The concept of autonomy has had a central place in the German aesthetic tradition since the eighteenth century, specifically, after Kant's Critique of the Power of Judgment. Although Kant denied that aesthetic judgments yield cognitive truth, aesthetic judgments are autonomous in that they do not rely on or presuppose a concern with the object's purpose, utility, or even its actual existence. For Theodor Adorno, the autonomy of art lies in the work of art, in its production, not specifically in the (...) aesthetic judgments of the subject. This article shows that by shifting autonomy from aesthetic judgments to art production, Adorno effectively makes art the reservoir for human freedom. Although this point is often eluded to in Adorno scholarship by individuals such as Tom Huhn and Lambert Zuidervaart, it is often passed over without additional explanation and discussion. (shrink)
My argument in this paper is given in two parts. In Part I, I review the ancient understanding of aporia, focusing on works by Plato and Aristotle. I illustrate two ways of understanding aporia: “cathartic” and “zetetic.” Cathartic aporia refers to the experience of being purged of hubris and ignorance through the dialectic. Zetetic aporia, on the other hand, requires us to engage in, recognize, and work through certain philosophical puzzles or problems. In Part II, I discuss the idea of (...) Big Data and then argue that in the “age of answers” neither conception of aporia appears to be necessarily cultivated by the average Internet user. Our experience of wonder suffers when we rely so heavily on the Internet as a “surrogate expert,” and when our social media use betrays the fact that we always seem to gravitate towards the like-minded. (shrink)
This paper investigates a contemporary flowering of flânerie similar to that which Walter Benjamin analyzed in the first decades of the Parisian arcades. The flâneur has resurrected in a new space of the recent past as the computer hacker of digital culture. There is, however, a significant difference between the two figures’ ways of relating to the world that gives the hacker an important socio-political agency – with which Benjamin tried, unsuccessfully, to imbue in the flâneur.
This article argues that Fichte is correct in claiming, as he does in the Foundations of Natural Right, that a derivation of the law of right from the moral law is impossible because the former relies on lex permissiva. I focus on Kant’s deduction of the concept of merely intelligible possession in the Metaphysics of Morals precisely because Kant attempts what Fichte says is not possible. By illustrating the problems involved in the concept of the lex permissiva, one is then (...) in a position to see why Fichte believes the derivations mustremain separate and why Fichte stresses that the law of right must be argued for without reference to morality or the moral law. (shrink)
The standard view in epistemology is that propositional knowledge entails belief. Positive arguments are seldom given for this entailment thesis, however; instead, its truth is typically assumed. Against the entailment thesis, Myers-Schulz and Schwitzgebel (Noûs, forthcoming) report that a non-trivial percentage of people think that there can be propositional knowledge without belief. In this paper, we add further fuel to the fire, presenting the results of four new studies. Based on our results, we argue that the entailment thesis does not (...) deserve the default status that it is typically granted. We conclude by considering the alternative account of knowledge that Myers-Schulz and Schwitzgebel propose to explain their results, arguing that it does not explain ours. In its place we offer a different explanation of both sets of findings—the conviction account, according to which belief, but not knowledge, requires mental assent. (shrink)
Consider the following situation. It is the first day of school, and the new third-grade students file into the classroom to be shown to their seats for the coming year. As they enter, the third-grade teacher notices one small boy who is particularly unkempt. He looks to be in desperate need of bathing, and his clothes are dirty, torn and tight-fitting. During recess, the teacher pulls aside the boy's previous teacher and asks about his wretched condition. The other teacher informs (...) her that he always looks that way, even though the boy's family is quite wealthy. The reason he appears as he does, she continues, is that the family observes an odd practice according to which the children do not receive many important things – food, clothing, bathing, even shelter – unless they specifically request them. Since the boy, like many third-graders, has little interest in bathing and clean clothes, he just never asks for them. (shrink)
1. Introductory It is a commonplace by now that the expressions ‘Copernican revolution’ and ‘the Copernican hypothesis’ do not actually occur in that portion of the preface to the second edition of the Critique of Pure Reason that contains the only references to Copernicus to be found in the Kantian corpus. Kant speaks rather of “der erste Gedanke des Copernicus” – literally, “the original idea” or “the initial thought” of Copernicus. Still, the word ‘revolution’ occurs no fewer than six times (...) within the Preface, though always with reference to other disciplines and the radical innovations that set them on “der sichere Gang einer Wissenschaft” – an expression that Kant uses almost as frequently as ‘revolution’. Even if the term ‘revolution’ is not explicitly applied either to Kant's own achievement in philosophy or to that of Copernicus in astronomy, Kant does speak both of “eine gänzliche Revolution” in metaphysics “nach dem Beispiele der Geometer und Naturforscher” and of putting forward a “Hypothese” that he himself describes as “analogisch” to that of Copernicus. So the philological point made with such fanfare by the commentators may be philosophically moot after all. (shrink)
