Kevin Smith's utilitarian argument against homeopathy1 is flawed because he did not review and refute the relevant basic science literature on ultra-high dilutions. He also failed to appreciate that allopathic medicine is based on a deductive-nomothetic method and that homeopathic medicine is based on an inductive-idiographic method, and thus that the implications for clinical research are very different. His misunderstanding of provings and of the holism of homeopathic medicine also demonstrated his failure to understand the history, philosophy and method of (...) homeopathy. Finally, I questioned the value of introducing ethical judgment into an ongoing scientific debate. (shrink)
Before and in the Groundwork , Kant argues as follows for the validity of the moral law: we want to be free. Following the moral law is the only way to be free. So we should follow the moral law.1 The first premise of this syllogism is treated differently before and in the Groundwork . First Kant thought it an empirical fact that men want to be free and want it more than anything else.2 Later he sought an a priori (...) argument showing that we ought to want to be free and are right in thinking it good.3 The former justification of the moral law is superior. When we look to “salvage the normative core of Kantian moral philosophy” (Guyer 445), we should turn to it. - So far Paul Guyer. It is evident that Guyer fails to describe Kant's thought in the Groundwork . It is equally clear that Kant never held the position Guyer claims he held before the Groundwork . (The quotations Guyer gives in support of his claim show this.) Therefore I shall not discuss Guyer's interpretation of Kant. Instead I shall consider the philosophical merits of the position he ascribes to the pre-critical Kant, and which he recommends as superior. We shall see that that position makes no sense. This indirectly addresses the interpretive question, as it is a reason against ascribing it to Kant. (shrink)
The “Centro de Estudios Cientificos” (CEC) of San Sebastian was established to palliate the absence of universitary studies in the Basque Country, in base of an idea suggested by J. Rey Pastor. It began itsactivities in 1932 and ended in 1936, because of Spanish Civil War. It was supported by the “Sociedad de Estudios Vascos” and sponsored by the “Diputación Foral de Gipuzkoa” and the San Sebastian Council. In this paper, we describe and comment the different aspects relatives (...) to the CEC such as constitution, statutes, members, sections, courses, teachers, students, ... , and scientific journals supported by the CEC. (shrink)
En este trabajo me propongo desarrollar un estudio crítico de la concepción mecanicista de la explicación científica. En primer lugar, argumento que la caracterización mecanicista de los modelos fenoménicos (no explicativos) es inadecuada, pues no ofrece un análisis aceptable de los conceptos de modelo científico y similitud, que son fundamentales para la propuesta. En segundo lugar, sostengo que la caracterización de los modelos mecanicistas (explicativos) es igualmente inadecuada, pues los análisis disponibles de la relación explicativa de relevancia constitutiva implican una (...) tesis metafísica que es rechazada por los mismos mecanicistas. Concluyo que el mecanicismo no ofrece todavía una elucidación aceptable de la explicación científica. In this paper, I offer a critical assessment of the mechanicist approach to scientific explanation. Firstly, I argue that the mechanicist characterization of (non explanatory) phenomenological models is inadequate, since it does not develop an explication of the concepts of scientific model and similarity, which are indispensable to the approach. Secondly, I claim that the mechanicist conception of (explanatory) mechanicist models is inadequate as well, since all the available analices of the explanatory relation of constitutive relevance imply a metaphysical thesis that is rejected by the mechanicists themselves. I conclude that mechanicism needs to be emended if it aims to be considered as a genuinely illuminating approach to scientific explanation. (shrink)
The aim of this paper is an analysis of events in the framework of intensional logic. Events are constmed as special propositions, generalizing the ideas of Montague and D. Lewis, or equivalently as sets of world segments in which they occur. The main problem of such a propositional analysis is to account for coarse grained events as referred to by nominalizations like „the murder of Caesar". The idea is: This event is the set of all those world segments in which (...) Caesar is murdered in the same way and under the same circumstances as in the real world. Sameness has to be restricted to a set of prcperties if occurences of this event in other worlds are to be possible. Since in natural language the reference of event nominalizations depends on the context, the proposal is to relativize coarse grained events on sets of contextually relevant properties. (shrink)
Kant's The Critique of Pure Reason is arguably the single most important philosophical work in Western philosophy. It is also one of the most difficult philosophical texts to study. This clear, straightforward guide to the Critique recasts Kant's thought in more familiar language, avoiding the technicalities that plague other secondary sources on Kant. Sebastian Gardner examines Kant's thought by contrasting two interpretive traditions--those of Strawson and Allison--while setting the Critique in the context of both pre-Kantian and post-Kantian philosophy. Ideal (...) for anyone coming to Kant's thought for the first time, this accessible guide will be vital reading for all students of Kant in philosophy. (shrink)
The Importance of the University in the 21st Century: Ethical Conflicts and Moral Choices Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-8 DOI 10.1007/s10805-012-9152-9 Authors Samuel M. Natale, Kellogg College, University of Oxford, England, UK Sebastian A. Sora, Adelphi University, Garden City, NY, USA Matthew Drumheller, Grand Canyon University, Phoenix, AZ, USA Journal Journal of Academic Ethics Online ISSN 1572-8544 Print ISSN 1570-1727.
Giovanni Sommaruga (ed): Formal Theories of Information: From Shannon to Semantic Information Theory and General Concepts of Information Content Type Journal Article Pages 35-40 DOI 10.1007/s11023-011-9250-2 Authors Sebastian Sequoiah-Grayson, Department of Theoretical Philosophy, Faculty of Philosophy, University of Groningen, Groningen, The Netherlands Journal Minds and Machines Online ISSN 1572-8641 Print ISSN 0924-6495 Journal Volume Volume 22 Journal Issue Volume 22, Number 1.
