This paper explores the central question of why soldiers in democratic societies might decide to fight in wars that they may have reason to believe are objectively or questionably unjust. First, I provide a framework for understanding the dilemma caused by an unjust war and a soldier's competing moral obligations; namely, the obligations to self and state. Next, I address a few traditional key thoughts concerning soldiers and jus ad bellum. This is followed by an exploration of the unique and (...) contradicting moral problems that confront modern soldiers and their officers. I argue that although traditional positions such as invincible ignorance provide a rather dangerous ‘head-in-the-sand’ mentality, soldiers serving a democratic government are nonetheless very limited in their legal and moral ability to interpret what is a justifiable war. However, a very few select senior officers are in positions to make such legal and moral decisions concerning jus ad bellum. (shrink)
If called upon would you fight in a war you thought unjust? This article attempts to explain why the majority of military officers and soldiers when faced with this question do fight despite moral misgivings they may have. I will explain why on one hand officers are morally obligated to refuse unjust orders in jus in bello cases, but on the other hand it can be argued that they are also obligated to follow orders they believe to be unjust concerning (...) jus ad bellum. The war in Iraq has and continues to presents military officers and their soldiers with a particularly difficult moral dilemma. As citizens of a democratic government it is important that we understand why our military officers act in ways that may seem counter to what we believe is right. (shrink)
Is the no-minimum claim true? I have argued that it is not. Andrew Cullison contends that my argument fails, since human sentience is variable; while Michael Schrynemakers has contended that the failure is my neglect of vagueness. Both, I argue, are wrong.
There are two main ways in which things with minds, like us, differ from things without minds, like tables and chairs. First, we are conscious--there is something that it is like to be us. We instantiate phenomenal properties. Second, we represent, in various ways, our world as being certain ways. We instantiate representational properties. Jeff Speaks attempts to make progress on three questions: What are phenomenal properties? What are representational properties? How are the phenomenal and the representational related?
In the past twenty years, issues about the relationship between perception and thought have largely been framed in terms of the question of whether the contents of perception are nonconceptual. I argue that this debate has rested on an ambiguity in `nonconceptual content' and some false presuppositions about what is required for concept possession. Once these are cleared away, I argue that none of the arguments which have been advanced about nonconceptual content do much to threaten the natural view that (...) perception and thought are relations to the same kind of content. (shrink)
This magisterial work is the first comprehensive study of the ethics of killing, where the moral status of the individual is uncertain or controversial. Drawing on philosophical notions of personal identity and the wrongness of killing, McMahan looks carefully at a host of practical issues including abortion, infanticide, the killing of animals, assisted suicide and euthanasia.
I argue that the transparency of experience provides the basis of arguments both for intentionalism -- understood as the view that there is a necessary connection between perceptual content and perceptual phenomenology -- and for the view that the contents of perceptual experiences are Russellian propositions. While each of these views is popular, there are apparent tensions between them, and some have thought that their combination is unstable. In the second half of the paper, I respond to these worries by (...) arguing that Russellianism is consistent with intentionalism, that their conjunction is consistent with both internalism about phenomenology and externalism about perceptual content, and that the resulting view receives independent support from the relationship between hallucination and thought. (shrink)
According to our traditional conception of agency, most human beings are agents and most, if not all, nonhuman animals are not. However, recent developments in philosophy and psychology have made it clear that we need more than one conception of agency, since human and nonhuman animals are capable of thinking and acting in more than one kind of way. In this paper, I make a distinction between perceptual and propositional agency, and I argue that many nonhuman animals are perceptual agents (...) and that many human beings are both kinds of agent. I then argue that, insofar as human and nonhuman animals exercise the same kind of agency, they have the same kind of moral status, and I explore some of the moral implications of this idea. (shrink)
My aim in this paper is to lay out a number of theses which are very widely held in contemporary philosophy of language and linguistics, and to argue that, given some extra theses for which I’ll argue, they are inconsistent. Some of this will involve going through some very well-trodden territory—my hope is that presenting this familiar ground in the way that I do will help to make plain the problem that I aim to identify.
