In order to present the philosopher Alberto Wagner de Reyna, we must first understand his life, then his work, and finally the force of his ideas; especially those which establish him within the history of philosophical ideas. This paper presents a synthesis of the conversation that the author..
Conversación entre Alberto Ciria, ganador del premio anual 2015 a la promoción de la filosofía y la cultura en Málaga que entrega FICUM, y Alejandro Rojas en torno a la pregunta ¿qué es para ti la filosofía?
This major publication is a history of the semantic tradition in philosophy from the early nineteenth century through its incarnation in the work of the Vienna Circle, the group of logical positivists that emerged in the years 1925-1935 in Vienna who were characterised by a strong commitment to empiricism, a high regard for science, and a conviction that modern logic is the primary tool of analytic philosophy. In the first part of the book, Alberto Coffa traces the roots of (...) logical positivism in a semantic tradition that arose in opposition to Kant's theory that a priori knowledge is based on pure intuition and the constitutive powers of the mind. In Part II, Coffa chronicles the development of this tradition by members and associates of the Vienna Circle. Much of Coffa's analysis draws on the unpublished notes and correspondence of many philosophers. The book, however, is not merely a history of the semantic tradition from Kant 'to the Vienna Station'. Coffa also critically reassesses the role of semantic notions in understanding the ground of a priori knowledge and its relation to empirical knowledge and questions the turn the tradition has taken since Vienna. (shrink)
Abortion is largely accepted even for reasons that do not have anything to do with the fetus' health. By showing that (1) both fetuses and newborns do not have the same moral status as actual persons, (2) the fact that both are potential persons is morally irrelevant and (3) adoption is not always in the best interest of actual people, the authors argue that what we call ‘after-birth abortion’ (killing a newborn) should be permissible in all the cases where abortion (...) is, including cases where the newborn is not disabled. (shrink)
In his essay against Eberhard, Kant denies that there are innate concepts. Several scholars take Kant’s statement at face value. They claim that Kant did not endorse concept innatism, that the categories are not innate concepts, and that Kant’s views on innateness are significantly different from Leibniz’s. This paper takes issue with those claims. It argues that Kant’s views on the origin of the intellectual concepts are remarkably similar to Leibniz’s. Given two widespread notions of innateness, the dispositional notion and (...) the input/output notion, intellectual concepts are innate for Kant no less than for Leibniz. (shrink)
This book presents a novel theory of fictional entities which is syncretistic insofar as it integrates the work of previous authors. It puts forward a new metaphysical conception of the nature of these This This book presents a novel theory of fictional entities which is syncretistic insofar as it integrates the work of previous authors. It puts forward a new metaphysical conception of the nature of these entities, according to which a fictional entity is a compound entity built up from (...) both a make-believe theoretical element and a set-theoretical element. The fictional entity is constructed by imagining the existence of an individual with certain properties and adding a set-theoretical element consisting of the set of properties corresponding to the properties of the imagined entity. Moreover, the book advances a new combined semantic and ontological defence of the existence of fictional entities. (shrink)
This book provides both a historical analysis of the philosophical problem of individuation, and a new trajectory in its treatment. Drawing on the work of Gilles Deleuze, as well as C.S. Peirce and the lesser-known Gilbert Simondon, Alberto Toscano takes the problem of individuation, as reconfigured by Kant and Nietzsche, into the realm of modernity, providing a unique and vibrant contribution to contemporary debates in European philosophy.
