This articles aims at pointing out the following considerations: (1) the word saññā, when used as technical term referring to a "normal" perception, indicates an ordering activity, based on the grasping of a distinctive mark, which involves (correct or wrong) recognition and naming; (2) although perception is in the Pāli Canon (Majjhima Nikāya I, 293) said to be a unitary event, nonetheless we can say that the action of saññā takes place after sensation (vedanā) and concerns the collection of the (...) information coming from vedanā, and their reduction to/organization in a datum – that is assumed internally as strictly distinguished from the grasper (according to this perspective, derived from MN I, 111-112, saññā would play a central role in the formation of the idea of Ego, as opposed to the idea of object) –, which will be subsequently presented to the mind (viññāṇa/citta). (shrink)
L’ouvrage Spiritualité, vie et monde historique dans la phénoménologie transcendantale de Husserl est la version remaniée de la thèse d’Andrea Sebastiano Staiti, soutenue en février 2009. L’ouverture proposée résulte d’un constat bibliographique : Husserl, dans son projet d’une étude de la conscience transcendantale pure, s’est également confronté à des thèmes tels que l’intersubjectivité, l’histoire, l’éthique, la culture ou encore la théologie. Parmi ses nombreux thèmes, l’histoire est choi..
In the paper we argue that truth-relativism is potentially hostage to a problem of exhibiting witnesses of its own truth. The problem for the relativist stems from acceptance of a trumping principle according to which there is a dependency between ascriptions of truth of an utterance and ascriptions of truth to other ascriptions of truth of that utterance. We argue that such a dependency indeed holds in the case of future contingents and the case of epistemic modals and that, consequently, (...) the relativist about these domains cannot exhibit witnesses to his relativism. In the appendix we provide some results on the relation between trumping and multi-order relativism. (shrink)
Many writers have held that in his later work, David Lewis adopted a theory of predicate meaning such that the meaning of a predicate is the most natural property that is (mostly) consistent with the way the predicate is used. That orthodox interpretation is shared by both supporters and critics of Lewis's theory of meaning, but it has recently been strongly criticised by Wolfgang Schwarz. In this paper, I accept many of Schwarze's criticisms of the orthodox interpretation, and add some (...) more. But I also argue that the orthodox interpretation has a grain of truth in it, and seeing that helps us appreciate the strength of Lewis's late theory of meaning. References T. Bays. The Problem with Charlie: Some Remarks on Putnam, Lewis and Williams. Philosophical Review 116:401–425, 2007. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/00318108-2007-003 J. Hawthorne. Craziness and Metasemantics. Philosophical Review 116:427–440, 2007. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/00318108-2007-004 R. Holton. David Lewis's Philosophy of Language. Mind and Language 18:286-295, 2003. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/1468-0017.00228 D. Lewis. Convention: A Philosophical Study. Cambridge, Harvard University Press, 1969. D. Lewis. Radical Interpretation. Synthese 27:331–344, 1974. http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/BF00484599 D. Lewis. Languages and Language. In Minnesota Studies in the Philosophy of Science, 7:3–35. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1975. D. Lewis. Attitudes De Dicto and De Se. Philosophical Review 88: 513–543, 1979. http://dx.doi.org/10.2307/2184843 D. Lewis. Mad Pain and Martian Pain. In Ned Block, editor, Readings in the Philosophy of Psychology, pages 216-232. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1980. D. Lewis. New Work for a Theory of Universals. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 61: 343–377, 1983. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00048408312341131 D. Lewis. Putnam's Paradox. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 62: 221-236, 1984. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00048408412340013 D. Lewis. On the Plurality of Worlds. Oxford: Blackwell Publishers, 1986. D. Lewis. Meaning without Use: Reply to Hawthorne. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 70: 106-110, 1992. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00048408112340093 D. Lewis.. Reduction of Mind. In Samuel Guttenplan, editor, A Companion to the Philosophy of Mind, pages 412–431. Oxford: Blackwell, 1994. Reprinted in Lewis 1999. References to reprint. D. Lewis. Papers in Metaphysics and Epistemology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999. http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/CBO9780511625343 W. Schwarz. Lewisian Meaning without Naturalness. Unpublished manuscript, 2006. W. Schwarz. David Lewis: Metaphysik und Analyse. Paderborn: Mentis-Verlag, 2009. T. Sider. Criteria of Personal Identity and the Limits of Conceptual Analysis. Philosophical Perspectives 15: 189–209, 2001a. T. Sider. Four-Dimensionalism. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2001b. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/019924443X.001.0001 T. Sider. Writing the Book of the World. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012. PMCid:3539916 R. Stalnaker. Lewis on Intentionality. Australasian Journal of Philosophy 82: 199–212, 2004. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/713659796 B. Weatherson. What Good Are Counterexamples?. Philosophical Studies 115: 1-31, 2003. http://dx.doi.org/10.1023/A:1024961917413 B. Weatherson. Vagueness as Indeterminacy. In Richard Dietz and Sebastiano Moruzzi, editors, Cuts and Clouds: Vaguenesss, its Nature and its Logic, pages 77–90. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010. http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199570386.003.0005 J. R. G. Williams. Eligibility and Inscrutability. Philosophical Review 116: 361-399, 2007. http://dx.doi.org/10.1215/00318108-2007-002. (shrink)
Vagueness is a familiar but deeply puzzling aspect of the relation between language and the world. It is highly controversial what the nature of vagueness is -- a feature of the way we represent reality in language, or rather a feature of reality itself? May even relations like identity or parthood be affected by vagueness? Sorites arguments suggest that vague terms are either inconsistent or have a sharp boundary. The account we give of such paradoxes plays a pivotal role for (...) our understanding of natural languages. If our reasoning involves any vague concepts, is it safe from contradiction? Do vague concepts really lack any sharp boundary? If not, why are we reluctant to accept the existence of any sharp boundary for them? And what rules of inference can we validly apply, if we reason in vague terms? Cuts and Clouds presents the latest work towards a clearer understanding of these old puzzles about the nature and logic of vagueness. The collection offers a stimulating series of original essays on these and related issues by some of the world's leading experts. (shrink)
To explain the khandhas as the Buddhist analysis of man, as has been the tendency of contemporary scholars, may not be incorrect as far as it goes, yet it is to fix upon one facet of the treatment of the khandhas at the expense of others. Thus A. B. Keith could write, “By a division which ... has certainly no merit, logical or psychological, the individual is divided into five aggregates or groups.” However, the five khandhas, as treated in the (...) nikāyas and early abhidhamma, do not exactly take on the character of a formal theory of the nature of man. The concern is not so much the presentation of an analysis of man as object, but rather the understanding of the nature of conditioned existence from the point of view of the experiencing subject. Thus at the most general level rūpa, vedanā, sañña, and are presented as five aspects of an individual being's experience of the world; each khandha is seen as representing a complex class of phenomena that is continuously arising and falling away in response to processes of consciousness based on the six spheres of sense. They thus become the five upādānakkhandhas, encompassing both grasping and all that is grasped. As the upādānakkhandhas these five classes of states acquire a momentum, and continue to manifest and come together at the level of individual being from one existence to the next. For any given individual there are, then, only these five upādānakkhandhas — they define the limits of his world, they are his world. This subjective orientation of the khandhas seems to arise out of the simple fact that, for the nikāyas, this is how the world is experienced; that is to say, it is not seen primarily as having metaphysical significance.Accounts of experience and the phenomena of existence are complex in the early Buddhist texts; the subject is one that is tackled from different angles and perspectives. The treatment of rūpa, vedanā, saññā, and represents one perspective, the treatment of the six spheres of sense is another. As we have seen, in the nikāya formulae the two merge, complementing each other in the task of exposing the complex network of conditions that is, for the nikāyas, existence. In the early abhidhamma texts khandha, āyatana and dhātu equally become complementary methods of analysing, in detail, the nature of conditioned existence.The approach adopted above has been to consider the treatment of the five khandhas in the nikāyas and early abhidhamma texts as a more or less coherent whole. This has incidentally revealed something of the underlying structure and dynamic of early Buddhist teaching — an aspect of the texts that has not, it seems, either been clearly appreciated or properly understood, and one that warrants further consideration. (shrink)
This paper introduces considerations about constraints in the construction of measures of an agent's freedom. It starts with motivating the exercise from both the philosophical and the informational point of view. Then it presents two rankings of opportunity sets based on information about the extent of options and the constraints that a decision maker faces. The first ranking measures freedom as variety of choice; the second as non-restrictedness in choice.