[Sebastian Gardner] German idealism has been pictured as an unwarranted deviation from the central epistemological orientation of modern philosophy, and its close historical association with German romanticism is adduced in support of this verdict. This paper proposes an interpretation of German idealism which seeks to grant key importance to its connection with romanticism without thereby undermining its philosophical rationality. I suggest that the fundamental motivation of German idealism is axiological, and that its augment of Kant's idealism is intelligible in (...) terms of its combined aim of consolidating the transcendental turn and legitimating the kind of (objectual) relation to value articulated in German romanticism. /// [Paul Franks] German idealists regard Spinozism as both the realism that outflanks Kant's idealism and the source of the conception of systematicity with which to fortify idealism. But they offer little argument for this view. To fill the gap, I reconstruct arguments that could underlie Jacobi's and Pistorius's tentative but influential suggestions that Kant is or should be a Spinozist. Kant is indeed a monist about phenomena, but, unlike Spinoza, a pluralist about noumena. Nevertheless, it is arguable that the Third Antinomy can be solved by a more thoroughgoing Spinozistic monism. The resulting Spinozism outflanks Kant by acknowledging Jacobi's charge that philosophy annihilates immediacy and individuality, whereas Kant's commitment to things in themselves can seem a half-hearted attempt to avoid the charge. However, the German idealist contention is that only a synthesis of such a Spinozism with Kantian idealism can retrieve immediacy and individuality, thus overcoming nihilism. (shrink)
Abstract Artificial language philosophy (also called ‘ideal language philosophy’) is the position that philosophical problems are best solved or dissolved through a reform of language. Its underlying methodology—the development of languages for specific purposes—leads to a conventionalist view of language in general and of concepts in particular. I argue that many philosophical practices can be reinterpreted as applications of artificial language philosophy. In addition, many factually occurring interrelations between the sciences and philosophy of science are justified and clarified by the (...) assumption of an artificial language methodology. Content Type Journal Article Category Original paper in Philosophy of Science Pages 1-23 DOI 10.1007/s13194-011-0042-6 Authors Sebastian Lutz, Theoretical Philosophy Unit, Utrecht University, Postbus 80126, 3508 TC Utrecht, The Netherlands Journal European Journal for Philosophy of Science Online ISSN 1879-4920 Print ISSN 1879-4912. (shrink)
This paper defends and develops the structuring account of conscious attention: attention is the conscious mental process of structuring one’s stream of consciousness so that some parts of it are more central than others. In the first part of the paper, I motivate the structuring account. Drawing on a variety of resources I argue that the phenomenology of attention cannot be fully captured in terms of how the world appears to the subject, as well as against an atomistic conception of (...) attention. In the second part of the paper, I show how the structuring account can be made precise: attention causes and causally sustains phenomenal relations to hold between the parts of the stream of consciousness; most importantly the relation of one part being peripheral to another. I end by pointing out consequences for both the scientific study of attention as well as for several areas of central philosophical interest. (shrink)
What is the philosophical significance of attention? The present article provides an overview of recent debates surrounding the connections between attention and other topics of philosophical interest. In particular, it discusses the interplay between attention and consciousness, attention and agency, and attention and reference. The article outlines the questions and contemporary positions concerning how attention shapes the phenomenal character of experience, whether it is necessary or sufficient for consciousness, and whether it plays a special role in the best philosophical theories (...) of action or conceptual reference. Various interdependencies between the answers to these questions are indicated, as well as how these answers might depend on the metaphysics of attention. Together with its companion piece (“The Nature of Attention”) this article serves as an introduction to the philosophy of attention. (shrink)
Fregean predicates applied to Fregean objects are merely defined by a "timeless" deductive order of sentences. They cannot provide sufficient structure in order to explain how names can refer to objects of intuition and how predicates can express properties of substances that change in time. Therefore, the accounts of Wilson and Quine, Prior and Brandom for temporal judgments fail -- and a new reconstruction of Kant's transcendental logic, especially of the analogies of experience, is needed.