Several scholars have criticized the histories of early modern philosophy based on the dichotomy of empiricism and rationalism. They view them as overestimating the importance of epistemological issues for early modern philosophers (epistemological bias), portraying Kant's Critical philosophy as a superior alternative to empiricism and rationalism (Kantian bias), and forcing most or all early modern thinkers prior to Kant into the empiricist or rationalist camps (classificatory bias). Kant is often said to be the source of the three biases. Against this (...) criticism, this paper argues that Kant did not have the three biases. However, he promoted a way of writing histories of philosophy from which those biases would naturally flow. (shrink)
Although the notion of empiricism looms large in many histories of early modern philosophy, its origins are not well understood. This paper aims to shed light on them. It examines the notions of empirical philosopher, physician, and politician that are employed in a range of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century texts, alongside related notions (e.g. "experimental philosophy") and methodological stances. It concludes that the notion of empiricism used in many histories of early modern thought does not have pre-Kantian origins. It first appeared (...) and became widely used in late eighteenth-century Germany, in the course of the early debates on Kant's Critical philosophy. (shrink)
In this paper, I want to deal with the problem of how to find an adequate context of interpretation for indexical sentences that enables one to account for the intuitive truth-conditional content which some apparently puzzling indexical sentences like “I am not here now” as well as other such sentences contextually have. In this respect, I will pursue a fictionalist line. This line allows for shifts in interpretation contexts and urges that such shifts are governed by pretense, which has to (...) be understood in terms of socially shared make-believe games. By appealing to pretense so conceived, I will show that the fictionalist perspective is halfway between an intentionalist perspective, according to which the above indexical sentences have to be interpreted in a shifted intended context, (this perspective is primarily defined by Predelli 1998, Analysis 58, 107; Mind and Language 13, 400) and a conventionalist perspective, according to which indexical reference shifts in accordance with a conventional setting. (For this perspective, cf. Corazza et al. 2002, Philosophical Studies 107, See also Corazza 2004, Reflecting the Mind: Indexicality and Quasi-Indexicality, Oxford University Press). Finally, I will claim that the fictionalist analysis of cases of non-ordinary uses of indexicals like “here” and “now” can be retained in face of a new alternative analysis of those cases in terms of an ‘unbound anaphora’ – theory (cf. Corazza 2004, Synthese 138, 145). (shrink)
In this paper, I want to argue for two main and related points. First, I want to defend Richard Wollheim’s well-known thesis that the twofold mental state of seeing-in is the distinctive pictorial experience that marks figurativity. Figurativity is what makes a representation pictorial, a depiction of its subject. Moreover, I want to show that insofar as it is a mark of figurativity, all seeing-in is inflected. That is to say, every mental state of seeing-in is such that the characterisation (...) of the properties by which a certain subject is seen in a given picture as having refers to the design properties of the picture’s vehicle, i.e., to the visible surface properties of that vehicle that are responsible for the fact that one such subject is seen in it, precisely taken in such a design role. Finally, I will try to show that seeing-in is qualified by inflection independently of whether it is conscious or unconscious seeing-in. (shrink)
This paper traces the ancestry of a familiar historiographical narrative, according to which early modern philosophy was marked by the development of empiricism, rationalism, and their synthesis by Immanuel Kant. It is often claimed that this narrative became standard in the nineteenth century, due to the influence of Thomas Reid, Kant and his disciples, or German Hegelians and British Idealists. The paper argues that the narrative became standard only at the turn of the twentieth century. This was not due to (...) the influence of Reid, German Hegelians, or British Idealists as they did not endorse the narrative, although Thomas Hill Green may have facilitated its uptake. The narrative is based on Kant’s historiographical sketches, as corrected and integrated by Karl Leonhard Reinhold. It was first fleshed out into full-fledged histories by two Kantians, Wilhelm Gottlieb Tennemann and Johann Gottlieb Buhle. Numerous historians, several of whom were not Kantians, spread it in the English-speaking world. They include Kuno Fischer, Friedrich Ueberweg, Richard Falckenberg, and Wilhelm Windelband. However, the wide availability of their works did not suffice to make the narrative standard because, until the 1890s, the Hegelian account was at least as popular as theirs. Among the factors that allowed the narrative to become standard are its aptness to be adopted by philosophers of the most diverse persuasions, its simplicity and suitability for teaching. (shrink)
