In this paper, I argue that the first and the third premises of the zombie argument cannot be jointly true: zombies are either inconceivable beings or the possible existence of them does not threaten the physicalist standpoint. The tenability of the premises in question depends on how we understand the concept of a zombie. In the paper, I examine three popular candidates to this concept, namely zombies are creatures who lack consciousness, but are identical to us in their functional organization, (...) entire physical makeup, and microphysical structure. The main aim of the paper is to argue that none of these conceptions conveys a consistent zombie-concept to us, which, at the same time, would be dangerous for physicalism. In the conclusion, I argue that the source of this failure can be found in the logical fallaciousness of the argument, namely the premises simply presuppose the truth of the conclusion. (shrink)
Our paper consists of three parts. In the first part we explain the concept of mental fictionalism. In the second part, we present the various versions of fictionalism and their main sources of motivation.We do this because in the third part we argue that mental fictionalism, as opposed to other versions of fictionalism, is a highly undermotivated theory.
The aim of the paper is to show that the privacy of conscious experience is inconsistent with any kind of physicalism. That is, if you are a physicalist, then you have to deny that more than one subject cannot undergo the very same conscious experience. In the first part of the paper we define the concepts of privacy and physicalism. In the second part we delineate two thought experiments in which two subjects undergo the same kind of conscious experience in (...) such a way that all the physical processes responsible for their experiences are numerically the same. Based on the thought experiments and their interpretations we present our argument for the inconsistency of the privacy of experience with physicalism in the third part of the paper. In the final part we defend our argumentation against some objections. (shrink)
Elsewhere we have responded to the so-called demandingness objection to consequentialism – that consequentialism is excessively demanding and is therefore unacceptable as a moral theory – by introducing the theoretical position we call institutional consequentialism. This is a consequentialist view that, however, requires institutional systems, and not individuals, to follow the consequentialist principle. In this paper, we first introduce and explain the theory of institutional consequentialism and the main reasons that support it. In the remainder of the paper, we turn (...) to the global dimension where the first and foremost challenge is to explain how institutional consequentialism can deal with unsolved global problems such as poverty, war and climate change. In response, following the general idea of institutional consequentialism, we draw up three alternative routes: relying on existing national, transnational and supranational institutions; promoting gradual institutional reform; and advocating radical changes to the status quo. We evaluate these routes by describing normatively relevant properties of the existing global institutional system, as well as by showing what institutional consequentialism can say about alternatives to it: a world government; and multi-layered sovereignty/neo-medieval system. (shrink)
It isn’t saying much to claim that morality is demanding; the question, rather, is: can morality be so demanding that we have reason not to follow its dictates? According to many, it can, if that morality is a consequentialist one. This paper takes the plausibility and coherence of this objection – the Demandingness Objection – as a given. Our question, therefore, is how to respond to the Objection. We put forward a response that we think has not received sufficient attention (...) in the literature: institutional consequentialism. This is a consequentialist view that, however, requires institutional systems, and not individuals, to follow the consequentialist principle. We first introduce the Objection, then explain the theory of institutional consequentialism and how it responds to the objection. In the remainder of the paper, we defend the view against potential objections. (shrink)
Knowing that some state of affairs—expressed by a proposition, p—is possible, and the possibility that one knows that p have, quite obviously, different meanings. This paper focuses only on their logical relationship—whether they entail one another. I will argue for the following three claims: the basic verificationist principles of anti-realism, at least in their simplest forms, and in conjunction with some other, intuitively reasonable principles, do entail that these two concepts are substitutionally equivalent. Our pre-theoretical expectations question this outcome, as (...) counterexamples can be manufactured. I will also argue that this substitutional equivalence has further, highly counter-intuitive implications. Finally, I will argue that some of the standard strategies to avoid the well-known paradoxes of anti-realism fail to solve this new paradox, while others may be able to do that, but only at a considerable price. However, the introduction of a moderate anti-realist truth operator, the actual objective of this paper, does dissolve the paradox, and arguably at an affordable price. (shrink)