The vicissitudes of mathematical reason in the 20th century Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-6 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9556-y Authors Thomas Mormann, Department of Logic and Philosophy of Science, University of the Basque Country UPV/EPU, Donostia-San Sebastian, Spain, Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
What is attention? Attention is often seen as a subject matter for the hard sciences of cognitive and brain processes, and is understood in terms of sub-personal mechanisms and processes. Correspondingly, there still is a stark contrast between the central role attention plays for the empirical investigation of the mind in psychology and the neurosciences, and its relative neglect in philosophy. Yet, over the past years, several philosophers have challenged the standard conception. A number of interesting philosophical questions concerning the (...) nature of attention arise. This article provides an introduction to contemporary debates concerning these questions. In particular, it discusses the question of how the pre-theoretic conception of attention might be reconciled with a scientific conception, arguments that provide support for an anti-reductivist theory of attention, and sketches several recent anti-reductivist theories and their inter-relations. (shrink)
This paper attempts in the first instance to clarify the application of the personal/sub-personal distinction to psychoanalysis and to indicate how this issue is related to that of psychoanalysis" epistemology. It is argued that psychoanalysis may be regarded either as a form of personal psychology, or as a form of jointly personal and sub-personal psychology, but not as a form of sub-personal psychology. It is further argued that psychoanalysis indicates a problem with the personal/sub-personal distinction itself as understood by Dennett (...) A revised view of the distinction, which is argued to reflect its true metaphysical significance, is proposed. (shrink)
Up until fairly recently it was philosophical orthodoxy – at least within analytic aesthetics broadly construed – to hold that the appreciation and evaluation of works as art and moral considerations pertaining to them are conceptually distinct. However, following on from the idea that artistic value is broader than aesthetic value, the last 15 years has seen an explosion of interest in exploring possible inter-relations between the appreciative and ethical character of works as art. Consideration of these issues has a (...) distinguished philosophical history but as the Compass survey article suggests ('Art, Morality and Ethics: On the (Im)Moral Character of Art Works and Inter-Relations to Artistic Value.' Philosophy Compass 1.2 (2006): 129–43), it is only very recently that figures in the field have returned to it to develop more precisely what they take the relationships to be and why. Consensus is, unsurprisingly, lacking. The reinvigoration of the issues has led sophisticated formalists or autonomists to mount a more considered defence of the idea that aesthetic and literary values are indeed conceptually distinct from the justification or otherwise of the moral perspective or views endorsed in a work (Topic I). The challenges presented by such a defence are many but amongst them are appeals to critical practice (Lamarque and Olsen), scepticism about whether or not art really can give us bona fide knowledge (Stolnitz) and the recognition that truth often seems to be far removed from what it is we value in our appreciation of works (Lamarque). One way to motivate consideration of the relevance of a work's moral character to its artistic value concerns the phenomena of imaginative resistance. At least sometimes it would seem that, as Hume originally suggested, we either cannot or will not enter imaginatively into the perspective solicited by a work due to its morally problematic character (Topic II). In some cases, it would seem that as a matter of psychological fact, we cannot do so since it is impossible for us to imagine how it could be that a certain attitude or action is morally permissible or good (Walton). The question then is whether or not this is a function of morality in particular or constraints on imaginative possibility more generally and what else is involved. At other times, the phenomena seem to be driven by a moral reluctance to allow ourselves to enter into the dramatic perspective involved (Moran) or evaluation of the attitude expressed (Stokes). Nonetheless, it is far from obvious that this is so of all the attitudes or responses we judge to be morally problematic. After all, it looks like we can and indeed often do suspend or background particular cognitive and moral commitments in engaging with all sorts of works (Nichols and Weinberg). If the moral character of a work interacts with how we appreciate and evaluate them, then the pressing question is this: is there any systematic account of the relationship available to us? One way is to consider the relationship between our emotional responses to works and their moral character (Topic III). After all, art works often solicit various emotional responses from us to follow the work and make use of moral concepts in so doing (Carroll). Indeed, whether or not a work merits the sought for emotional responses often seems to be internally related to ethical considerations (Gaut). Yet, it is not obvious that we should apply our moral concepts or respond emotionally in our imaginative engagement with works as art as we should in real life (Kieran, Jacobson). A different route is via the thought that art can convey knowledge (Topic IV). There might be particular kinds of moral knowledge art distinctively suited to conveying (Nussbaum) or it may just be that art does so particularly effectively (Carroll, Gaut, Kieran). Either way where this can be tied to the artistic means and appreciation of a work it would seem that to cultivate moral understanding contributes to the value of a work and to betray misunderstanding is a defect. Without denying the relevance of the moral character of a work some authors have wanted to claim that sometimes the immoral aspect of a work can contribute to rather than lessen its artistic value (Topic V). One route is to claim that there is no systematic theoretical account of the relationship available and what the right thing to say is depends on the particular case involved (Jacobson). Another involves the claim that this is so when the defect connects up in an appropriate way to one of the values of art. Thus, it has been claimed, only where a work reveals something which adds to intelligibility, knowledge or understanding in virtue of its morally problematic aspect can this be so (Kieran). The latter position looks like it could in principle be held whilst nonetheless maintaining that the typical or standard relationship is as the moralists would have it. Yet perhaps allowing valence change for such reasons is less a mark of principled explanation and more a function of downright inconsistency or incoherence (Harold). The topics themselves and suggested readings given below follow the structure articulated above as further amplified in the Compass survey article. The design and structure given below can be easily compressed or expanded further. Author Recommends 1. Carroll, Noël. 