L'articolo si domanda, con riferimento al tardo Medioevo, se e in quale misura si possa osservare uno spostamento verso un approccio più laico alla questione specifica della legittimità della resistenza al tiranno. Nel secolo circa che separa Giovanni di Salisbury e Tommaso d'Aquino si passa da una analisi di carattere essenzialmente etico teologico del problema a una considerazione più simile a quella che oggi si potrebbe definire laica. Nelle pagine del De Regno, Tommaso discute anche dal punto di vista teologico (...) la questione della legittima resistenza a un governo tirannico e, tuttavia, in questo stesso contesto esamina attentamente i meccanismi costituzionali grazie ai quali una comunità politica può minimizzare il rischio di cadere sotto una forma tirannica di potere.With reference to the late Middle Ages, this paper discusses whether and to which extent we can see a shift towards an approach more secular concerning a specific issue: whether the resistance to tyrant is lawful or not. In the century, more or less, between John of Salisbury and Thomas Aquinas it goes from an essentially ethical-theological consideration of the problem to a consideration more close to that which today one would define secular. In the pages of De regno, Thomas discusses also from the theological point of view the question of lawful resistance in front of a tyrannical government and, however, in the same context he carefully examines the constitutional devices by which a political community can minimize the risk of coming under a tyrannical form of power. (shrink)
Stefano Predelli explores the relationships between semantic notions of meaning and truth. He develops a 'Theory of Bias' in order to approach notorious semantic problems, offers a solution to Quine's 'Giorgione' puzzle and a new version of the demonstrative theory quotation, and defends a bare-boned approach to demonstratives and demonstrations.
Stefano Predelli comes to the defense of the traditional "formal" approach to natural-language semantics, arguing that it has been misrepresented not only by its critics, but also by its foremost defenders. In Contexts he offers a fundamental reappraisal, with particular attention to the treatment of indexicality and other forms of contextual dependence which have been the focus of much recent controversy. In the process, he presents original approaches to a number of important semantic issues, including the relationship between validity (...) and indexicality, the limits of token-reflexive systems, the significance of contextualist arguments, and the interpretation of attitude reports. Contexts will make invigorating reading for all philosophers of language and many linguists. (shrink)
This essay examines the French reception of the Carl Schmitt's thought, specifically its Hegelian strand. Beginning with the early readings of Schmitt's thought by Alexandre Kojève and Georges Bataille during the mid-1930s, it attends to the partial adoption of Schmitt's friend/enemy distinction and his theories of sovereignty and neutralization in Kojève and Bataille's Hegelian writings, as well as to their critical responses. The essay then turns to examine the reading of Kojève by the Jesuit Hegelian résistant Gaston Fessard during the (...) war, a reading specifically intended to delegitimate Vichy as a “slave-prince,” resistance to whom would be legitimate. The final section returns to Bataille and his 1948 book The Accursed Share in order to propose that his Maussian understanding of the Marshall Plan suggested an overcoming of the friend/enemy distinction, a suggestion that was later made explicit in a 1957 talk by Kojève at Düsseldorf before Schmitt and a group of his supporters. At stake throughout are both the thoroughly critical reception of Schmitt, the particular political inflection of Hegel carried out by and in Kojève's reading, and certain methodological links between conceptual history and the reception history. (shrink)
This article explores whether and under which circumstances it is ethically viable to include artificial beings worthy of moral consideration in virtual environments. In particular, the article focuses on virtual environments such as those in digital games and training simulations – interactive and persistent digital artifacts designed to fulfill specific purposes, such as entertainment, education, training, or persuasion. The article introduces the criteria for moral consideration that serve as a framework for this analysis. Adopting this framework, the article tackles the (...) question of whether including artificial intelligences that are entitled to moral consideration in virtual environments constitutes an immoral action on the part of human creators. To address this problem, the article draws on three conceptual lenses from the philosophical branch of ethics: the problem of parenthood and procreation, the question concerning the moral status of animals, and the classical problem of evil. Using a thought experiment, the concluding section proposes a contractualist answer to the question posed in this article. The same section also emphasizes the potential need to reframe our understanding of the design of virtual environments and their future stakeholders. (shrink)
Stefano Predelli defends a semantics of proper names which has simplicity and common sense in its favour: proper names are non-indexical devices of rigid and direct reference. He grounds this view in accounts of the shape and form of names, and of their introduction within language use, and he responds to widespread misconceptions and objections.
