In recent years there has been a revival of a theory of conscious emotions as analogous in important ways to perceptual experiences. In the standard versions of this view emotions are construed as, potentially, perceptual disclosures of values. The model has been widely debated and criticized. In this paper I reconstruct an early, qualified version of the perceptual model to be found in the classical phenomenological approaches of Scheler and Sartre. After outlining this version of the theory, I examine its (...) prospects against objections prominent in the current debate. (shrink)
Poellner here offers a comprehensive interpretation of Nietzsche's later ideas on epistemology and metaphysics, drawing extensively not only on his published works but also his voluminous notebooks, largely unpublished in English. He examines Nietzsche's various distinct lines of thought on the traditionally central areas of philosophy and shows in what specific sense Nietzsche, as he himself claimed, might be said to have moved beyond these questions. He pays considerable attention throughout both to the historical context of Nietzsche's writings and (...) to subsequent developments in philosophy--English-language as well as Continental. (shrink)
Traditionally the intentionality of consciousness has been understood as the idea that many conscious states are about something, that they have objects in a broad sense - including states of affairs - which they represent, and it is on account of being representational that they are said to have contents. It has also been claimed, more controversially, that conscious intentional contents must be available to the subject as reasons for her judgments or actions, and that they are therefore necessarily conceptual. (...) This paper challenges the assumptions that all conscious intentional contents are representations of objects, and that they are essentially conceptual. Both assumptions will be shown to be intimately connected. The first main part of the paper offers an account of conscious intentionality that is not prejudicial on the issue of whether all intentional contents of conscious mental states represent objects which the mental state can be said to be about. The author then shows that many personal-level perceptual contents, including those involved in our evaluative stance towards aspects of the world, have non-conceptual components even on a wide construal of the conceptual sphere , allowing for demonstrative concepts. In the second main part of the paper it is argued that experiences themselves, as contrasted with what they are experiences of, are non-conceptual contents. To this purpose the author reconstructs and develops some suggestive observations found in the phenomenology of Husserl to the effect that experiences as directly presented or 'lived through' are not objects of consciousness. It is argued that this thesis, properly understood, is true and that it entails that experiences as directly presented in consciousness are themselves non-conceptual intentional contents. Husserl's thesis is illuminating and important, allowing among other things a more satisfactory account of the elusive phenomenon of depth we normally attribute to the conscious self - the idea that there is always more to our experienced selves at any moment than what we are capable of articulating at the time. (shrink)
This paper offers a revisionary interpretation of Sartre's early views on human freedom. Sartre articulates a subtle account of a fundamental sense of human freedom as autonomy, in terms of human consciousness being both reasons-responsive and in a distinctive sense self-determining. The aspects of Sartre's theory of human freedom that underpin his early ethics are shown to be based on his phenomenological analysis of consciousness as, in its fundamental mode of self-presence, not an object in the world. Sartre has a (...) multi-level theory of the reasons-sensitivity of consciousness. At one level, consciousness's being alive to reasons is a matter of the affective perception of values and disvalues as features of phenomenal objects. This part of his theory, a development of Scheler's, is, however, situated within a broader phenomenological analysis resulting in the claim that the ultimate reasons acknowledged by consciousness neither are nor justifiably could be values adequately presentable as intentional objects. Consciousness's ultimate reasons are, in this sense, not given by the world but by itself. Section 4 reconstructs and assesses Sartre's argument that consciousness cannot rationally have an ultimate end other than self-transparent freedom itself. (shrink)