'Art, Narrative and Moral Understanding.' Aesthetics and Ethics: Essay at the Intersection . Ed. Jerrold Levinson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. 126–60. This article develops the idea that engaging with narrative art calls on moral concepts and emotions and can thereby clarify our moral understanding. 2. Carroll, Noël. Beyond Aesthetics: Philosophical Essays . Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 2009. Part IV consists of six distinct essays on questions concerning the inter-relations between art and morality including the essay cited above and the author's articulation and defence of moderate moralism. 3. Gaut, Berys. 'The Ethical Criticism of Art.' Aesthetics and Ethics: Essay at the Intersection . Ed. Jerrold Levinson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. 182–203. 4. Gaut, Berys. Art, Emotion and Ethics . Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. This monograph provides the most exhaustive treatment of the issues and defends the claim that, where relevant, whenever a work is morally flawed it is of lesser value as art and wherever it is morally virtuous the work's value as art is enhanced. Chapters 7 and 8 defend concern ethical knowledge and chapter 10 is a development of the article cited above concerning emotional responses. Chapter 3 also gives a useful conceptual map of the issues and options in the debate. 5. Jacobson, Daniel. 'In Praise of Immoral Art.' Philosophical Topics 25 (1997): 155–99. A wide ranging and extended treatment of relevant issues which objects to generalising moral treatments of our responses to art works and defends the idea that particular works can be better because of rather than despite their moral defects. 6. Kieran, Matthew. 'Forbidden Knowledge: The Challenge of Cognitive Immoralism.' Art and Morality . Ed. Sebastian Gardner and José Luis Bermúdez. London: Routledge, 2003. 56–73. A general argument for immoralism is elaborated by outlining when, where and why a work's morally problematic character can contribute to its artistic value for principled reasons (through enhancing moral understanding). 7. Kieran, Matthew. Revealing Art . London: Routledge, 2005. Chapter 4. This chapter argues against both aestheticism and straightforward moralism about art, elaborating a defence of immoralism in relation to visual art whilst ranging over issues from pornographic art to the nature and demands of different genres in art. 8. Lamarque, Peter. 'Cognitive Values in the Arts: Marking the Boundaries.' Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art. Ed. Matthew Kieran. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006, 127–39. This article concisely outlines and defends a sophisticated aestheticism that denies the importance of truth to artistic value. 9. Stolnitz, Jerome. 'On the Cognitive Triviality of Art.' British Journal of Aesthetics 32.3 (1992): 191–200. This article articulates and defends the claim that no knowledge of any interesting or significant kind can be afforded by works appreciated and evaluated as art. 10. Walton, Kendall. 'Morals in Fiction and Fictional Morality, I.' Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl. 68 (1994): 27–51. This article builds on some comments from Hume to develop the idea that when engaging with fictions it seems impossible imaginatively to enter into radically deviant moral attitudes. Online Materials 'Aesthetics and Ethics: The State of the Art.' American Society of Aesthetics online (Jeffrey Dean): http://www.aesthetics-online.org/articles/index.php?articles_id=15 >. 'Art, Censorship and Morality' downloadable podcast of Nigel Warburton interviewing Matthew Kieran at Tate Britain (BBC/OU Open2.net as part of the Ethics Bites series): http://www.open2.net/ethicsbites/art-censorship-morality.html >. 'Art, Morality and Ethics: On the (Im)Moral Character of Art Works and Inter-Relations to Artistic Value.' Philosophy Compass 1.2 (2006): 129–43 (Matthew Kieran): http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/118557779/abstract >. 'Ethical Criticism of Art.' Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Ella Peek): http://www.iep.utm.edu/a/art-eth.htm >. 'Fascinating Fascism.' New York Review of Books Piece Discussing Leni Riefenstahl (Susan Sontag): http://www.nybooks.com/articles/9280 >. 'The Beheading of St. John the Baptist (1450s), Giovanni de Paolo' (Tom Lubbock): http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/great-works/great-works-the-beheading-of-st-john-the-baptist-1450s-giovanni-di-paolo-1684900.html >. Vladimir Nabokov and Lionel Trilling discuss Lolita (CBS): http://www.listal.com/video/3848698 >. Sample Syllabus Topic I Autonomism/Aestheticism • Anderson, James C. and Jeffrey T. Dean. 'Moderate Autonomism.' British Journal of Aesthetics 38.2 (1998): 150–66. • Beardsley, Monroe. Aesthetics: Problems in the Philosophy of Criticism . New York: Harcourt, Brace and World, 1958. Chapter 12. • Kant, Immanuel. The Critique of Judgement.Trans. James Creed Meredith . Oxford: Oxford UP, 1952 . • Lamarque, Peter. 'Cognitive Values in the Arts: Marking the Boundaries.' Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art . Ed. Matthew Kieran. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006, 127–39. • ——. 'Tragedy and Moral Value.' Australasian Journal of Philosophy 73.2 (1995): 239–49. • Lamarque, Peter and Stein Olsen. Truth, Fiction and Literature . Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1994. Chapter 10. • Stolnitz, Jerome. 'On the Cognitive Triviality of Art.' British Journal of Aesthetics 32.3 (1992): 191–200. Topic II Imaginative Capacities, Intelligibility and Resistance • Moran, Richard. 'The Expression of Feeling in Imagination.' Philosophical Review 103.1 (1994): 75–106. • Nichols, Shaun. 'Just the Imagination: Why Imagining Doesn't Behave Like Believing'. Mind & Language 21.4 (2006): 459–74. • Stokes, Dustin. 'The Evaluative Character of Imaginative Resistance'. British Journal of Aesthetics 46.4 (2006): 387–405. • Tanner, Michael. 'Morals in Fiction and Fictional Morality, II'. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl. Vol. 68 (1994): 51–66. • Walton, Kendall (1994). 'Morals in Fiction and Fictional Morality, I'. Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, Suppl. Vol. 68 (1994): 27–51. • Weinberg, Jonathan. 'Configuring the Cognitive Imagination.' New Waves in Aesthetics . Eds. K. Stock and K. Thomson-Jones. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2008. 203–23. Topic III Moralism and Emotions • Carroll, Noël. 'Moderate Moralism.' British Journal of Aesthetics 36.3 (1996): 223–37. • Carroll, Noël. 'Art, Narrative and Moral Understanding.' Aesthetics and Ethics: Essay at the Intersection . Ed. Jerrold Levinson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998.126–60. • Gaut, Berys. Art, Emotion and Ethics . Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. Chapter 10. • ——. 'The Ethical Criticism of Art.' Aesthetics and Ethics: Essay at the Intersection . Ed. Jerrold Levinson. Cambridge: Cambridge UP, 1998. 182–203. • Hume, David. 'Of the Standard of Taste.' Selected Essays . Oxford: Oxford UP, 1993 . 133–53. • Kieran, Matthew. 'Emotions, Art and Immorality.' Oxford Handbook to the Philosophy of Emotions . Ed. Peter Goldie. Oxford: Oxford UP, 2009. 681–703. • Tolstoy, Leo. What is Art? . London: Penguin, 2004. Chapters 5 and 15. Topic IV Moralism and Knowledge • Aristotle. Poetics . Trans. M. Heath. London: Penguin, 1996 [367–322 BC]. • Carroll, Noël. 'The Wheel of Virtue: Art, Literature and Moral Knowledge.' Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 60.1 (2002): 3–26. • Gaut, Berys. Art, Emotion and Ethics . Oxford: Oxford UP, 2007. Chapters 7 and 8. • Gaut, Berys. 'Art and Cognition.' Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art . Ed. Matthew Kieran. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006. 115–26. • Kieran, Matthew. 'Art, Imagination and the Cultivation of Morals.' Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 54.4 (1996): 337–51. • Nussbaum, Martha. 'Finely Aware and Richly Responsible: Literature and the Moral Imagination.' Love's Knowledge . New York: Oxford UP, 1990. 148–68. • Plato. The Republic . Trans. D. Lee. Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1974. Book 10. Topic V Immoralist Contextualism • Harold, James. 'Immoralism and the Valence Constraint.' British Journal of Aesthetics 48.1 (2008): 45–64. • Jacobson, Daniel. 'In Praise of Immoral Art.' Philosophical Topics 25 (1997): 155–99. • ——. 'Ethical Criticism and the Vices of Moderation.' Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art . Ed. Matthew Kieran. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006. 342–55. • John, Eileen. 'Artistic Value and Moral Opportunism.' Contemporary Debates in Aesthetics and the Philosophy of Art . Ed. Matthew Kieran. Oxford: Blackwell, 2006. 331–41. • Kieran, Matthew. 'Forbidden Knowledge:The Challenge of Cognitive Immoralism.' Art and Morality . Ed. Sebastian Gardner and José Luis Bermúdez. London: Routledge, 2003. 56–73. • Kieran, Matthew. Revealing Art . London: Routledge, 2005. Chapter 4. • Patridge, Stephanie. 'Moral Vices as Artistic Virtues: Eugene Onegin and Alice.' Philosophia 36.2 (2008): 181–93. Focus Questions 1. What is the strongest argument for the claim that the moral character of a work is not relevant to its artistic value? Does artistic or literary criticism tend to concern itself with the truth or morality of works? If so, in what ways? If not, why do you think this is? 2. What different explanations might there be for difficulty with or resistance to imaginatively entering into attitudes you take to be immoral? How might this relate to the way our imaginings work as contrasted with belief? How might different literary or artistic treatments of the same subject matter make a difference? 3. How do narrative works draw on our moral concepts and responses? Can we suspend our normal moral commitments or application of moral concepts in responding emotionally to art works? Should we respond emotionally to art works as we ought to respond to real world events we witness? Why? Why not? 4. How, if at all, do art works convey moral understanding? How, if at all, is this related to the kinds of moral knowledge art works can teach or reveal to us? When, where and why might this be tied to the artistic value of a work? How can we tell where a work enhances our moral understanding as opposed to misleading or distorting it? 5. What art works do you value overall as art which commend or endorse moral values and attitudes that you do not? Is appreciation of them always marred or lessened by the morally dubious aspect? If not, what explains the differences in evaluation? What, if anything, might you learn by engaging with works which endorse moral attitudes or apply moral concepts different from those you take to be justified? How, if at all, might this connect up with what makes them valuable as art? (shrink)
This paper takes a fresh look at a classical theme in philosophical scholarship, the meaning of transcendental idealism, by contrasting Kant's and Husserl's versions of it. I present Kant's transcendental idealism as a theory distinguishing between the world as in-itself and as given to the experiencing human being. This reconstruction provides the backdrop for Husserl's transcendental phenomenology as a brand of transcendental idealism expanding on Kant: through the phenomenological reduction Husserl universalizes Kant's transcendental philosophy to an eidetic science of subjectivity. (...) He thereby furnishes a new sense of transcendental philosophy, rephrases the quid iuris-question, and provides a new conception of the thing-in-itself. What needs to be clarified is not exclusively the possibility of a priori cognition but, to start at a much lower level, the validity of objects that give themselves in experience. The thing-in-itself is not an unknowable object, but the idea of the object in all possible appearances experienced at once. In spite of these changes Husserl remains committed to the basic sense of Kant's Copernican Turn. I end with some comments on how both Kant and Husserl view the relation between theoretical and moral philosophy. (shrink)
This dissertation investigates the nature, the phenomenal character and the philosophical significance of attention. According to its central thesis, attention is the ongoing mental activity of structuring the stream of consciousness or phenomenal field. The dissertation connects the scientific study of attention in psychology and the neurosciences with central discussions in the philosophy of mind. Once we get clear on the nature and the phenomenal character of attention, we can make progress toward understanding foundational issues concerning the nature and the (...) structure of conscious mentality itself. We understand better how consciousness is connected to self-awareness and to agency, and we get a better grip on the nature of perceptual experience, the unity of consciousness, and its subjective character. The dissertation also aims at showing that the current empirical investigation of attention should be complemented with work at the level of generality that a philosophical analysis can provide; it shows how such an analysis is relevant for the scientific study of attention by providing a new conceptual framework and suggesting several new areas of research. (shrink)