In Ockhamist branching-time logic [Prior 67], formulas are meant to be evaluated on a specified branch, or history, passing through the moment at hand. The linguistic counterpart of the manifoldness of future is a possibility operator which is read as `at some branch, or history (passing through the moment at hand)'. Both the bundled-trees semantics [Burgess 79] and the $\langle moment, history\rangle$ semantics [Thomason 84] for the possibility operator involve a quantification over sets of moments. The Ockhamist frames are (3-modal) (...) Kripke structures in which this second-order quantification is represented by a first-order quantification. The aim of the present paper is to investigate the notions of modal definability, validity, and axiomatizability concerning 3-modal frames which can be viewed as generalizations of Ockhamist frames. (shrink)
We argue that individuals who have access to vaccines and for whom vaccination is not medically contraindicated have a moral obligation to contribute to the realisation of herd immunity by being vaccinated. Contrary to what some have claimed, we argue that this individual moral obligation exists in spite of the fact that each individual vaccination does not significantly affect vaccination coverage rates and therefore does not significantly contribute to herd immunity. Establishing the existence of a moral obligation to be vaccinated (...) despite the negligible contribution each vaccination can make to the realisation of herd immunity is important because such moral obligation would strengthen the justification for coercive vaccination policies. We show that two types of arguments—namely a utilitarian argument based on Parfit’s Principle of Group Beneficence and a contractualist argument—can ground an individual moral obligation to be vaccinated, in spite of the imperceptible contribution that any single vaccination makes to vaccine coverage rates. We add a further argument for a moral obligation to be vaccinated that does not require embracing problematic comprehensive moral theories such as utilitarianism or contractualism. The argument is based on a “duty of easy rescue” applied to collectives, which grounds a collective moral obligation to realise herd immunity, and on a principle of fairness in the distribution of the burdens that must be borne to realise herd immunity. (shrink)
In this paper, I will claim that fictional works apparently about utterly immigrant objects, i.e., real individuals imported in fiction from reality, are instead about fictional individuals that intentionally resemble those real individuals in a significant manner: fictional surrogates of such individuals. Since I also share the realists’ conviction that the remaining fictional works concern native characters, i.e., full-fledged fictional individuals that originate in fiction itself, I will here defend a hyperrealist position according to which fictional works only concern fictional (...) individuals. (shrink)
Kant claims that the nominal definition of truth is: “Truth is the agreement of cognition with its object”. In this paper, I analyse the relevant features of Kant's theory of definition in order to explain the meaning of that claim and its consequences for the vexed question of whether Kant endorses or rejects a correspondence theory of truth. I conclude that Kant's claim implies neither that he holds, nor that he rejects, a correspondence theory of truth. Kant's claim is not (...) a generic way of setting aside a correspondence definition of truth, or of considering it uninformative. Being the nominal definition of truth, the formula “truth is the agreement of cognition with its object” illustrates the meaning of the predicate “is true” and people's ordinary conception of truth. True judgements correspond to the objects they are about. However, there could be more to the property of truth than correspondence. (shrink)
This chapter discusses the relation between Christian Wolff's philosophy and the methodological views of early modern experimental philosophers. The chapter argues for three claims. First, Wolff's system relies on experience at every step and his views on experiments, observations, hypotheses, and the a priori are in line with those of experimental philosophers. Second, the study of Wolff's views demonstrates the influence of experimental philosophy in early eighteenth-century Germany. Third, references to Wolff's empiricism and rationalism are best identified or replaced with (...) references to his endorsement of the tenets of experimental philosophers and of a mathematical demonstrative method. (shrink)
What is depiction? This is a venerable question that has received many different answers throughout the whole history of philosophy, especially in contemporary times. A Syncretistic Theory of Depiction elaborates a new account on this matter by providing a theory of depiction that tries to combine the merits of the previous theories while dropping their defects. It is argued that a picture is a representation in a pictorial or figurative mode, and its 'figurativity' is given by a special perception, perceiving-in, (...) whose nature is reconceived. Such a perception inter alia grasps some properties which the picture's vehicle has in common with what is perceived in it; by so doing, that perception provides the picture with a figurative content. In contrast, the picture's representational value, its subject or its pictorial content, is given by a conventionally or causally based selection out of that figurative content. (shrink)