Nietzsche's central criticisms of the evaluative hierarchies he claims to be inscribed in the philosophical tradition and in various everyday practices are based on the idea that the self is opaque to itself. More specifically, he proposes that these hierarchies cannot be adequately explained without reference to a particular form of self-deception he labels ressentiment. What makes this type of self-deception distinctive is that it is alleged to concern the subject's own contemporaneous conscious states. It is shown that none of (...) the three main current models of self-deception can accommodate the type of phenomenon Nietzsche claims to have discovered. Rather than this failure providing grounds for rejecting the concept of ressentiment as incoherent, it is argued that a reconstruction of some of Nietzsche's own observations, in conjunction with insights from later phenomenology, can explain the possibility envisaged by Nietzsche of a subject's intentionally misinterpreting her own current affective experiences. Nietzsche's analysis continues to be of importance in highlighting central aspects of the kind of theory of consciousness needed to do justice to the actual complexity of affective experience. (shrink)
PeterPoellner has recently written that "one of the interpretative issues that has traditionally divided interpreters of Nietzsche's philosophy is whether Nietzsche is, fundamentally, or at least among other things, a metaphysician. In asking this question, I take it that we are asking whether Nietzsche asserts a view about the basic characteristics or properties of reality, or of all entities."1 If we look at the published works from 1878 onward the answer seems to be no, as he is (...) persistently critical of the project of traditional metaphysics, broadly understood as providing knowledge about the basic characteristics of what exists at the most fundamental level of reality. Not only does Nietzsche seem... (shrink)
Nietzsche and Modern Times: A study of Bacon, Descartes and Nietzsche. Laurence Lampert. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993. Pp. xii + 475. £35.00 Nietzsche and Metaphysics. PeterPoellner. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995. Pp. xi + 320.
Nietzsche and Modern Times: A study of Bacon, Descartes and Nietzsche. Laurence Lampert. New Haven: Yale University Press, 1993. Pp. xii + 475. 35.00 Nietzsche and Metaphysics. PeterPoellner. Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1995. Pp. xi + 320.
Heidegger’s Being and Time is often cited as one of the most important philosophical works of the last century. This outstanding collection examines the major themes of Division Two of Being and Time , which has received relatively little attention compared to Division One. Leading philosophers examine important topics such as authenticity, death, guilt and time, the influence of Kierkegaard, and the relationship between Heidegger’s work and ancient and medieval philosophy. Essential reading for scholars and students of Heidegger’s thought and (...) anyone interested in key debates in phenomenology. Contributors: William Blattner, Clare Carlisle, Taylor Carman, Steven Galt Crowell, Daniel O. Dahlstrom, Hubert Dreyfus, Charles Guignon, Jeffrey Haynes, Stephan Käufer, Denis McManus, Stephen Mulhall, George Pattison, PeterPoellner, Katherine Withy, Mark A. Wrathall. (shrink)
Though Heidegger’s Being and Time is often cited as one of the most important philosophical works of the last hundred years, its Division Two has received relatively little attention. This outstanding collection corrects that, examining some of the central themes of Division Two and their wide-ranging and challenging implications. An international team of leading philosophers explore the crucial notions that articulate Heidegger’s concept of authenticity, including death, anxiety, conscience, guilt, resolution and temporality. In doing so, they clarify the bearing of (...) Division Two’s reflections on our understanding of intentionality, normativity, responsibility, autonomy and selfhood. These discussions raise important questions about how we may need to rethink the morals of Division One of Being and Time , the broader project to which that book was devoted, the shaping influence of figures such as Aristotle and Kierkegaard, as well as Heidegger’s relationship with his contemporaries and successors. Essential reading for students and scholars of Heidegger’s thought, and anyone interested in key debates in phenomenology, ethics, metaphilosophy and philosophy of mind. Contributors: William Blattner, Clare Carlisle, Taylor Carman, Steven Galt Crowell, Daniel O. Dahlstrom, Sophia Dandelet, Hubert Dreyfus, Charles Guignon, Jeffrey Haynes, Stephan Käufer, Denis McManus, Stephen Mulhall, George Pattison, PeterPoellner, Katherine Withy, Mark A. Wrathall. (shrink)