Kant's Notion of "Transcendental Truth". [English] The aim of this work is to elucidate the notion of “transcendental truth” and to show its role in the Kantian system. I will argue that this notion is in line with the traditional definition of truth, i.e., that it consists in the correspondence between knowledge and object. I will also argue that criteria of transcendental truth are provided by transcendental logic, and that it is this notion of truth what makes it possible to (...) establish the truth of a priori knowledge and delimitate the field of empirical truth. [Español] El objetivo de este trabajo es dilucidar la noción de “verdad trascendental” y mostrar su lugar en el sistema kantiano. Se defenderá que la verdad trascendental consiste, en línea con la definición tradicional de verdad, en un sentido de correspondencia entre conocimiento y objeto, que la lógica trascendental establece criterios de verdad trascendental, y que es esta noción de verdad la que permite establecer la verdad del conocimiento a priori y delimitar el territorio de la verdad empírica. (shrink)
This paper investigates the effects of Buddhist ethics on consumers’ materialism, that is, the propensity to attach a fundamental role to possessions. The literature shows that religion and religiosity influence various attitudes and behaviors of consumers, including their ethical beliefs and ethical decisions. However, most studies focus on general religiosity rather than on the specific doctrinal ethical tenets of religions. The current research focuses on Buddhism and argues that it can tame materialism directly, similar to other religions, and through the (...) specific Buddhist ethical doctrines of the Four Immeasurables: compassion, loving kindness, empathetic joy, and equanimity. The empirical results show the following: (1) Buddhism reduces materialism directly and through some of the Four Immeasurables, and (2) despite the doctrine of non-existence of the self, positive emotions toward the self are still present, and the self absorbs the effects of Buddhist ethics on materialism. The latter finding suggests a “resistance of the self” that is coherent with the idea of a consumer who leverages the self to go beyond it. (shrink)
ABSTRACTIn this paper, I will establish a conversation between Rorty and the recent proposal of post-critical pedagogy. The assumption is that through this dialogue some tenets of the latter could find a Rortyan redescription that avoids the risk of ‘metaphysical’ formulations, whereas Rorty’s ideas can increase in their relevance with respect to education thanks to the post-critical perspective. In particular, the conversation will develop by focusing on the shared attitude towards the critical-negative attitude of poststructuralist thought, the significance of the (...) subject-matter in education and an interpretation of pedagogical hermeneutics through the lens of the Rortyan idea of edification. In the conclusion, by distinguishing two views of hope – an eventist and a transitionalist – it is argued that it is precisely in this theme, which seems to be a privileged meeting ground for Rorty and post-critical pedagogy, that there may lie a major fault line. (shrink)
Paraconsistent Weak Kleene logic is the 3-valued logic with two designated values defined through the weak Kleene tables. This paper is a first attempt to investigate PWK within the perspective and methods of abstract algebraic logic. We give a Hilbert-style system for PWK and prove a normal form theorem. We examine some algebraic structures for PWK, called involutive bisemilattices, showing that they are distributive as bisemilattices and that they form a variety, \, generated by the 3-element algebra WK; we also (...) prove that every involutive bisemilattice is representable as the Płonka sum over a direct system of Boolean algebras. We then study PWK from the viewpoint of AAL. We show that \ is not the equivalent algebraic semantics of any algebraisable logic and that PWK is neither protoalgebraic nor selfextensional, not assertional, but it is truth-equational. We fully characterise the deductive filters of PWK on members of \ and the reduced matrix models of PWK. Finally, we investigate PWK with the methods of second-order AAL—we describe the class \ of PWK-algebras, algebra reducts of basic full generalised matrix models of PWK, showing that they coincide with the quasivariety generated by WK—which differs from \—and explicitly providing a quasiequational basis for it. (shrink)
This essay aims at neutralizing the contextualist challenge against traditional semantics. According to contextualism, utterances of non-elliptical, non-ambiguous, and non-indexical sentences may be associated with contrasting truth-conditions. In this essay, I grant the contextualist analysis of the sentences in question, and the contextualist assessment of the truth-conditions for the corresponding utterances. I then argue that the resulting situation is by no means incompatible with the traditional approach to semantics, and that the evidence put forth by the contextualists may easily be (...) taken into account by the customary treatment of natural languages. (shrink)