According to a certain, familiar way of dividing up the business of philosophy, made popular by Quine, ontology is concerned with the question of what there is (a task that is often identified with that of drafting a “complete inventory” of the universe) whereas metaphysics is concerned with the question of what it is (i.e., with the task of specifying the “ultimate nature” of the items included in the inventory).1 For instance, a thesis to the effect that there are such (...) things as colors or virtues would strictly speaking belong to ontology, whereas it would pertain to metaphysics proper to establish whether such entities are Platonic forms, Aristotelian universals, tropes, moments, or what have you. Likewise, it would fall within the scope of ontology to determine whether, when we speak of Sherlock Holmes, of the natural numbers, or of Sebastian’s walks in Bologna, we are speaking of things that truly belong to the furniture of the universe, but it would be a further metaphysical task to say something precise in regard to the ultimate make-up of those things, if such there be—for instance, that Sherlock Holmes is a theoretical artifact, that numbers are abstract individuals, that walks are property exemplifications, and so on. Of course, this view is all but universal among philosophers. There are many other, different ways of understanding the terms ‘ontology’ and ‘metaphysics’, some of which can certainly claim a respectable pedigree. For example, it is also common to think of ontology as a proper part of metaphysics—that part that has to do with what there is2—and there are even philosophers who use those terms in a way that is the exact opposite of the one I have just offered.3 But never mind; I am not interested in defending the view or in criticizing it, as very little depends on it. I am citing it just to fix a certain distinction and to settle on a terminology. The question I wish to address concerns the relationship between the distinction—the relationship between ontology understood as the study of what there is and metaphysics understood as the study of what it is.. (shrink)
In the introduction to the third and last volume of his Philosophy of Symbolic Forms of 1929,entitled “Phenomenology of Knowledge,” Ernst Cassirer remarks that the meaning in which he employs the term ‘phenomenology’ is Hegelian rather than according to “the modern usage of the term.”1 What sense can it make, then, to invoke Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology in this context? Yet if, roughly speaking, phenomenology can be characterized as the logosof phenomena,that is, of being insofar as it appears (phainesthai)to a conscious (...) subject, then the sense of phenomenology need not be so different from what Cassirer terms “the modern usage.”2 Phenomenology in this more liberal sense would be an account of how consciousness experiences the world through different forms of experience and in different spaces of meaning. The addition ‘hermeneutic’, moreover, points to a broader methodological scope.. (shrink)
Art and Morality is a collection of groundbreaking new papers on the theme of aesthetics and ethics, and the link between the two subjects. A group of world-class contributors tackle the important question that arise when one thinks about the moral dimensions of art and the aesthetic dimension of moral life. The volume is a significant contribution to the philosophical literature, opening up unexplored questions and shedding new light on more traditional debates in aesthetics. The topics explored include the relation (...) of aesthetic to ethical judgment; the relation of artistic experience to moral consciousness; the moral status of fiction; the concepts of sentimentality and decadence; the moral dimension of critical practice, pictorial art and music; the moral significance of tragedy; and the connections between artistic and moral issues elaborated in the writings of central figures in modern philosophy such as Kant, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche. (shrink)
This paper offers a further look at Husserl's late thought on the transcendental subject and the Husserl-Heidegger relationship. It attempts a reconstruction of how Husserl hoped to assert his own thoughts on subjectivity vis-à-vis Heidegger, while also pointing out where Husserl did not reach the new level that Heidegger attained. In his late manuscripts, Husserl employs the term 'transcendental person' to describe the transcendental ego in its fullest 'concretion'. I maintain that although this concept is a consistent development of Husserl's (...) earlier analyses of constitution, Husserl was also defending himself against Heidegger, who criticized him for framing the subject in terms of transcendental ego rather than as Dasein. Husserl was convinced that he could successfully respond to Heidegger's critique, but he did not grasp that Heidegger's fundamental ontology was an immanent development, rather than a scathing criticism, of his own phenomenology. (shrink)
It is well known that Sartre describes his form of existentialism as atheistic, and much of the rhetoric of Sartrean existentialism draws off the image of God's absence from the world. There are nevertheless, I argue, deep grounds for thinking that the coherence and well-groundedness of Sartre's thought requires that his phenomenological ontology take finally the form of an onto-theology: Sartre's ontology runs into difficulties concerning the origin of the for-itself and the unity of being; an onto-theology like Schelling's, which (...) avoids the ‘ontological optimism’ that Sartre objects to in Hegel, both releases Sartre's ontology from its difficulties and furthers Sartre's central philosophical purposes. (Published Online July 10 2006). (shrink)
The well known AGM framework for belief revision has recently been extended to include a model of the research agenda of the agent, i.e. a set of questions to which the agent wishes to find answers (Olsson & Westlund in Erkenntnis , 65 , 165–183, 2006 ). The resulting model has later come to be called interrogative belief revision . While belief revision has been studied extensively from the point of view of modal logic, so far interrogative belief revision has (...) only been dealt with in the metalanguage approach in which AGM was originally presented. In this paper, I show how to model interrogative belief revision in a modal object language using a class of operators for questions. In particular, the solution I propose will be shown to capture the notion of K-truncation , a method for agenda update in the case of expansion constructed by Olsson & Westlund. Two case studies are conducted: first, an interrogative extension of Krister Segerberg’s system DDL, and then a similar extension of Giacomo Bonanno’s modal logic for belief revision. Sound and complete axioms will be provided for both of the resulting logics. (shrink)
