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Individuals: An Essay in Descriptive Metaphysics

London, England: Routledge (1959)

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  1. Natural Language Ontology.Friederike Moltmann - 2017 - Oxford Encyclopedia of Linguistics.
    The aim of natural language ontology is to uncover the ontological categories and structures that are implicit in the use of natural language, that is, that a speaker accepts when using a language. This article aims to clarify what exactly the subject matter of natural language ontology is, what sorts of linguistic data it should take into account, how natural language ontology relates to other branches of metaphysics, in what ways natural language ontology is important, and what may be distinctive (...)
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  • The Neuronal, Synaptic Self: Having Values and Making Choices.Derek Sankey - 2006 - Journal of Moral Education 35 (2):163-178.
    Given that many in neuroscience believe all human experience will eventually be accounted for in terms of the activity of the brain, does the concept of moral or values education make sense? And, are we not headed for a singly deterministic notion of the self, devoid of even the possibility of making choices? One obvious objection is that this does not tally with our experience? we can espouse values and do make choices. But perhaps this is simply appearance and the (...)
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  • Michael T. Ferejohn, Formal Causes: Definition, Explanation, and Primacy In: Socratic and Aristotelian Thought. [REVIEW]Petter Sandstad - 2016 - History of Philosophy & Logical Analysis 19:235-241.
    I review Michael T. Ferejohn's "Formal Causes: Definition, Explanation, and Primacy in Socratic and Aristotelian Thought".
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  • Three Problems of Intersubjectivity—And One Solution.Wendelin Reich - 2010 - Sociological Theory 28 (1):40-63.
    Social thinkers often use the concept of intersubjectivity to mark out a problem of theoretical sociology: If people are unable to look into each others' minds, why do they often understand each other nonetheless? This issue has been debated extensively by philosophers and sociologists in three largely disconnected discourses. The article investigates the three discourses for isolable ideas that can be fitted into a sociological answer to the problem of intersubjectivity. An interactional solution, fully coherent with key insights from the (...)
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  • Intentionality, Mind and Folk Psychology.Winand H. Dittrich & Stephen E. G. Lea - 1993 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 16 (1):39-41.
    The comment addresses central issues of a "theory theory" approach as exemplified in Gopnik' and Goldman's BBS-articles. Gopnik, on the one hand, tries to demonstrate that empirical evidence from developmental psychology supports the view of a "theory theory" in which common sense beliefs are constructed to explain ourselves and others. Focusing the informational processing routes possibly involved we would like to argue that his main thesis (e.g. idea of intentionality as a cognitive construct) lacks support at least for two reasons: (...)
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  • Learning That There is Life After Death.L. Harris Paul & Astuti Rita - 2006 - Behavioral and Brain Sciences 29 (5):475-476.
    Bering's argument that human beings are endowed with a cognitive system dedicated to forming illusory representations of psychological immortality relies on the claim that children's beliefs in the afterlife are not the result of religious teaching. We suggest four reasons why this claim is unsatisfactory.
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  • Applied Ontology: An Introduction.Katherine Munn & Barry Smith (eds.) - 2008 - Frankfurt: ontos.
    Ontology is the philosophical discipline which aims to understand how things in the world are divided into categories and how these categories are related together. This is exactly what information scientists aim for in creating structured, automated representations, called 'ontologies,' for managing information in fields such as science, government, industry, and healthcare. Currently, these systems are designed in a variety of different ways, so they cannot share data with one another. They are often idiosyncratically structured, accessible only to those who (...)
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  • Minimal Aristotelian Ontology.Luc Schneider - 2017 - Cosmos + Taxis 4 (4):27-37.
  • Perception and the External World.Declan Smithies - 2016 - Philosophical Studies 173 (4):1119-1145.
    In this paper, I argue that perception justifies belief about the external world in virtue of its phenomenal character together with its relations to the external world. But I argue that perceptual relations to the external world impact on the justifying role of perception only by virtue of their impact on its representational content. Epistemic level-bridging principles provide a principled rationale for avoiding more radically externalist theories of perceptual justification.
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  • Metaphysics of Science Between Metaphysics and Science.Michael Esfeld - 2007 - Grazer Philosophische Studien 74 (1):199-213.
    The paper argues that metaphysics depends upon science when it comes to claims about the constitution of the real world. That thesis is illustrated by considering the examples of global supervenience, the tenseless vs. the tensed theory of time and existence, events vs. substances, and relations vs. intrinsic properties. An argument is sketched out for a metaphysics of a four-dimensional block universe whose content are events and their sequences, events consisting in physical properties instantiated at space-time points, these properties being (...)
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  • Individuality and Aggregativity.Stéphane Chauvier - 2017 - Philosophy, Theory, and Practice in Biology 9 (11).