The introduction to this issue is meant to address the ways in which turbulent immigration is challenging European democratic countries’ capacity to integrate the pluralism of cultures in light of the current state of economic instability, strong public debt, unemployment and an aging resident population. The Reset-Dialogues on Civilizations Association has organized its annual Istanbul Seminars in order to fill the need for constructive dialogue dedicated to increasing understanding and implementing social and political change. Turkey’s accession to the European Union (...) represents in this light a challenge to our liberal views, which must become more open-minded in order to address adequately cultural and religious differences, Islam included. We must set ourselves the task of finding a new perspective so that we may defuse the populist radicalization, fear-mongering politicians and xenophobia that are emerging in many countries. Yet it is equally essential that we reconfigure and recontextualize the traditional secular battle for freedom from the dominance of the Christian majority away from a binary opposition to a plural dimension that takes into account other religious communities. After introducing the major challenges our seminars were organized to address, the introduction will summarize and explain the articulation of the contents of this issue in the following three parts: (1) realigning liberalism in the context of globalization (with contributions by Nilüfer Göle, Alain Touraine, Albena Azmanova, Stephen Macedo, Zygmunt Bauman); (2) different paths: towards modernity and democracy from within different cultures and religions (Fred Dallmayr, Sadik Al Azm, Irfan Ahmad, Ibrahim Kalin); and (3) philosophical presuppositions of intercultural dialogue and multiculturalism (Maeve Cooke, Sebastiano Maffettone, Volker Kaul). (shrink)
Starting with the assumption that liberalism is under attack both from political and from philosophical alternatives, this paper is limited to a discussion of one family of critical arguments toward liberalism, namely the arguments that stress the importance of process as contrasted with substance. According to these arguments philosophical and political liberalism is based on substantive principles of justice, whereas a proper democratic theory should be founded on more procedural theories of justice. Such criticism ranges from democratic deliberative approaches to (...) republican theories of politics. I examine some of these critiques of liberalism - from Habermas to Cohen, Gutmann and Thompson, from Pettit to Sunstein and Michelman - and conclude that all of them arrive at a final impasse: either they smuggle into their critiques substantive parts of liberalism or their theories do not match our philosophical and political needs. That is why I maintain that sometimes the therapy (namely democratic deliberation and republicanism) can be worse than the disease (namely liberalism). Key Words: deliberative democracy justification legitimation liberalism political philosophy republicanism. (shrink)
This Introduction to the special issue on “Skepticism and Justification” provides a background to the nine articles collected here and a detailed summary of each, which highlights their interconnections and relevance to the debate at the heart of the issue.