Mutually beneficial exchanges in markets can be exploitative because one party takes advantage of an underlying injustice. For instance, employers of sweatshop workers are often accused of exploiting the desperate conditions of their employees, although the latter accept the terms of their employment voluntarily. A weakness of this account of exploitation is its tendency for over-inclusiveness. Certainly, given the prevalence of global and domestic socioeconomic inequalities, not all exchanges that take place against background injustices should be considered exploitative. This paper (...) offers a framework to identify exploitation in mutually beneficial exchange, focusing on the case of sweatshop labor. It argues that an employer can be viewed as taking unfair advantage of an underlying injustice if and only if the employer’s surplus from the exchange in the unjust state of affairs exceeds the surplus it could maximally obtain in a just state of affairs. The paper illustrates the applicability of this framework using three different conceptions of justice and argues that it is superior to microlevel accounts of exploitation that regard background justice as irrelevant. The paper concludes by describing some normative implications that follow from judging an exchange exploitative. (shrink)
Verificationism is the doctrine stating that all truths are knowable. Fitch’s knowability paradox, however, demonstrates that the verificationist claim (all truths are knowable) leads to “epistemic collapse”, i.e., everything which is true is (actually) known. The aim of this article is to investigate whether or not verificationism can be saved from the effects of Fitch’s paradox. First, I will examine different strategies used to resolve Fitch’s paradox, such as Edgington’s and Kvanvig’s modal strategy, Dummett’s and Tennant’s restriction strategy, Beall’s paraconsistent (...) strategy, and Williamson’s intuitionistic strategy. After considering these strategies I will propose a solution that remains within the scope of classical logic. This solution is based on the introduction of a truth operator. Though this solution avoids the shortcomings of the non-standard (intuitionistic) solution, it has its own problems. Truth, on this approach, is not closed under the rule of conjunction-introduction. I will conclude that verificationism is defensible, though only at a rather great expense. (shrink)
We present the idea of searching for X-rays as a signature of the mechanism inducing the spontaneous collapse of the wave function. Such a signal is predicted by the continuous spontaneous localization theories, which are solving the “measurement problem” by modifying the Schrödinger equation. We will show some encouraging preliminary results and discuss future plans and strategy.
When exercising their public health powers, states claim various rights against their subjects and aliens. The paper considers whether public health considerations can help justify some of these rights, and explores some constraints on the justificatory force of public health considerations. I outline two arguments about the moral grounds for states’ rights with regard to public health. The principle of fairness emphasizes that those who benefit from public health measures ought to contribute their fair share in upholding them. Alternatively, states’ (...) rights might be justified by a natural duty of justice to uphold and not to obstruct institutions implementing public health policies. I indicate some reasons for preferring the latter justification. I further argue that the assignment of some rights to states via public health-based justification is undermined on several counts. Domestic political institutions cannot effectively perform some of their functions in protecting public health. Furthermore, transborder public health threats pose collective action problems at the global level. Finally, concerns about human rights work against the assignment of some rights to states. I conclude by arguing that these concerns call for global coordination, and that some rights claimed by states ought instead to be assigned to global institutions. (shrink)