    Why is there a specific problem with biological individuality? Because the living realm contains a wide range of exotic particular concrete entities that do not easily match our ordinary concept of an individual. Slime moulds, dandelions, siphonophores are among the Odd Entities that excite the ontological zeal of the philosophers of biology. Most of these philosophers, however, seem to believe that these Odd Cases oblige us to refine or revise our common concept of an individual. They think, explicitly or tacitly, (...)
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  • The Practical Origins of Ideas: Genealogy as Conceptual Reverse-Engineering (Open Access).Matthieu Queloz - 2021 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.
    Why did such highly abstract ideas as truth, knowledge, or justice become so important to us? What was the point of coming to think in these terms? This book presents a philosophical method designed to answer such questions: the method of pragmatic genealogy. Pragmatic genealogies are partly fictional, partly historical narratives exploring what might have driven us to develop certain ideas in order to discover what these do for us. The book uncovers an under-appreciated tradition of pragmatic genealogy which cuts (...)
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  • Analogue Magnitude Representations: A Philosophical Introduction.Jacob Beck - 2015 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 66 (4):829-855.
    Empirical discussions of mental representation appeal to a wide variety of representational kinds. Some of these kinds, such as the sentential representations underlying language use and the pictorial representations of visual imagery, are thoroughly familiar to philosophers. Others have received almost no philosophical attention at all. Included in this latter category are analogue magnitude representations, which enable a wide range of organisms to primitively represent spatial, temporal, numerical, and related magnitudes. This article aims to introduce analogue magnitude representations to a (...)
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  • Why and How Not to Be a Sortalist About Thought.Rachel Goodman - 2012 - Philosophical Perspectives 26 (1):77-112.
  • Three Conceptions of the Logical Form of Exemplification.Valerio Buonomo - 2018 - American Philosophical Quarterly 55 (2):175-188.
    My aim in this paper is to discuss the logical form of exemplification. In order to achieve this goal, I analyze three views on the logical form of exemplification, namely, Gustav Bergmann's logical realism, Wilfrid Sellars's meta-linguistic expressivism, and Javier Cumpa's logical eliminativism. I start by examining the account advanced by Bergmann in his 1960 essay "Ineffability, Ontology, and Method," according to which the logical form of exemplification is represented by the juxtaposition of logical signs in a sentence. Then I (...)
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  • Bohr’s Relational Holism and the Classical-Quantum Interaction.Mauro Dorato - 2016
    In this paper I present and critically discuss the main strategies that Bohr used and could have used to fend off the charge that his interpretation does not provide a clear-cut distinction between the classical and the quantum domain. In particular, in the first part of the paper I reassess the main arguments used by Bohr to advocate the indispensability of a classical framework to refer to quantum phenomena. In this respect, by using a distinction coming from an apparently unrelated (...)
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  • Phenomenal Privacy, Similarity and Communicability.Thomas Raleigh - 2017 - Ergo: An Open Access Journal of Philosophy 4.
    The idea that there are features of or in our conscious experience that are, in some important sense, private has both a long history in philosophy and a large measure of intuitive attraction. Once this idea is in place, it will be very natural to assume that one can think and judge about one’s own private features. And it is then only a small step to the idea that we might communicate such thoughts and judgements about our respective private features (...)
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  • A Study in the Cognition of Individuals' Identity: Solving the Problem of Singular Cognition in Object and Agent Tracking.Nicolas Bullot - 2007 - Consciousness and Cognition 16 (2):276-293.
    This article compares the ability to track individuals lacking mental states with the ability to track intentional agents. It explains why reference to individuals raises the problem of explaining how cognitive agents track unique individuals and in what sense reference is based on procedures of perceptual-motor and epistemic tracking. We suggest applying the notion of singular-files from theories in perception and semantics to the problem of tracking intentional agents. In order to elucidate the nature of agent-files, three views of the (...)
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  • Reasons, Reason, and Context.Daniel Fogal - 2016 - In Errol Lord & Barry Maguire (eds.), Weighing Reasons. Oxford University Press.
    This paper explores various subtleties in our ordinary thought and talk about normative reasons—subtleties which, if taken seriously, have various upshots, both substantive and methodological. I focus on two subtleties in particular. The first concerns the use of reason (in its normative sense) as both a count noun and as a mass noun, and the second concerns the context-sensitivity of normative reasons-claims. The more carefully we look at the language of reasons, I argue, the clearer its limitations and liabilities become. (...)
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  • Events and Event Talk: An Introduction.Fabio Pianesi & Achille C. Varzi - 2000 - In James Higginbotham, Fabio Pianesi & Achille C. Varzi (eds.), Speaking of Events. Oxford University Press. pp. 3–47.