Demonstratives have different semantic values relative to different contexts of utterance. But it is surprisingly difficult to describe the function from contexts to contents which determines the semantic value of a given use of a demonstrative. It is very natural to think that the intentions of the speaker should play a significant role here. The aim of this paper is to discuss a pair of problems that arise for views which give intentions this central role in explaining the characters of (...) demonstratives. As will emerge, these problems lead quickly to a foundational question about the semantics of demonstratives and many other context-sensitive expressions: the question of whether, in explaining their characters, we need to understand them as sensitive, not just to facts about the psychology of the speaker of the context, but also to facts about the audience of the context. I critically examine Jeffrey King’s theory of demonstratives, which answers this question in the affirmative, and argue that it ultimately collapses into a purely speaker-based view of the character of demonstratives. I then show how to develop a much simpler speaker-based theory which both handles all of the cases handled by King’s theory and avoids some of the more serious problems which King’s theory faces. Towards the end I consider how we might solve the very difficult problems which result from cases in which speakers use demonstratives with conflicting referential intentions. (shrink)
REVIEW (1): "Jeff Kochan’s book offers both an original reading of Martin Heidegger’s early writings on science and a powerful defense of the sociology of scientific knowledge (SSK) research program. Science as Social Existence weaves together a compelling argument for the thesis that SSK and Heidegger’s existential phenomenology should be thought of as mutually supporting research programs." (Julian Kiverstein, in Isis) ---- REVIEW (2): "I cannot in the space of this review do justice to the richness and range of (...) Kochan's discussion [...]. There is a great deal in this foundational portion of Kochan's discussion that I find tremendously interesting and engaging [...]." (David R. Cerbone, in Studies in History and Philosophy of Science) ---- REVIEW (3): "Science as Social Existence will be of interest not only to Heidegger scholars but to anyone engaged in science and technology studies. [...] This is an informative and original book. Kochan should be praised for his clear, pleasant-to-read prose." (Michael Butler, in CHOICE). (shrink)
In this paper I ask how we should treat other beings in cases of uncertainty about sentience. I evaluate three options: an incautionary principle that permits us to treat other beings as non-sentient, a precautionary principle that requires us to treat other beings as sentient, and an expected value principle that requires us to multiply our subjective probability that other beings are sentient by the amount of moral value they would have if they were. I then draw three conclusions. First, (...) the precautionary and expected value principles are more plausible than the incautionary principle. Second, if we accept a precautionary or expected value principle, then we morally ought to treat many beings as having at least partial moral status. Third, if we morally ought to treat many beings as having at least partial moral status, then morality involves more cluelessness and demandingness than we might have thought. (shrink)
This groundbreaking inquiry into the centrality of place in Martin Heidegger's thinking offers not only an illuminating reading of Heidegger's thought but a detailed investigation into the way in which the concept of place relates to core philosophical issues. In Heidegger's Topology, Jeff Malpas argues that an engagement with place, explicit in Heidegger's later work, informs Heidegger's thought as a whole. What guides Heidegger's thinking, Malpas writes, is a conception of philosophy's starting point: our finding ourselves already "there," situated (...) in the world, in "place." Heidegger's concepts of being and place, he argues, are inextricably bound together.Malpas follows the development of Heidegger's topology through three stages: the early period of the 1910s and 1920s, through Being and Time, centered on the "meaning of being"; the middle period of the 1930s into the 1940s, centered on the "truth of being"; and the late period from the mid-1940s on, when the "place of being" comes to the fore. The significance of Heidegger as a thinker of place, Malpas claims, lies not only in Heidegger's own investigations but also in the way that spatial and topographic thinking has flowed from Heidegger's work into that of other key thinkers of the past 60 years. (shrink)
Many alleged counter-examples to intentionalism, the thesis that the phenomenology of perceptual experiences of a given sense modality supervenes on the contents of experiences of that modality, can be avoided by adopting a liberal view of the sorts of properties that can be represented in perceptual experience. I argue that there is a class of counter-examples to intentionalism, based on shifts in attention, which avoids this response. A necessary connection between the contents and phenomenal characters of perceptual experiences can be (...) preserved by distinguishing perceptual phenomenology from the phenomenology of attention; but even if this distinction is viable, these cases put pressure on the thesis that phenomenal character can, in general, be explained in terms of mental representation. (shrink)
The exhibition Off Beat: Jeff Nuttall and the International Underground showcases the archive of Jeff Nuttall, a painter, poet, editor, actor and novelist. As the exhibition illustrates, Nuttall was a central figure in the International Underground during the 1960s through to the early 1970s. During this time he collaborated with a vast network of avant-garde writers from across the globe, as well as editing the influential publication My Own Mag between 1963 and 1967.