My primary target in this paper is a puzzle that emerges from the conjunction of several seemingly innocent assumptions in action theory and the metaphysics of moral responsibility. The puzzle I have in mind is this. On one widely held account of moral responsibility, an agent is morally responsible only for those actions or outcomes over which that agent exercises control. Recently, however, some have cited cases where agents appear to be morally responsible without exercising any control. This leads some (...) to abandon the control-based account of responsibility and replace it with an alternative account. It leads others to deny the intuition that agents are responsible in these troublesome cases. After outlining the account of moral responsibility I have in mind, I look at some of the arguments made against the viability of this theory. I show that there are conceptual resources for salvaging the control account, focusing in particular on the nature of vigilance. I also argue that there is empirical data that supports the control account so conceived. (shrink)
In his new introduction to this current edition of this classic in the field originally published in 1982 (Humanities Press), Hoppe (economics, U. of Nevada, Las Vegas--as was the late author) extols Rothbard's marriage of the "value-free" science of economics with the normative enterprise of ethics and their offspring: libertarianism. Discussion areas are: natural law, a theory of liberty, the state vs. liberty, modern alternative theories of liberty, and toward a theory of strategy for liberty. Annotation copyrighted by Book News, (...) Inc., Portland, OR. (shrink)
The debate between compatibilists and incompatibilists depends in large part on what ordinary people mean by ‘free will’, a matter on which previous experimental philosophy studies have yielded conflicting results. In Nahmias, Morris, Nadelhoffer, and Turner (2005, 2006), most participants judged that agents in deterministic scenarios could have free will and be morally responsible. Nichols and Knobe (2007), though, suggest that these apparent compatibilist responses are performance errors produced by using concrete scenarios, and that their abstract scenarios reveal the folk (...) theory of free will for what it actually is—incompatibilist. Here, we argue that the results of two new studies suggest just the opposite. Most participants only give apparent incompatibilist judgments when they mistakenly interpret determinism to imply that agents’ mental states are bypassed in the causal chains that lead to their behavior. Determinism does not entail bypassing, so these responses do not reflect genuine incompatibilist intuitions. When participants understand what determinism does mean, the vast majority take it to be compatible with free will. Further results indicate that most people’s concepts of choice and the ability to do otherwise do not commit them to incompatibilism, either, putting pressure on incompatibilist arguments that rely on transfer principles, such as the Consequence Argument. We discuss the implications of these findings for philosophical debates about free will, and suggest that incompatibilism appears to be either false, or else a thesis about something other than what most people mean by ‘free will’. (shrink)
We sometimes fail unwittingly to do things that we ought to do. And we are, from time to time, culpable for these unwitting omissions. We provide an outline of a theory of responsibility for unwitting omissions. We emphasize two distinctive ideas: (i) many unwitting omissions can be understood as failures of appropriate vigilance, and; (ii) the sort of self-control implicated in these failures of appropriate vigilance is valuable. We argue that the norms that govern vigilance and the value of self-control (...) explain culpability for unwitting omissions. (shrink)
In this paper, we focus on whether and to what extent we judge that people are responsible for the consequences of their forgetfulness. We ran a series of behavioral studies to measure judgments of responsibility for the consequences of forgetfulness. Our results show that we are disposed to hold others responsible for some of their forgetfulness. The level of stress that the forgetful agent is under modulates judgments of responsibility, though the level of care that the agent exhibits toward performing (...) the forgotten action does not. We argue that this result has important implications for a long-running debate about the nature of responsible agency. (shrink)
Problems of and explanations for evil -- Neo-cartesianism -- Animal suffering and the fall -- Nobility, flourishing, and immortality : animal pain and animal well-being -- Natural evil, nomic regularity, and animal suffering -- Chaos, order, and evolution -- Combining CDs.
