstanding tradition emphasizing an ordering of love, placing love of self second only to love for God, Protestant ethics in America has adopted a similar stance only recently, replacing a strong sacrificial ethic with one focusing on mutual regard for self and others. If sociobiology is correct about the significance of sacrificial altruistic behaviors for the survival of communities, this shift away from sacrificial agape by American Christianity may cut the community off from important resources for the development of a global ethic crucial for the survival of that faith community and humankind itself. (shrink)
The business of philosophical analysis is clarification, But explicators and ordinary-Language philosophers disagree about how to achieve it. Their mutual criticisms or attempts at arbitration are made at such a level of generality as to leave the basis for dispute or settlement obscure. By focusing on supposedly competing analyses of truth--Tarski's semantical and strawson's performative conceptions of truth--The paper makes clarification itself the subject of clarification in an attempt to determine the basis of dispute.
: What philosophical and historical insights might be gained by juxtaposing and linking two distinct areas of Zhu Xi's comments, those on guishen (conventionally glossed as ghosts or spirits) and those on the transmission and succession of the Way (daotong)? There is considerable evidence that he regarded canonical rites for ancestors and teachers as insufficiently satisfying, and thus he sought enhanced communion with the dead. His statements about spirits and especially his prayers to Confucius' spirit served to enhance his confidence (...) that he had gained the transmission of Confucius' dao and that nothing being passed down to him had been lost. In the rituals and prayers to Confucius, Zhu Xi also projected himself as mediator between his students and Confucius' spirit. After hearing such prayers and participating in the ritual sacrifices, Zhu's students would become more convinced of his special status in the transmission of the Way. This inquiry into these spiritual and philosophical issues ultimately demonstrates the compelling importance of Zhu's practical concerns. (shrink)
Aaron Cotnoir does all sorts of interesting things in his contribution to this volume. He makes a helpful distinction between syntactic and semantic objections to the thesis that composition is identity, and outlines some empirical points relevant to the syntactic issue. But the centrepiece is his development of a formal framework for addressing the semantic objections.
What is the significance of Newman’s Mediterranean Journey of 1832–1833? This essay provides a triple-framed response: historically, Newman’s journey was a postlude to his removal as a tutor of Oriel College and a prelude to the Oxford Movement; existentially, his journey was a “realization” of geographical learnings and philosophical ideas that had previously been “notional”; analogically, his journey hadfascinating parallels with the Oxonian classical “types” of Homer’s Odysseus and Virgil’s Aeneas.
Newman’s dramatic poem, “The Dream of Gerontius” (1865), was set to music by Edward Elgar (1857-1934) in 1900. This essay brings out the sympathy of mind and heart between poet and composer, and perhaps between them both and the listener of today, as well as the universality and depth of the human stake in some kind of personal and peopled life after death.
Newman’s explicit presentation of the ideal type, “the gentleman,” appears first and foremost in his Oratory papers of 1847 and 1848, and appears only secondarily, and then but partially, four and five years later in his Dublin Discourses of 1852 (The Idea of a University). This essay traces lines of similarity and of difference between these successive portraits and distinguishes both from the attractive, better-known sketch Newman presents as Lord Shaftesbury’s, the “beau ideal” of the man of the world.
After considering the meaning of “wisdom” in the Hellenic and Semitic Traditions, this essay examines Newman’s views about “worldly wisdom” in both a practical and a philosophical sense and then considers “holy wisdom” as contemplative and transcendent.