In current philosophical discussions on evidence in the medical sciences, epidemiology has been used to exemplify a specific version of evidential pluralism. According to this view, known as the Russo–Williamson Thesis, evidence of both difference-making and mechanisms is produced to make causal claims in the health sciences. In this paper, I present an analysis of data and evidence in epidemiological practice, with a special focus on research on the exposome, and I cast doubt on the extent to which evidential pluralism (...) holds in this case. I start by focusing on the claim that molecular data allows for the production of mechanistic evidence. On the basis of a close look at the ways in which molecular data is used in exposome research, I caution against interpretations in terms of mechanistic evidence. Secondly, I expand my critical remarks on the thesis by addressing the conditions under which data is categorised as evidence in exposome research. I argue that these show that the classification of a dataset as a type of evidence is dependent on the ways in which the data is used. This is in contrast with the approach of evidential pluralism, where evidence is classified in different types on the basis of its intrinsic properties. Finally, I come back to what I consider the core of the thesis and suggest that the epidemiological research analysed in the paper indicates different interpretations of evidential pluralism and its applicability in the health sciences. (shrink)
This article examined how the group membership of the person being judged influenced the level of moral reasoning. Nearly 200 ordinary Italians were given two measures of moral ingroup inclusiveness and the short form of Rest’s Defining Issues Test. The protagonists in the dilemmas were either Italian or Romanian. Overall, the post-conventional score was related to higher inclusiveness. However, respondents with a narrow moral ingroup scored lower on post-conventional reasoning when the protagonists were Romanian than when they were Italian. By (...) contrast, those respondents with an inclusive moral ingroup obtained identical P scores on both types of dilemmas. Inclusiveness of the moral ingroup also mediated the relation of political affiliation and post-conventional reasoning. (shrink)
Problems and questions originally raised by Robert Nozick in his famous thought experiment ‘The Experience Machine’ are frequently invoked in the current discourse concerning virtual worlds. Having conceptualized his Gedankenexperiment in the early seventies, Nozick could not fully anticipate the numerous and profound ways in which the diffusion of computer simulations and video games came to affect the Western world. -/- This article does not articulate whether or not the virtual worlds of video games, digital simulations, and virtual technologies currently (...) actualize (or will actualize) Nozick’s thought experiment. Instead, it proposes a philosophical reflection that focuses on human experiences in the upcoming age of their ‘technical reproducibility’. -/- In pursuing that objective, this article integrates and supplements some of the interrogatives proposed in Robert Nozick’s thought experiment. More specifically, through the lenses of existentialism and philosophy of technology, this article tackles the technical and cultural heritage of virtual reality, and unpacks its potential to function as a tool for self-discovery and self-construction. Ultimately, it provides an interpretation of virtual technologies as novel existential domains. Virtual worlds will not be understood as the contexts where human beings can find completion and satisfaction, but rather as instruments that enable us to embrace ourselves and negotiate with various aspects of our (individual as well as collective) existence in previously-unexperienced guises. (shrink)
On the underwater environment and the mechanisms of deterioration of the materials likely to found on a shipwreck, and the theory and practice of conserving the artifacts recovered. Covers on-site storage, transport of artifacts, and requirements for exhibition after conservation treatment. Di Stefano (political science, U. of Washington) offers a new perspective on the dimension of gender in modern political thought in order to elucidate what is specifically masculine in political theory. Attempting to clear some conceptual space for feminist (...) political theory, she provides critical readings of Hobbes, Marx, and J.S. Mill. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, Inc., Portland, OR. (shrink)
The publication of the Report of the International Bioethics Committee of Unesco on Social responsibility and health provides an opportunity to reshape the conceptual framework of the right to health care and its practical implications. The traditional distinctions between negative and positive, civil-political and economic-social, legal and moral rights are to be questioned and probably overcome if the goal is to pursue ‘the highest attainable standard of health’ as a fundamental human right, that should as such be guaranteed to every (...) human being. What we are called upon to, is the commitment not to exclude now and forever anyone from having access to the ‘excellence’ of scientific and medical progress. Therefore, the addressees of this ‘responsibility’ cannot be just the governments and the states within the limits of their ‘jurisdiction’. The challenge is to tackle at the same time the social and global determinants of health. (shrink)