on points that remain especially crucial, i.e., the concept of the natural attitude, the ways into the reduction (and their systematics), and ﬁnally the question of the “meaning of the reduction.” Indeed, in the reading attempted here, this ﬁnal question leads to two, not necessarily related, focal points: a Cartesian and a Life-world tendency. It is my claim that in following these two paths, Husserl was consistent in pursuing two evident leads in his philosophical enterprise; however, he was at the (...) same time unable to systematically unify these two strands. Thus, I am oﬀering an interpretation which might be called a modiﬁed “departure from Cartesianism” reading that Landgrebe pro-. (shrink)
One worry about metaethical expressivism is that it reduces to some form of subjectivism. This worry is enforced by subjectivists who argue that subjectivism can explain certain phenomena thought to support expressivism equally well. Recently, authors have started to suggest that subjectivism can take away what has often been seen as expressivism's biggest explanatory advantage, namely expressivism's ability to explain the possibility of moral disagreement. In this paper, I will give a response to an argument recently given by Frank Jackson (...) to this conclusion that will show that it is false that subjectivism could explain disagreement as well as expressivism. (shrink)
This article mounts a defence of Floridi’s theory of strongly semantic information against recent independent objections from Fetzer and Dodig-Crnkovic. It is argued that Fetzer and Dodig-Crnkovic’s objections result from an adherence to a redundant practice of analysis. This leads them to fail to accept an informational pluralism, as stipulated by what will be referred to as Shannon’s Principle, and the non-reductionist stance. It is demonstrated that Fetzer and Dodig-Crnkovic fail to acknowledge that Floridi’s theory of strongly semantic information captures (...) one of our deepest and most compelling intuitions regarding informativeness as a basic notion. This modal intuition will be referred to as the contingency requirement on informativeness. It will be demonstrated that its clarification validates the theory of strongly semantic information as a novel, and non ad hoc solution to the Bar-Hillel-Carnap semantic paradox. (shrink)
Nietzsche on Freedom and Autonomy collects twelve essays by some of the heaviest hitters in Nietzsche studies today: Sebastian Gardner, Ken Gemes, Christopher Janaway, Robert Pippin, Simon May, Brian Leiter, John Richardson, Peter Poellner, Aaron Ridley, David Owen, Mathias Risse, and, writing jointly, Maudemarie Clark and David Dudrick. A number of these essays began their lives at a 2006 Nietzsche on Self, Agency, and Autonomy conference at the University of London, and there is sporadic yet substantive engagement between them. (...) About one essay, Leiter's previously e-published "Nietzsche's Theory of the Will," we are told that "there is already a secondary literature" (125n22),1 and, as if on cue, Clark and .. (shrink)
In this paper I will give a systematic account of Husserl's notion of the natural attitude in the development from its first presentation in Ideas I (1913) until Husserl's last years. The problem of the natural attitude has to be dealt with on two levels. On the thematic level, it is constituted by the correlation of attitude and horizon, both stemming from Husserl's theory of intentionality. On the methodic level, the natural attitude is constituted by three factors: naturalness, naivety and (...) normality. I shall conclude by sketching out a possible motivation for leaving the natural attitude and thus for entering the sphere of phenomenology. (shrink)
Introduction: This paper has two, interrelated aims. The first is to clarify Sartre's theory of intersubjectivity. Sartre's discussion of the Other has a puzzling way of going in and out of focus, seeming at one moment to provide a remarkably original solution to the problem of other minds and at the next to wholly miss the point of the skeptical challenge. The nature of his argument is equally uncertain: at some points it looks like an attempt to mount a transcendental (...) argument, a kind of Refutation of Idealism regarding the existence of others, at others, to be a defence of direct realism; yet again, it can seem to propose a dissolution of the problem closely analogous to Wittgenstein. I will argue (Section 1) that none of these provides quite the right model for understanding Sartre, which requires one to take seriously his method of resolving epistemological issues into matters of ontology. I argue further (Section 2) that Sartre's theory becomes fully coherent only if we make explicit its implicit presupposition of a conception of intersubjectivity articulated by Fichte. My second aim is to pursue the connection opened up of Sartre with German idealism. To the extent that commentators attempt to relate Sartre systematically to German idealism, it is almost always Hegel who provides the other term of comparison.1 What I try to show (Section 3) is that the usual comparison of Sartre with Hegel, which is largely negative, is distracting, and that Sartre's closer philosophical [End Page 325] relations are to Fichte and Schelling.2 This supplies, I argue, an important correction to the tendency of anglophone discussion of Sartre to isolate his claims from historical considerations, or to restrict Sartre's historical frame of reference to Hegel, Husserl and Heidegger: Sartre's philosophy, I suggest, is viewed fruitfully in the context of philosophical debates pursued in early German idealism. Sartre's ethics, I argue (Section 4), provide supporting evidence for this view. I propose tentatively in conclusion (Section 5) a corresponding view of existential phenomenology as a whole. (shrink)
I defend the Received View on scientific theories as developed by Carnap, Hempel, and Feigl against a number of criticisms based on misconceptions. First, I dispute the claim that the Received View demands axiomatizations in first order logic, and the further claim that these axiomatizations must include axioms for the mathematics used in the scientific theories. Next, I contend that models are important according to the Received View. Finally, I argue against the claim that the Received View is intended to (...) make the concept of a theory more precise. Rather, it is meant as a generalizable framework for explicating specific theories. (shrink)
