The so-called transparency of experience (TE) is the intuition that, in introspecting one’s own experience, one is only aware of certain properties (like colors, shapes, etc.) as features of (apparently) mind-independent objects. TE is quite popular among philosophers of mind and has traditionally been used to motivate Representationalism, i.e., the view that phenomenal character is in some strong way dependent on intentionality. However, more recently, others have appealed to TE to go the opposite way and support the phenomenal intentionality view (...) (PIV), according to which intentionality is in some strong way dependent on phenomenal character. If this line of argument succeeds, then not only TE does not speak in favor of Representationalism, but it actually speaks against it, contrary to the philosophical common-sense of the last two decades. Moreover, the representationalist project of naturalizing phenomenal character turns out to be seriously undermined on the same intuitive grounds that were supposed to make it plausible. In this paper, I reconstruct and discuss the line of argument from TE to PIV and argue that our introspective intuitions (TE) do not push us in the direction of PIV. On the contrary, the line of argument from TE to PIV is (at best) simply too weak to force us to conclude that intentionality depends on phenomenal character in the sense required for PIV to be true. (shrink)
According to intentionalism, the phenomenal character of experience is one and the same as the intentional content of experience. This view has a problem with moods (anxiety, depression, elation, irritation, gloominess, grumpiness, etc.). Mood experiences certainly have phenomenal character, but do not exhibit directedness, i.e., do not appear intentional. Standardly, intentionalists have re-described moods’ undirectedness in terms of directedness towards everything or the whole world (e.g., Crane, 1998; Seager, 1999). This move offers the intentionalist a way out, but is quite (...) unsatisfying. More recently, Angela Mendelovici (2013a, b) has suggested something that looks more interesting and promising: instead of re-describing moods’ phenomenology, she accepts its undirectedness at face value and tries to explain it in intentionalist terms. In this paper, I focus on and criticize Mendelovici’s proposal. As I will show, despite its prima facie virtues, the view is poorly motivated. For, contrary to what Mendelovici argues, introspection does not support her proposal—arguably, it provides some evidence against it. So, the problem that intentionalism has with moods is not solved, but is still there. (shrink)
This article sketches out the key features of the debate on the analytic-synthetic distinction between phenomenology and logical empiricism, which took place in the early part of the twentieth century. On the one side, the author reconstructs the debate itself from an historical angle; on the other, he gives a theoretical account of the different positions and arguments. In particular, he has three main aims: a) to clarify how, according to Husserl, the analyticsynthetic opposition is to be understood as the (...) form-matter opposition; b) to show how this position has been misunderstood by neo-empiricist philosophers, in particular by Schlick in his paper against the theory of the factual a priori; c) to point out that Husserlian theory anticipates some relevant features in the matter of analyticity which will be made fully explicit only by Carnap and Quine, philosophers of the following generation. (shrink)
The model of human intelligence that is most widely adopted derives from psychometrics and behavioral genetics. This standard approach conceives intelligence as a general cognitive ability that is genetically highly heritable and describable using quantitative traits analysis. The paper analyzes intelligence within the debate on natural kinds and contends that the general intelligence conceptualization does not carve psychological nature at its joints. Moreover, I argue that this model assumes an essentialist perspective. As an alternative, I consider an HPC theory of (...) intelligence and evaluate how it deals with essentialism and with intuitions coming from cognitive science. Finally, I highlight some concerns about the HPC model as well, and conclude by suggesting that it is unnecessary to treat intelligence as a kind in any sense. (shrink)
Davide Panagia, The Poetics of Political Thinking (Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2006). ISBN 0-8223-3718-5, (hbk) US$ 74.95, (pbk) US$ 21.95,166pp. and Davide Panagia, The Political Life of Sensation (Durham, NC and London: Duke University Press, 2009). ISBN 978-0-8223-4479-7, (hbk) US$ 79.95, (pbk) US$ 22.95, 213pp.
In _The Poetics of Political Thinking_ Davide Panagia focuses on the role that aesthetic sensibilities play in theorists’ evaluations of political arguments. Examining works by thinkers from Thomas Hobbes to Jacques Rancière, Panagia shows how each one invokes aesthetic concepts and devices, such as metaphor, mimesis, imagination, beauty, and the sublime. He argues that it is important to recognize and acknowledge these poetic forms of representation because they provide evaluative standards that theorists use in appraising the value of ideas—ideas (...) about justice, politics, and democratic life. An investigation into the intertwined histories of aesthetic and political accounts of representation—such as Panagia presents here—sheds light on how modes of poetic thinking delimit the questions of unity and diversity that continue to animate contemporary political theory. Panagia not only illuminates the structure of much contemporary political theory but also shows why understanding the poetics of political thinking is vital to contemporary society. Drawing on Gilles Deleuze’s critique of negation and his privileging of paradox as the source of political thought, Panagia suggests that a non-teleological concept of difference might generate insight into pressing questions about foreignness and citizenship. Turning to the liberal/poststructural debate that dominates contemporary political theory, he compares John Rawls’s concept of justice to Rancière’s ideas about political disagreement in order to demonstrate how, despite their differences, both thinkers comprehend aesthetic and moral reasoning as part and parcel of political writing. Considering the writings of William Hazlitt and Jürgen Habermas, he describes how the essay has become the exemplary genre of what is considered rational political argument. _The Poetics of Political Thinking_ is a compelling reappraisal of the role of representation within political thought. (shrink)