Author's response to: Raphael Sassower, 'Heidegger and the Sociologists: A Forced Marriage?,' Social Epistemology Review and Reply Collective 7, no. 5 (2018): 30-32. -- Part of a book-review symposium on: Jeff Kochan (2017), Science as Social Existence: Heidegger and the Sociology of Scientific Knowledge (Cambridge UK: Open Book Publishers).
While the 'sense of place' is a familiar theme in poetry and art, philosophers have generally given little or no attention to place and the human relation to place. In Place and Experience, Jeff Malpas seeks to remedy this by advancing an account of the nature and significance of place as a complex but unitary structure that encompasses self and other, space and time, subjectivity and objectivity. Drawing on a range of sources from Proust and Wordsworth to Davidson, Strawson (...) and Heidegger, he argues that the significance of place is not to be found in our experience of place so much as in the grounding of experience in place, and that this binding to place is not a contingent feature of human existence, but derives from the very nature of human thought, experience and identity as established in and through place. (shrink)
The traditional theory of the just war comprises two sets of principles, one governing the resort to war ( jus ad bellum) and the other governing the conduct of war ( jus in bello). The two sets of principles are regarded, in Michael Walzer’s words, as “logically independent. It is perfectly possible for a just war to be fought unjustly and for an unjust war to be fought in strict accordance with the rules.”1 Let us say that those who ﬁght (...) in a just war are “just combatants,” while those who ﬁght in a war that is unjust because it lacks a just cause are “unjust combatants.” (A just cause is an aim that can contribute to the justiﬁcation for war and that may permissibly be pursued by means of war.)2 The most important implication of the idea that jus in bello is independent of jus ad bellum is that.. (shrink)
One of Kripke's fundamental objections to descriptivism was that the theory misclassifies certain _a posteriori_ propositions expressed by sentences involving names as _a priori_. Though nowadays very few philosophers would endorse a descriptivism of the sort that Kripke criticized, many find two-dimensional semantics attractive as a kind of successor theory. Because two-dimensionalism needn't be a form of descriptivism, it is not open to the epistemic argument as formulated by Kripke; but the most promising versions of two-dimensionalism are open to a (...) close relative of that argument. (shrink)
Self-creation and autonomy -- Creation, society and the imaginary -- Self and world -- The living body -- The human psyche -- The whole world and more : the meaning of the monadic psyche and its fate -- Magmas -- Determination and the logic of indeterminate being -- Indeterminacy and interpretation -- Autonomy and meaning.
There may be circumstances in which it is morally justifiable intentionally to kill a person who is morally innocent, threatens no one, rationally wishes not to die, and does not consent to be killed. Although the killing would wrong the victim, it might be justified by the necessity of averting some disaster that would otherwise occur. In other instances of permissible killing, however, the justification appeals to more than consequences. It may appeal to the claim that the person to be (...) killed has acted in such a way that to kill him would neither wrong him nor violate his rights, even if he has not consented to be killed or to be subjected to the risk of being killed. In these cases, I will say that the person is liable to be killed. Although I borrow the notion of liability from legal theory, and although much of what I say will be informed by the literature on liability in both tort law and criminal law, my concern in this article is with moral rather than legal liability. (shrink)
I argue that Husserlian phenomenology is metaphysically neutral, in the sense of being compatible with multiple metaphysical frameworks. For example, though Husserl dismisses the concept of an unknowable thing in itself as “material nonsense”, I argue that the concept is coherent and that the existence of such things is compatible with Husserl’s phenomenology. I defend this metaphysical neutrality approach against a number of objections and consider some of its implications for Husserl interpretation.
What’s really at issue in the debate between the transparency theorist and the qualia realist? To answer this question it will be useful to start off with Tye’s clear and, I think, representative ways of defining these views.What is qualia realism? Tye glosses the view as the claim that “Experiences have intrinsic features that are non-intentional and of which we can be directly aware via introspection.”Tye. Unless otherwise noted, all references to Tye’s work in what follows are to this paper. (...) That is:Qualia Realism: There are features which:are features of experiences;are intrinsic properties of experiences;are non-intentional;are such that we can be directly aware of them via introspection.He also suggests that at least many qualia realists will hold that “the phenomenal character of an experience is one and the same as the cluster of such intrinsic features.” It will be useful have a label for this stronger view; I suggestStrongQualia Realism: There are fea. (shrink)
Is it reasonable to believe in God even in the absence of strong evidence that God exists? Pragmatic arguments for theism are designed to support belief even if one lacks evidence that theism is more likely than not. Jeff Jordan proposes that there is a sound version of the most well-known argument of this kind, Pascal's Wager, and explores the issues involved - in epistemology, the ethics of belief, decision theory, and theology.