This article raises some structural and theoretical problems in comprehensively reading Rawls. The first part divides Rawls’s oeuvre into two periods: the period marked by his most significant work A Theory of Justice (1971), and the period represented by Political Liberalism (1993) and The Law of Peoples (1999). The article examines ideas from all three books. The author first tries to show the continuity of Rawls’s liberalism, the best example being the development of the idea of the priority of right (...) over the idea of the good, and the development of the ideal of equality. The second aim is to explain the idea of public reason, introduced in Rawls’s second period, and related objections, while examining three basic forms of justification in Political Liberalism. The author also takes into account Rawls’s criticism of the idea of political philosophy, which he sees as too keen to solve the needs of political society and less willing to explore the philosophical doctrine’s potential, and his idea of philosophical liberalism as opposed to political liberalism. The third part of the article stresses the principles and norms of international law and practice, and explains what Rawls calls “realistic utopia” and some related problems. (shrink)
French materialist feminists such as Christine Delphy and Monique Wittig maintain that the social fact of women’s exploitation by men within the family pre-exists and produces gender differences as well as the perception that men and women belong to different biological sexes. They take this position to be ‘materialist’ because it puts social facts prior to ideas and beliefs and so puts the ‘material’ prior to the ‘ideal’. However, I shall claim, drawing on arguments of Sebastiano Timpanaro’s, that this (...) is an incomplete form of materialism because it neglects the shaping of social facts by their interaction with biological facts, notably the biological difference between the sexes. Wittig, though, denies that there is any ‘fact’ of biological sexual difference. Wittig claims that we only believe in and perceive two biological sexes due to the influence of gender expectations. I will try to show that Wittig’s arguments for this claim undermine themselves and actually presuppose that there are two biological sexes. I will conclude that, given that there are two biological sexes, a fully materialist form of feminism must take account of sex difference in theorising gender inequalities. (shrink)
We address the problem of observables in generally invariant spacetime theories such as Einstein’s general relativity. Using the refined notion of an event as a “point-coincidence” between scalar fields that completely characterise a spacetime model, we propose a generalisation of the relational local observables that does not require the existence of four everywhere invertible scalar fields. The collection of all point-coincidences forms in generic situations a four-dimensional manifold, that is naturally identified with the physical spacetime.
We propose a theoretical framework for modeling communication between agents that have different conceptual models of their current context. We describe how the emergence of subjective models of the world can be simulated and what the role of language and communication in that process is. We consider, in particular, the role of unsupervised learning in the formation of agents' conceptual models, the relative subjectivity of these models, and the communication and learning processes that lead into intersubjective sharing of concepts. We (...) also discuss some implications of the subjectivity of conceptual learning in the area of economics. (shrink)
The hydrodynamical formalism for the quantum theory of a nonrelativistic particle is considered, together with a reformulation of it which makes use of the methods of kinetic theory and is based on the existence of the Wigner phase-space distribution. It is argued that this reformulation provides strong evidence in favor of the statistical interpretation of quantum mechanics, and it is suggested that this latter could be better understood as an almost classical statistical theory. Moreover, it is shown how, within this (...) context, the Wigner and the Margenau-Hill functions are not equivalent, and that the latter is essentially unsatisfactory, as well as the associated symmetrization rule. Arguments in favor of a stochastic picture of the phenomena at the microscopic level are also presented. (shrink)
A literature review of 98 articles concerning clinical pain research in newborn infants was conducted to evaluate how researchers report the ethical issues related to their studies and how journals guide this reporting. The articles were published in 49 different scientific journals. The ethical issues most often mentioned were parental informed consent (94%) and ethical review approval (87%). In 75% of the studies the infants suffered pain during the research when placebo, no treatment or otherwise inadequate pain management was applied. (...) Discussion about benefits versus harm to research participants was lacking. A quarter of the journals did not have any ethical guidelines for submitted manuscripts. We conclude that ethical considerations did not play a significant role in the articles studied. Missing and superficial guidelines enable authors to offer studies with fragile research ethics. (shrink)
What is freedom? Can we measure it? Does it affect policy? This book develops an original measure of freedom called 'Autonomy Freedom', consistent with J. S. Mill's view of autonomy, and applies it to issues in policy and political design. The work pursues three aims. First, it extends classical liberalism beyond exclusive reliance on negative freedom so as to take autonomous behavior explicitly into account. Second, it grounds on firm conceptual foundations a new standard in the measurement of freedom that (...) can be fruitfully coupled with existing gauges. Third, it shows empirically that individual preferences for redistribution and cross-country differences in welfare spending in Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) countries are driven by the degree of 'autonomy freedom' that individuals enjoy. By means of an interdisciplinary approach and a sophisticated econometric methodology, the book takes an explicit stand in defense of freedom and sets the basis for a liberalism based upon people's actions and institutions. (shrink)