A completeness theorem is established for logics with congruence endowed with general semantics. As a corollary, completeness is shown to be preserved by fibring logics with congruence provided that congruence is retained in the resulting logic. The class of logics with equivalence is shown to be closed under fibring and to be included in the class of logics with congruence. Thus, completeness is shown to be preserved by fibring logics with equivalence and general semantics. An example is provided showing that (...) completeness is not always preserved by fibring logics endowed with standard semantics. A categorial characterization of fibring is provided using coproducts and cocartesian liftings. (shrink)
According to Crane’s schematicity thesis (ST) about intentional objects, intentionalia have no particular metaphysical nature qua thought-of entities; moreover, the real metaphysical nature of intentionalia is various, insofar as it is settled independently of the fact that intentionalia are targets of one’s thought. As I will point out, ST has the ontological consequence that the intentionalia that really belong to the general inventory of what there is, the overall domain, are those that fall under a good metaphysical kind, i.e., a (...) kind such that its members figure (for independent reasons) in such an inventory. Negatively put, if there are no things of a certain metaphysical kind, thoughts about things of that kind are not really committed to such things. Pace Crane, however, this does not mean that the intentionalia that are really there are only those that exist. For existence, qua first-order property, is no metaphysical kind. Thus, there may really be intentionalia that do not exist, provided that they belong to good metaphysical kinds. (shrink)
Today, there is an emerging interest for the potential role of hermeneutics in reflecting on the practices related to digital technologies and their consequences. Nonetheless, such an interest has neither given rise to a unitary approach nor to a shared debate. The primary goal of this paper is to map and synthetize the different existing perspectives to pave the way for an open discussion on the topic. The article is developed in two steps. In the first section, the authors analyze (...) digital hermeneutics “in theory” by confronting and systematizing the existing literature. In particular, they stress three main distinctions among the approaches: between “methodological” and “ontological” digital hermeneutics; between data- and text-oriented digital hermeneutics; and between “quantitative” and “qualitative” credos in digital hermeneutics. In the second section, they consider digital hermeneutics “in action”, by critically analyzing the uses of digital data for studying a classical object such as the political opinion. In the conclusion, we will pave the way to an ontological turn in digital hermeneutics. Most of this article is devoted to the methodological issue of interpreting with digital machines. The main task of an ontological digital hermeneutics would consist instead in wondering if it is legitimate, and eventually to which extent, to speak of digital technologies, or at least of some of them, as interpretational machines. (shrink)
How do we form concepts like those of three, bicycle and red? According to Kant, we form them by carrying out acts of comparison, reflection and abstraction on information provided by the senses. Kant's answer raised numerous objections from philosophers and psychologists alike. "Kant e la formazione dei concetti" argues that Kant is able to rebut those objections. The book shows that, for Kant, it is possible to perceive objects without employing concepts; it explains how, given those perceptions, we can (...) form categories and empirical concepts; and it argues that theories like Kant's - abstractionist theories of concept formation - are more plausible than is often assumed. (shrink)
In a recent paper, Anthony Everett has mounted a very serious attack against realism with respect to fictional entities. According to Everett, ficta raise deep logico-ontological worries, for they violate some basic logical laws and are problematically indeterminate with respect to both their existence and identity. Since an antirealist account for sentences apparently committing us to ficta is available, no such committment is really needed. In this paper I will try to show, first, that the antirealist account Everett proposes for (...) those sentences is not convincing. Moreover, by relying on the Meinongians’ distinctions between i) predicative and propositional negation and ii) either modes of predication or kinds of property, I will argue that the logico-ontological problems Everett arises against ficta can be solved. Finally, I will try to show that both the ‘modes of predication’- and the ‘kinds of property’- distinctions (especially the first one) are not so problematic as Everett holds. (shrink)