Dan Zahavi, the editor of this collection, heads the Center for Subjectivity Research, at the University of Copenhagen. The essays reflect the interests of the Center and seek to address the following issue: To what extent can the current discussion of consciousness in mainstream cognitive science and analytical philosophy of mind profit from insights drawn from the investigations of subjectivity found in the Kantian and post-Kantian tradition as well as in the phenomenological and hermeneutical tradition. The contributions include some that (...) are philosophical, while others relate to issues in empirical science, such as psychopathology, cognitive neuroscience, and developmental psychology.Contributors include Andrew Brook, John Drummond, Shaun Gallagher, Arne Groen, Josef Parnas, PeterPoellner, Sonja Rinofner-Kreidl, Louis Sass, Dieter Teichert and Dan Zahavi. (shrink)
Peter Singer’s famous and influential essay is criticised in three main ways that can be considered libertarian, although many non-libertarians could also accept them: 1) it mistakes the relevant moral principle, which more plausibly relates to easily-satisfied local contracts (fitting Hayek’s “Great Society”) rather than impractically-onerous global intuitions (with evolutionary origins); 2) its suggested principle of the immorality of not doing good is paradoxical as it overlooks the converse aspect that would be the positive morality of not doing bad, (...) and thereby it conceptually eliminates innocence; and 3) free markets—especially international free trade—have been overwhelmingly demonstrated to be the real solution to the global “major evils” of poverty and pollution, while “overpopulation” does not really exist in free-market frameworks; hence charity is a relatively minor alleviant to the problem of insufficient free markets. (shrink)
The important impact of the French Franciscan Peter Auriol (ca. 1280-1322) upon contemporary philosophical theology at Oxford is well known and has been well documented and analyzed, at least for a narrow range of issues, particularly in epistemology. This article attempts a more systematic treatment of his effects upon Oxford debates across a broader range of subjects and over a more expansive duration of time than has been done previously. Topics discussed include grace and merit, future contingents and divine (...) foreknowledge, and the logic of the Trinity. (shrink)
Peter Harrison's The Territories of Science and Religion throws down a serious challenge to advocates of dialogue as the primary means of engagement between science and religion. This article accepts the validity of this challenge and looks at four possible responses to it. The first—a return to the past—is rejected. The remaining three—exploring new epistemic frameworks for the encounter of science and religion, broadening out the engagement beyond the context of the physical sciences and Western culture, and looking at (...) ways in which scientific and theological practitioners may collaborate on practical problems—are all offered as potential ways in which science and religion may engage with one another, in ways which move beyond Harrison's critique. (shrink)
In his recent book on the problem of evil, Peter van Inwagen argues that both the global and local arguments from evil are failures. In this paper, we engagevan Inwagen’s book at two main points. First, we consider his understanding of what it takes for a philosophical argument to succeed. We argue that while his criterion for success is interesting and helpful, there is good reason to think it is too stringent. Second, we consider his responses to the global (...) and local arguments from evil. We argue that although van Inwagen may have adequately responded to each of these arguments, his discussion points us toa third argument from evil to which he has yet to provide a response. (shrink)
This article discusses the theories of perception of Robert Kilwardby and Peter of John Olivi. Our aim is to show how in challenging certain assumptions of medieval Aristotelian theories of perception they drew on Augustine and argued for the active nature of the soul in sense perception. For both Kilwardby and Olivi, the soul is not passive with respect to perceived objects; rather, it causes its own cognitive acts with respect to external objects and thus allows the subject to (...) perceive them. We also show that Kilwardby and Olivi differ substantially regarding where the activity of the soul is directed to and the role of the sensible species in the process, and we demonstrate that there are similarities between their ideas of intentionality and the attention of the soul towards the corporeal world. (shrink)