What is it like to be a human being in a simulated world? Will experiencing worlds that are not “actual” change our way of structuring thought? Can virtual worlds open up new possibilities for philosophizing? -/- Virtual Worlds as Philosophical Tools tries to answer those questions from a perspective that is informed and inspired by the philosophy of technology, media theory and the design of digital games. Despite being presented here in a form that is almost exclusively textual, its contents (...) encapsulate the interdisciplinary work of a digital humanist and, as such, are characterized by a degree of practical involvement in the creation and repurposing of digital technology and digitally mediated contents. More specifically, this book emerges from the engagement “in design and development processes that give rise to richer, multidirectional models, genres, iterations of scholarly communication and practice” ( Digital Humanities Manifesto 2.0). (shrink)
The main aim of this paper is that of providing a unified analysis for some interesting uses of quotation marks, including so-called scare quotes. The phenomena exemplified by the cases I discuss have remained relatively unexplored, notwithstanding a growing interest in the behavior of quotation marks. They are, however, of no lesser interest than other, more widely studied effectsachieved with the help of quotationmarks. In particular, as I argue in whatfollows, scare quotes and other similar instances bear interesting relations with (...) someimportant themes in the study of natural languages, such as questions regarding alleged devicesof conventional implicature, cases of so-called metalinguistic negation, and, moregenerally, problems pertaining to the distinction between semantic and pragmatic fieldsof inquiry.In Section 1, I begin with a description of some examples involvingthe uses of quotation marks I intend to discuss, and I hint at some desiderata fortheir analysis. In Section 2, I temporarily abandon quotation marks, and, inspired by therecent work of Stephen Neale and Kent Bach on alleged devices of conventional implicature,I present what I call the theory of message and attachment. In Sections 3 and 4,I return to my initial examples, I employ the theory of message and attachment in theiranalysis, and I discuss certain features regarding the behavior of negation in some related cases. (shrink)
Humans are always interested in distinguishing natural and artificial entities although there is no sharp demarcation between the two categories. Surprisingly, things do not improve when the second type of entities is restricted to the arguably more constrained realm of physical technical artifacts. This paper helps to clarify the relationship between natural entities and technical artifacts by developing a conceptual landscape within which to analyze these notions. The framework is developed by studying three definitions of technical artifact which arise from (...) different perspectives. All these perspectives share two intuitions: that technical artifacts are physical objects that exist by human intervention; and that technical artifacts are entities to be contrasted to natural entities. Yet the perspectives are different in the way they spell out these intuitions: the relevant human intervention may range from intentional selection to intentional production; and the contrast between technical artifacts and natural entities may be introduced by a constitution relation or by defining properties that set technical artifacts apart. The three perspectives are compared and their similarities and dissimilarities are explored with the help of ontological analysis. (shrink)
I present a novel explanation of the apparent truth of certain remarks about fiction, such as an utterance of ''Salieri commissioned the Requiem'' during a discussion of the movie Amadeus. I criticize the traditional view, which alleges that the uttered sentence abbreviates the longer sentence ''it is true in the movie Amadeus that Salieri commissioned the Requiem''. I propose a solution which appeals to some independently motivated results concerning the contexts relevant for the semantic evaluation of indexical expressions.
Recently, it has been argued that the use of Big Data transforms the sciences, making data-driven research possible and studying causality redundant. In this paper, I focus on the claim on causal knowledge by examining the Big Data project EXPOsOMICS, whose research is funded by the European Commission and considered capable of improving our understanding of the relation between exposure and disease. While EXPOsOMICS may seem the perfect exemplification of the data-driven view, I show how causal knowledge is necessary for (...) the project, both as a source for handling complexity and as an output for meeting the project’s goals. Consequently, I argue that data-driven claims about causality are fundamentally flawed and causal knowledge should be considered a necessary aspect of Big Data science. In addition, I present the consequences of this result on other data-driven claims, concerning the role of theoretical considerations. I argue that the importance of causal knowledge and other kinds of theoretical engagement in EXPOsOMICS undermine theory-free accounts and suggest alternative ways of framing science based on Big Data. (shrink)