In this essay, I defend a Wollheimian account of a twofold picture perception. While I agree with Wollheim’s objectors that a picture involves three layers that qualify a picture in its complexity -- its vehicle, what is seen in it, and its subject --, I argue that the third layer does not involve perception, even indirectly: what is seen in a picture constrains its subject to be a subject of a certain kind, yet it does not force the latter to (...) be pictorially perceived, not even indirectly. So, even if a picture is three-layered, pictorial experience remains a twofold experience, as Wollheim claimed. Neither the proponents of threefoldness nor Wollheim himself, however, have convincingly explained how the experience really is a perceptual experience. My Wollheimian account thus aims to reconceive the pictorial experience in properly perceptual terms. (shrink)
In this paper I argue for a syncretistic theory of depiction, which combines the merits of the main paradigms which have hitherto faced themselves on this issue, namely the perceptualist and semioticist approaches. The syncretistic theory indeed takes from the former its stress on experiential factors and from the latter its stress on conventional factors. But the theory is even more syncretistic than this, for the way it accounts for the experiential factor vindicates several claims defended by different perceptualist theories. (...) In a nutshell, according to the syncretistic theory a picture depicts its subject iff i) it is transformed into an entity-cum-meaning and ii) one has the twofold experience of seeing that subject in the picture qua noninterpreted entity, the image, just in case one consciously misrecognizes it in consciously seeing that image, for that subject resembles the image in some grouping properties (originally labelled Gestalt-qualities in psychology). By appealing to objective resemblance in grouping properties, the theory can vindicate what are nowadays taken to be the most neglected doctrines in the perceptualist camp: objective resemblance theories. By appealing, moreover, to conscious misrecognition, the theory not only squares with both the seeing-in and the recognition theories of depiction, but it also shows the grain of truth in illusion theories of depiction, since conscious misrecognition is a kind of perceptual illusion. (shrink)
Many scholars claimed that, according to Immanuel Kant, some judgements lack a truth-value: analytic judgements, judgements about items of which humans cannot have experience, judgements of perception, and non-assertoric judgements. However, no one has undertaken an extensive examination of the textual evidence for those claims. Based on an analysis of Kant's texts, I argue that: (1) according to Kant, only judgements of perception are not truth-apt. All other judgements are truth-apt, including analytic judgements and judgements about items of which humans (...) cannot have experience. (2) Kant sometimes states that truth-apt judgements are actual bearers of truth or falsity only when they are taken to state what is actually the case. Kant calls these judgements assertoric. Other texts ascribe truth and falsity to judgements, regardless of whether they are assertoric. Kant's views on truth-aptness raise challenges for correspondentist and coherentist interpretations of Kant's theory of truth; they rule out the identification of Kant's crucial notion of objective validity with truth-aptness; and they imply that Kant was not a verificationist about truth or meaning. (shrink)
This article builds on the hypothesis that theoretical approaches to philosophy of technology are currently stuck in a false alternative: either embrace the “empirical turn” or jump back into the determinism, pessimism, and general ignorance towards specific technologies that characterized the “humanities philosophy of technology.” A third path is however possible, which consists of articulating an empirical point of view with an interest in the symbolic dimension in which technologies and technological mediations are always already embedded. Bourdieu’s sociology of the (...) symbolic forms represents an important and mostly unexplored resource in this respect. In this article, we introduce the notion of technological capital and its tree states—objectified, institutionalized, and embodied. In the first section, we briefly account of the empirical turn in philosophy of technology. Specific attention is then devoted to postphenomenology. We depict three perspectives in postphenomenology: standard postphenomenology, in which one single human-technology-world relation at a time is considered; the attempt of some technological mediation theorists to articulate postphenomenology and actor-network theory ; the original effort in Ihde, which is currently practiced by a minority of postphenomenologists, to combine an interest for the empirical dimension of technological mediations with an attention to the social and cultural conditions of possibility in which these mediations are embedded. In the second section, we consider some recent critiques of the limits of the empirical turn in philosophy of technology, especially related to postphenomenology. Furthermore, we argue that Pierre Bourdieu’s sociology may benefit the philosophy of technology. One might say that according to a Bourdieusian perspective, technologies are, in their invention, implementation, and use, embedded in symbolically organized interactions among social actors or groups. The notion of technological capital is introduced. A specific attention is given to its embodied state, which is related to the habitus. Such concept suggests that, to rephrase the famous sentence by Heidegger, “the essence of technology is not totally technological.” In the conclusion, we consider three risks related to a Bourdieusian approach to technology: transparency, determinism, and absolutism. (shrink)