This volume of new essays energizes a growing movement in film theory which questions and seeks to overturn many of the assumptions that have governed film theory for the last twenty years. The book brings together film scholars and philosophers in a united commitment to the standards of argumentation that characterize analytic philosophy rather than a single doctrinal approach. The essays address such topics as authorship, emotion, ideology, representation, and expression in film.
Murray Edelman's work raised significant theoretical and methodological questions regarding the symbolic nature of politics, and specifically the role played by non?rational beliefs in the shaping of political preferences. According to Edelman, beneath an apparently functional and accountable democratic state lies a symbolic system that renders an ignorant public quiescent. The state, the media, civil society, interpersonal relations, even popular art are part of a mass spectacle kept afloat by empty symbolic beliefs. However suggestive it is, the weaknesses of (...) Edelman's theoretical and methodological approach, and the relative strengths of more recent research on the politics of cultural symbols, render Edelman's work unable to serve as either model or springboard for the contemporary study of political symbols. (shrink)
This paper proposes a brain-inspired cognitive architecture that incorporates approximations to the concepts of consciousness, imagination, and emotion. To emulate the empirically established cognitive efficacy of conscious as opposed to non-conscious information processing in the mammalian brain, the architecture adopts a model of information flow from global workspace theory. Cognitive functions such as anticipation and planning are realised through internal simulation of interaction with the environment. Action selection, in both actual and internally simulated interaction with the environment, is mediated by (...) affect. An implementation of the architecture is described which is based on weightless neurons and is used to control a simulated robot. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that sentences that contain ‘omission’ tokens that appear to function as singular terms are meaningful while maintaining the view that omissions are nothing at all or mere absences. I take omissions to be fictional entities and claim that the way in which sentences about fictional characters are true parallels the way in which sentences about omissions are true. I develop a pragmatic account of fictional reference and argue that my fictionalist account of omissions implies a (...) plausible account of the metaphysics of omissions. (shrink)
Abstract For Murray Edelman, political realities are largely inaccessible to the public, save by the mediation of symbols generated by elites. Such symbols often create the illusion of political solutions to complex problems?solutions devised by experts, implemented by effective leaders, and undemonstrably successful in their results.
Nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) comprise the sector of society that attempts to hold business and other institutions accountable for their social responsibility. Yet NGOs rarely have established governance mechanisms whereby their members and supporters can hold them accountable for their activities. In contrast, other major acton in the society -notably governments, corporations, and unions -maintain long established albeit imperfect instruments of governance and responsibility. This article presents a variety of ways in which NGOs could voluntarily strengthen their internal governance and thus (...) become more accountable to their members and supporters as well as society at large. In the process, these important civil society organizations would enhance their effectiveness in achieving improvements in key areas of public policy. (shrink)
Combined oral contraceptives have been demonstrated to have significant benefits for the treatment and prevention of disease. These medications also are associated with untoward health effects, and they may be directly contraceptive. Prescribers and users must compare and weigh the intended beneficial health effects against foreseeable but unintended possible adverse effects in their decisions to prescribe and use. Additionally, those who intend to abide by Catholic teachings must consider prohibitions against contraception. Ethical judgments concerning both health benefits and contraception are (...) approached in this essay through an overview of the therapeutic, prophylactic, untoward, and contraceptive effects of COC and discussion of magisterial and traditional Catholic teachings from natural law. Discerning through the principle of double effect, proportionate reason, and evidence gathered from the sciences, medical and moral conclusions are drawn that we believe to be fully compliant with good medicine and Catholic teaching. (shrink)
_The Athiest’s Primer_ is a concise but wide-ranging introduction to a variety of arguments, concepts, and issues pertaining to belief in God. In lucid and engaging prose, Malcom Murray offers a penetrating yet fair-minded critique of the traditional arguments for the existence of God. He then explores a number of other important issues relevant to religious belief, such as the problem of suffering and the relationship between religion and morality, in each case arguing that atheism is preferable to theism. (...) The book will appeal to both students and professionals in the philosophy of religion, as well as general audiences interested in the topic. (shrink)
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