This paper argues that certain central tenets of the traditional theory of the just war cannot be correct. It then advances an alternative account grounded in the same considerations of justice that govern self-defense at the individual level. The implications of this account are unorthodox. It implies that, with few exceptions, combatants who fight for an unjust cause act impermissibly when they attack enemy combatants, and that combatants who fight in a just war may, in certain circumstances, legitimately target noncombatants (...) who bear a significant degree of moral responsibility for a wrong, when the prevention or rectification of that wrong constitutes a just cause for war. (shrink)
In "Assertion," Geach identified failure to attend to the distinction between meaning and speech act as a source of philosophical errors. I argue that failure to attend to this distinction, along with the parallel distinction between attitude and content, has been behind the idea that meaning and content are, in some sense, normative. By an argument parallel to Geach's argument against performative analyses of "good" we can show that the phenomena identified by theorists of the normativity of content are properties (...) in the first instance of speech act and propositional attitude types, rather than content as such. (shrink)
Alvin Plantinga gave a reductio of the conjunction of the following three theses: Existentialism (the view that, e.g., the proposition that Socrates exists can't exist unless Socrates does), Serious Actualism (the view that nothing can have a property at a world without existing at that world) and Contingency (the view that some objects, like Socrates, exist only contingently). I sketch a view of truth at a world which enables the Existentialist to resist Plantinga's argument without giving up either Serious Actualism (...) or Contingency. (shrink)
Since the 1960's, work in the analytic tradition on the nature of mental and linguistic content has converged on the views that social facts about public language meaning are derived from facts about the thoughts of individuals, and that these thoughts are constituted by properties of the internal states of agents. I give a two-part argument against this picture of intentionality: first, that if mental content is prior to public language meaning, then a view of mental content much like the (...) causal-pragmatic theory presented by Robert Stalnaker in Inquiry must be correct; second, that the causal-pragmatic theory is false. I conclude with some positive suggestions regarding alternative solutions to the `problem of intentionality.'. (shrink)
Some linguistic phenomena can occur in uses of language in thought, whereas others only occur in uses of language in communication. I argue that this distinction can be used as a test for whether a linguistic phenomenon can be explained via Grice’s theory of conversational implicature. I argue further, on the basis of this test, that conversational implicature cannot be used to explain quantifier domain restriction or apparent substitution failures involving coreferential names, but that it must be used to explain (...) the phenomenon of referential uses of definite descriptions. I conclude with a brief discussion of the relevance of this point to the semantics/pragmatics distinction. (shrink)
The question whether cognition is subserved by internal processes in the brain (internalism) or extends in to the world (active externalism) has been vigorously debated in recent years. I show how internalist and externalist ideas can be pursued in a common framework, using (1) open dynamical systems, which allow for separate analysis of an agent's intrinsic and embodied dynamics, and (2) supervenience functions, which can be used to study how low-level dynamical systems give rise to higher-level dynamical structures.
The idea of place--topos--runs through Martin Heidegger's thinking almost from the very start. It can be seen not only in his attachment to the famous hut in Todtnauberg but in his constant deployment of topological terms and images and in the situated, "placed" character of his thought and of its major themes and motifs. Heidegger's work, argues Jeff Malpas, exemplifies the practice of "philosophical topology." In Heidegger and the Thinking of Place, Malpas examines the topological aspects of Heidegger's thought (...) and offers a broader elaboration of the philosophical significance of place. Doing so, he provides a distinct and productive approach to Heidegger as well as a new reading of other key figures--notably Kant, Aristotle, Gadamer, and Davidson, but also Benjamin, Arendt, and Camus. Malpas, expanding arguments he made in his earlier book _Heidegger's Topology_, discusses such topics as the role of place in philosophical thinking, the topological character of the transcendental, the convergence of Heideggerian topology with Davidsonian triangulation, the necessity of mortality in the possibility of human life, the role of materiality in the working of art, the significance of nostalgia, and the nature of philosophy as beginning in wonder. Philosophy, Malpas argues, begins in wonder and begins in place and the experience of place. The place of wonder, of philosophy, of questioning, he writes, is the very topos of thinking. (shrink)
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