Dogmatists often exploit the skeptical argument based on the brains-in-a-vat scenario as a test case for their epistemological enterprises. I argue that this ‘argument’ does not deserve our attention, so it should not be used as a test case. I first show that the possibilities of empirical knowledge and of skeptical scenarios are inconsistent. If so, the BIV-skeptic must make the case for preferring such scenarios over the possibility of empirical knowledge. The central argument of my paper is that the (...) BIV-skeptic can neither rely on any selection principle for this purpose, nor can she claim that she needs no such principle. Then I will show that we can even dispense with the Inconsistency Thesis: if the skeptic wishes, she may allow for the possibility of empirical knowledge. The essay concludes with considering the morals of the above argument for the dogmatist endeavor. (shrink)
Cette étude se propose de montrer que les considérations de Nietzsche sur le langage sont déterminantes pour son projet philosophique. S'il est vrai qu'elles n'arrivent pas à constituer une théorie du langage, elles jouent tout de même un rôle central dans le cadre de sa pensée. D'une part, dans le versant critique de son œuvre, quand il s'agit de s'attaquer à la métaphysique, Nietzsche reprend deux propositions consignées dans ses écrits philologiques; il soutient la thèse selon laquelle le langage est (...) indispensable au processus d'élaboration des connaissances philosophiques et défend l'idée que la pensée ne devient consciente que grâce au langage. D'autre part, dans le versant constructif de son œuvre, quand il s'agit d'exprimer ses propres conceptions, il met en pleine lumière son besoin de trouver une forme d'expression qui ne se limite pas à représenter le monde. Dans son œuvre à double volet, Nietzsche ne se présente pas comme un penseur qui se débat emprisonné dans les rets du langage; bien au contraire, il fait le langage se retourner contre lui-même — afin de créer un nouveau langage. This study intends to show that Nietzsche's considerations about language are fundamental to his philosophical project. While it is true that they do not form a theory of language, they nevertheless play a central role within the framework of his thought. On the one hand, within the critical dimension of his work, when he tackles metaphysics, Nietzsche resumes two propositions from his philological papers : he supports the thesis according to which language is indispensable to the process of elaborating philosophic knowledge and defends the idea that language is what allows thought to become conscious. On the other hand, within the constructive dimension of his work, when he expresses his own conceptions, he highlights the need to find a form of expression which is not limited to representing the world. Within the framework of his bidimensional thought, Nietzsche does not appear to be a thinker struggling and imprisoned in the snares of the language; on the contrary, he turns language against itself — in order to create a new language. (shrink)
RESUMO Em “Ecce Homo”, Nietzsche apresenta-se ao mesmo tempo como terapeuta e enfermo. Se nos seus escritos ele concebe o filósofo como médico da cultura, nesse livro é também como paciente que comparece. Compreender as razões que o levaram a proceder dessa maneira em “Ecce Homo”, é o problema que presidirá este trabalho. Tomando como ponto de partida a análise dos primeiros capítulos do livro, contamos de início esclarecer a dupla condição de seu autor: a de terapeuta e enfermo, explorando (...) em particular sua ideia de se tomar em mãos. Examinando o último capítulo à luz dessas análises, estaremos então em condições de nos perguntar sobre o que permite a Nietzsche passar da condição de médico de si mesmo à de médico da cultura. Esperamos elucidar desse modo a relação intrínseca que ele afirma existir entre suas concepções de filosofia e vida. ABSTRACT In “Ecce Homo”, Nietzsche presents himself, at the same time, both as a doctor and a sufferer. If in his writings he conceives the philosopher as the physician of the culture, in this book he also appears as a patient. The present paper aims at questioning about the reasons which led Nietzsche to adopt this way of doing in “Ecce Homo”. Taking the analysis of the first chapters of this book as a start point, we intend to clarify, first of all, its authors’ dual condition as both a doctor and a sufferer, particularly exploring his idea of taking himself in hand. Then examining the last chapter of the book in the light of these analyses, we attempt to find out what allows Nietzsche to make the transition from his condition of being his own doctor to the condition of physician of the culture. Thereby, we aim at elucidating the fundamental relationship between Nietzsche’s conceptions of philosophy and of life. (shrink)