Before and in the Groundwork, Kant argues as follows for the validity of the moral law: we want to be free. Following the moral law is the only way to be free. So we should follow the moral law.1 The first premise of this syllogism is treated differently before and in the Groundwork. First Kant thought it an empirical fact that men want to be free and want it more than anything else.2 Later he sought an a priori argument showing (...) that we ought to want to be free and are right in thinking it good.3 The former justification of the moral law is superior. When we look to "salvage the normative core of Kantian moral philosophy" (Guyer 445), we should turn to it. - So far Paul Guyer. It is evident that Guyer fails to describe Kant's thought in the Groundwork. It is equally clear that Kant never held the position Guyer claims he held before the Groundwork. (The quotations Guyer gives in support of his claim show this.) Therefore I shall not discuss Guyer's interpretation of Kant. Instead I shall consider the philosophical merits of the position he ascribes to the pre-critical Kant, and which he recommends as superior. We shall see that that position makes no sense. This indirectly addresses the interpretive question, as it is a reason against ascribing it to Kant. (shrink)
Secondo una terminologia oggi piuttosto diffusa, l’ontologia si occuperebbe di stabilire che cosa c’è, ovvero di redigere una sorta di inventario di tutto l’esistente, mentre la metafisica si occuperebbe di stabilire che cos’è quello che c’è, ovvero di specificare la natura degli articoli inclusi nell’inventario 1. Per esempio, la tesi in base alla quale esistono entità come i colori o le virtù competerebbe all’ontologia, mentre rientrerebbe nei compiti della metafisica stabilire se queste entità siano forme platoniche, universali aristotelici, accidenti individuali, (...) tropi, e così via. Allo stesso modo, spetterebbe all’ontologia determinare se quando parliamo di Pinocchio, dei numeri naturali, delle passeggiate di Sebastian o dello stile Biedermeier stiamo parlando di cose che esistono o sono esistite davvero, ma sarebbe la metafisica a dirci qualcosa di preciso in merito ai loro tratti salienti, per esempio che Pinocchio è un concetto individuale, che i numeri sono oggetti astratti, che le passeggiate sono eventi irripetibili estesi nello spazio e nel tempo, e così via. (shrink)
R. G. Collingwood's theory of re-enactment has long been understood as an important contribution to the philosophy of history. It has also been challenging to understand how re-enactment is operationalized in the practice of understanding past actors or, indeed, other minds occupying less remote regions of our experiences. Sebastian Rödl has recently articulated a compelling defence of second person ascription, arguing that it is, in form, analogous to first person understanding. By Rödl's lights, second person understanding follows the same (...) order of reason as its first person counterpart. In this paper I argue that Rödl's case for second person understanding, and its relationship to the first person point of view, is at once compelling in its own right but also helpful in explaining how re-enactment may be operationalized. (shrink)
I argue that, contrary to common opinion, (i) unintended models do not pose a significant problem for syntactic approaches to scientific theories, (ii) in syntactic approaches, scientific theories can be as well connected to the world as in semantic ones, and (iii) some syntactic approaches are at least as language independent as semantic ones. Based on these results, I argue that syntactic and semantic approaches fare equally well when it comes to (iv) capturing the theory-observation relation, (v) ease of application, (...) and (vi) accommodating the use of models in the sciences. (shrink)
Perceptual illusions have often served as an important tool in the study of perceptual experience. In this paper I argue that a recently discovered set of visual illusions sheds new light on the nature of time consciousness. I suggest the study of these silencing illusions as a tool kit for any philosopher interested in the experience of time and show how to better understand time consciousness by combining detailed empirical investigations with a detailed philosophical analysis. In addition, and more speciﬁcally, (...) I argue against an initially plausible range of views that assume a close match between the temporal content of visual experience and the temporal layout of experience itself. Against such a widely held structural matching thesis I argue that which temporal changes we are experiencing bears no close relation to how our experience itself is changing over time. Explanations of the silencing illusions that are compatible with the structural matching thesis fail. (shrink)
Book description:* The only accessible and authoritative guide to the continental traditions in philosophy * 20 brand-new contributions by an outstanding international team * Valuable for anyone working on continental philosophy, European literature, the history of ideas, and cultural studies The Oxford Handbooks series is a major new initiative in academic publishing. Each volume offers an authoritative and up-to-date survey of original research in a particular subject area. Specially commissioned essays from leading figures in the discipline give critical examinations of (...) the progress and direction of debates. Oxford Handbooks provide scholars and graduate students with compelling new perspectives upon a wide range of subjects in the humanities and social sciences. The Oxford Handbook of Continental Philosophy is the definitive guide to the major themes of the continental Euopean tradition in philosophy in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Brian Leiter and Michael Rosen have assembled a stellar group of contributors who provide a thematic treatment of continental philosophy, treating its subject matter philosophically and not simply as a series of museum pieces from the history of ideas. The scope of the volume is broad, with discussions covering a wide range of philosophical movements including German Idealism, existentialism, phenomenology, Marxism, postmodernism, and critical theory, as well as thinkers like Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Heidegger, and Foucault. This Handbook will be an essential reference point for graduate students and professional academics working on continental philosophy, as well as those with an interest in European literature, the history of ideas, and cultural studies. (shrink)
This review is a critical discussion of three main claims in Debs and Redhead’s thought-provoking book Objectivity, Invariance, and Convention. These claims are: (i) Social acts impinge upon formal aspects of scientific representation; (ii) symmetries introduce the need for conventional choice; (iii) perspectival symmetry is a necessary and sufficient condition for objectivity, while symmetry simpliciter fails to be necessary.