In this paper, I will defend the claim that there are three existence properties: the second-order property of being instantiated, a substantive first-order property (or better a group of such properties) and a formal, hence universal, first-order property. I will first try to show what these properties are and why we need all of them for ontological purposes. Moreover, I will try to show why a Meinong-like option that positively endorses both the former and the latter first-order property is the (...) correct view in ontology. Finally, I will add some methodological remarks as to why this debate has to be articulated from the point of view of reality, i.e., by speaking of properties, rather than from the point of view of language, i.e., by speaking of predicates (for such properties). (shrink)
In philosophy of emerging media, several scholars have insisted on the fact that the “new” of new technologies does not have much to do with communication, but rather with the exponential growth of recording. In this paper, instead, the thesis advanced is that digital technologies do not concern memory, but imagination, and more precisely, what philosophers from Kant onwards have called productive imagination. In this paper, however, the main reference will not be Kant, but Paul Ricoeur, who explicitly refers to (...) the Kantian productive imagination in his works, but also offered an externalized, semioticized, and historicized interpretation of it. The article is developed in three steps. In the first section, it deals with Ricoeur’s theory of narrative, based on the notions of mimesis and mythos. In the second section, it is first argued that human imagination is always-already extended. Second, it will be shown how mimesis and mythos are precisely the way software works. In the third section, the specificity of big data is introduced. Big data is the promise of giving our actions and existences a meaning that we are incapable of perceiving, for lack of sensibility and understanding. Scholars have used the Foucauldian concepts of panopticon and confession for describing the human condition in the digital age. In the conclusion, it is argued that big data makes any form of disclosure unnecessary. Big data is an ensemble of technological artifacts, methods, techniques, practices, institutions, and forms of knowledge aiming at taking over the way someone narratively accounts for himself or herself before the others. Hence, another Foucauldian notion is representative of this age: the parrhesia, to speak candidly, and to take a risk in speaking the truth, insofar as such a possibility is anesthetized. (shrink)
This article reconstructs Kant's view on the existential import of categorical sentences. Kant is widely taken to have held that affirmative sentences (the A and I sentences of the traditional square of opposition) have existential import, whereas negative sentences (E and O) lack existential import. The article challenges this standard interpretation. It is argued that Kant ascribes existential import only to some affirmative synthetic sentences. However, the reasons for this do not fall within the remit of Kant's formal logic. Unlike (...) traditional logic and modern standard quantification theory, Kant's formal logic is free from existential commitments. (shrink)
In this paper, I want to show that the so-called intentionalist programme, according to which the qualitative aspects of the mental have to be brought back to its intentional features, is doomed to fail. For, pace Brentano, the property that constitutes the main part of such intentional features, i.e., intentionality, is not the mark of the mental, neither in the proper Brentanian sense, according to which intentionality is the both necessary and sufficient condition of the mental, nor in its ‘watered (...) down’ counterpart recently defended by Tim Crane, according to which intentionality is just the necessary condition of the mental. However, this does not mean that being mental is just a heterogenous category. For there may be another mark of the mental, i.e., consciousness, in the phenomenological sense of the property of being experienced. (shrink)
In considering the possibility that the fundamental particles of matter might violate Leibniz's Principle, one is confronted with logical proofs that the Principle is a Theorem of Logic. This paper shows that the proof of that theorem is not universal enough to encompass entities that might not be unique, and also strongly suggests that photons, for example, do violate Leibniz's Principle. It also shows that the existence of non-individuals would imply the breakdown of Quine's criterion of ontological commitment.