A Moderate Anti-realist approach to truth and meaning, built around the concept of knowability, will be introduced and argued for in this essay. Our starting point will be the two fundamental anti-realists principles that claim that neither truth nor meaning can outstrip knowability and our focus will be on the challenge of adequately formalizing these principles and incorporating them into a formal theory. Accordingly, the author will introduce a MAR truth operator that is built on a distinction between being true (...) and being factual. He will show then that this approach partitions propositions into eight classes, on the basis of their knowability. We will then ask the following question: Given the anti-realist principles, what kind of theory of propositional meaning can properly explain the meaninglessness of fully unknowable propositions? This question will lead us to the claim that the meaning/content of propositions should be identified not with the set of possible worlds in which the propositions are true/factual, but rather in which they are known. This modified approach will then be used to analyze both the Liar Paradox and the Strengthened Liar. To anticipate the conclusion of this essay, it will be shown that a MAR framework can render definite truth and factuality values to the Liar sentence and it will also confirm our intuition that such paradoxical sentences are devoid of proper meaning. (shrink)
The classical interpretation of probability together with the Principle of Indifference are formulated in terms of probability measure spaces in which the probability is given by the Haar measure. A notion called Labeling Irrelevance is defined in the category of Haar probability spaces, it is shown that Labeling Irrelevance is violated and Bertrand's Paradox is interpreted as the very proof of violation of Labeling Invariance. It is shown that Bangu's attempt to block the emergence of Bertrand's Paradox by requiring the (...) re-labeling of random events to preserve randomness cannot succeed non-trivially. A non-trivial strategy to preserve Labeling Irrelevance is identified and it is argued that, under the interpretation of Bertrand's Paradox suggested in the paper, the paradox does not undermine either the Principle of Indifference or the classical interpretation and is in complete harmony with how mathematical probability theory is used in the sciences to model phenomena. It also is argued however that the content of the Principle of Indifference cannot be specified in such a way that it can establish the classical interpretation of probability as descriptively accurate, predictively successful or rational. (shrink)
In this paper we describe an experimental test of the validity of the Pauli Exclusion Principle (for electrons) which is based on a straightforward idea put forward a few years ago by Ramberg and Snow (Phys. Lett. B 238:438, 1990). We perform a very accurate search of X-rays from the Pauli-forbidden atomic transitions of electrons in the already filled 1S shells of copper atoms. Although the experiment has a very simple structure, it poses deep conceptual and interpretational problems. Here we (...) describe the experimental method and recent experimental results, which we interpret in the framework of quon theory. We also present future plans to upgrade the experimental apparatus using Silicon Drift Detectors. (shrink)
A partir das leituras que Nietzsche e Hegel fazem de Heráclito, trata-se de analisar de que maneira concebem o vir-a-ser. Ao examinar os pontos convergentes e divergentes de suas intepretações, reúnem-se elementos para repensar a relação entre eles. Passando em revista a literatura mais recente, torna-se então posível apreciar a tese da afinidade e a da oposição entre o pensamento hegelano e a filosofia nietzschiana e avaliar, em particular, a pertinência dos comentários de Kaufmann e Deleuze.
Refazendo a crítica de Nietzsche à Revolução Francesa, trata-se de mostrar que o filósofo não se pretende teórico do poder, no sentido estrito da palavra, e tampouco se quer analista político. Intimamente ligadas em seu pensamento, moral, política e religião integram um campo de investigação mais amplo; são objeto da crítica dos valores. A análise do ideário mesmo da Revolução Francesa, com a palavra de ordem " liberdade, igualdade, fraternidade" , ilustra a maneira pela qual o acontecimento histórico se acha (...) relacionado com a religião cristã e a moral dos ressentidos. (shrink)
Trata-se de apresentar ao público brasileiro o trabalho de Jörg Salaquarda, tomando como ilustração seu artigo "Zaratustra e o asno”. Através do exame desse texto, conta-se aquilatar o alcance de sua interpretação da ﬁlosoﬁa nietzschiana.
Este artigo resulta das experiências vividas no decorrer da realização de nosso trabalho de "filosofia com crianças", que se apresentou a nós como uma rica experiência de pensamento. As crianças nos possibilitaram vislumbrar a filosofia como condição imanente ao infante, o que implica no encontro de si com o outro e na criação de novas formas de ser e estar no mundo. Atentamos para o fato de que a escuta da infância passa necessariamente pelo ato de parar para escutar a (...) criança que existe em nós. Nesse processo de escuta, a nossa condição humana se abre, se descobre, se amplia, potencializando-se. Observamos que o deslocamento desse exercício de escuta para a escola aponta múltiplas possibilidades de desencadear processos internos nas crianças de modo a criarem suas próprias "paisagens", reorganizando assim seus padrões de compreensão do mundo e da vida. (shrink)