This paper offers an analysis of a hitherto neglected text on insoluble propositions dating from the late XiVth century and puts it into perspective within the context of the contemporary debate concerning semantic paradoxes. The author of the text is the italian logician Peter of Mantua (d. 1399/1400). The treatise is relevant both from a theoretical and from a historical standpoint. By appealing to a distinction between two senses in which propositions are said to be true, it offers an (...) unusual solution to the paradox, but in a traditional spirit that contrasts a number of trends prevailing in the XiVth century. It also counts as a remarkable piece of evidence for the reconstruction of the reception of English logic in italy, as it is inspired by the views of John Wyclif. Three approaches addressing the Liar paradox (Albert of Saxony, William Heytesbury and a version of strong restrictionism) are first criticised by Peter of Mantua, before he presents his own alternative solution. The latter seems to have a prima facie intuitive justification, but is in fact acceptable only on a very restricted understanding, since its generalisation is subject to the so-called revenge problem. (shrink)
Since the mid-90’s the figure of Peter Lombard and his Book of Sentences has regained the importance in scholarly world and been studied from both historical-theological and historical-philosophical perspectives. But some aspects of his thinking, encapsulated in the written form, which was to become the material basis for the thirteenth- through the fifteenth-century theological projects, remained somewhat insufficiently researched. Therefore this article analyzes the select parts of the Book of Sentences with the purpose of looking at how Peter (...) Lombard handled the issue of God’s knowledge. The article shows that for Peter Lombard God’s knowledge is God’s awareness of everything knowable. It has no causal power which belongs to the divine will. Nevertheless, this knowledge is able to function in two different modes: it can be either a purely cognitive act as awareness alone, or a double cognitive and voluntary act as awareness and simultaneous volition in the form of approbation. Hence, God’s knowledge in general is not causative, but God’s knowledge of the good must be causative because he simultaneously knows and wills what is good. The article reasonably suggests that Lombard’s logic implies the compatibility of God’s (fore)knowledge and voluntary activity, on the one hand, and the contingency of the created order and the rational creatures’ free will, on the other hand. But the details of this conception remain unrevealed as Lombard’s presentation of the problem is to be declared underdeveloped. (shrink)
Book review of Peter Boghossian, A Manual for Creating Atheists, Pitchstone Publishing, 2013, 280pp., $14.95, ISBN 978-1939578099 (paperback). Foreword by Michael Shermer. Science, Religion & Culture 1:2 (August 2014), 93-96 .
In the paper I argue that medieval philosophers proposed several notions of the senses’ activity in perception. I illustrate the point using the example of two Franciscan thinkers – Peter Olivi (ca. 1248–1298) and Peter Auriol (ca. 1280–1322). Olivi’s notion of active perception assumes that every perceptual act demands a prior focusing of the mind’s attention. Furthermore, Olivi is partially inspired by the extramissionist theories of vision and reinterprets the notion of a visual ray postulated by them as (...) a useful model for explaining attention and attentional shifts. In Auriol’s view, perception is active because it participates in producing a perceptual content. e senses not only receive information from the environment, they also actively process it and, in Auriol’s words, put the external object into apparent being. e peculiar feature of Auriol’s account is his obvious tendency to conceive perceptual content as both dependent on our perceptual activity and external to the senses. Finally, I consider the two theories in the context of mirror perception – while Olivi focused on the ability of mirrors to switch attention’s direction, Auriol investigated the metaphysical nature of mirror images. (shrink)
According to Peter Klein, foundationalism fails because it allows a vicious form of arbitrariness. The present article critically discusses his concept of arbitrariness. It argues that the condition Klein takes to be necessary and sufficient for an epistemic item to be arbitrary is neither necessary nor sufficient. It also argues that Klein's concept of arbitrariness is not a concept of something that is obviously vicious. Even if Klein succeeds in establishing that foundationalism allows what he regards as arbitrariness, this (...) does not yet mean that he confronts it with a sound objection. (shrink)
This article discusses the theory of perception of Peter Auriol. Arguing for the active nature of the senses in perception, Auriol applies the Scotistic doctrine of objective being to the theory of perception. Nevertheless, he still accepts some parts of the theory of species. The paper introduces Auriol's view on the mechanism of perception and his account of illusions. I argue for a direct realist reading of Auriol's theory of perception and propose that his position becomes clearer if we (...) use the distinction between the first- and third-person perspectives which he seems to presuppose. (shrink)