    A critical review of the main themes arising out of recent literature on the semantics of ordinary event talk. The material is organized in four sections: (i) the nature of events, with emphasis on the opposition between events as particulars and events as universals; (ii) identity and indeterminacy, with emphasis on the unifier/multiplier controversy; (iii) events and logical form, with emphasis on Davidson’s treatment of the form of action sentences; (iv) linguistic applications, with emphasis on issues concerning aspectual phenomena, the (...)
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  • What We Hear.Jason Leddington - 2014 - In Richard Brown (ed.), Consciousness Inside and Out: Phenomenology, Neuroscience, and the Nature of Experience. Springer Studies in Brain and Mind.
    A longstanding philosophical tradition holds that the primary objects of hearing are sounds rather than sound sources. In this case, we hear sound sources by—or in virtue of—hearing their sounds. This paper argues that, on the contrary, we have good reason to believe that the primary objects of hearing are sound sources, and that the relationship between a sound and its source is much like the relationship between a color and its bearer. Just as we see objects in seeing their (...)
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  • The Recurrent Model of Bodily Spatial Phenomenology.Tony Cheng & Patrick Haggard - 2018 - Journal of Consciousness Studies 25 (3-4):55-70.
    In this paper, we introduce and defend the recurrent model for understanding bodily spatial phenomenology. While Longo, Azañón and Haggard (2010) propose a bottom-up model, Bermúdez (2017) emphasizes the top-down aspect of the information processing loop. We argue that both are only half of the story. Section 1 intro- duces what the issues are. Section 2 starts by explaining why the top- down, descending direction is necessary with the illustration from the ‘body-based tactile rescaling’ paradigm (de Vignemont, Ehrsson and Haggard, (...)
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  • The Many Faces of Biological Individuality.Thomas Pradeu - 2016 - Biology and Philosophy 31 (6):761-773.
    Biological individuality is a major topic of discussion in biology and philosophy of biology. Recently, several objections have been raised against traditional accounts of biological individuality, including the objections of monism, theory-centrism, ahistoricity, disciplinary isolationism, and the multiplication of conceptual uncertainties. In this introduction, I will examine the current philosophical landscape about biological individuality, and show how the contributions gathered in this special issue address these five objections. Overall, the aim of this issue is to offer a more diverse, unifying, (...)
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  • Egocentric Spatial Representation in Action and Perception.Robert Briscoe - 2009 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 79 (2):423-460.
    Neuropsychological findings used to motivate the "two visual systems" hypothesis have been taken to endanger a pair of widely accepted claims about spatial representation in conscious visual experience. The first is the claim that visual experience represents 3-D space around the perceiver using an egocentric frame of reference. The second is the claim that there is a constitutive link between the spatial contents of visual experience and the perceiver's bodily actions. In this paper, I review and assess three main sources (...)
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  • Strawson on the Notion of the First Person.Manidipa Sen - 2009 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 16 (4):477-492.
    The paper is an attempt to understand Strawson’s notion of the first person in the context of his general theory of a person. More specifically it will relook into the idea that the concept of a person is ‘primitive’, and see how Strawson’s idea of primitiveness of the concept of a person can be extended to his notion of the first person. One way of cashing out the notion of primitiveness in the context of the first person is in terms (...)
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  • Could a Brain in a Vat Self‐Refer?Rory Madden - 2013 - European Journal of Philosophy 21 (1):74-93.
    : Radical sceptical possibilities challenge the anti-realist view that truth consists in ideal rational acceptability. Putnam, as part of his defence of an anti-realist view, subjected the case of the brain in a vat to a semantic externalist treatment, which aimed to maintain the desired connection between truth and ideal rational acceptability. It is argued here that self-consciousness poses special problems for this externalist strategy. It is shown how, on a standard model of first-person reference, Putnam's brain in a vat (...)
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  • The Inscrutability of Reference.Robert Williams - 2005 - Dissertation, University of St Andrews
    The metaphysics of representation poses questions such as: in virtue of what does a sentence, picture, or mental state represent that the world is a certain way? In the first instance, I have focused on the semantic properties of language: for example, what is it for a name such as ‘London’ to refer to something? Interpretationism concerning what it is for linguistic expressions to have meaning, says that constitutively, semantic facts are fixed by best semantic theory. As here developed, it (...)
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  • Feeling the Past: Beyond Causal Content.Gerardo Viera - 2021 - Estudios de Filosofía 64:173-188.
    Memories often come with a feeling of pastness. The events we remember strike us as having occurred in our past. What accounts for this feeling of pastness? In his recent book, Memory: A self-referential account, Jordi Fernández argues that the feeling of pastness cannot be grounded in an explicit representation of the pastness of the remembered event. Instead, he argues that the feeling of pastness is grounded in the self-referential causal content of memory. In this paper, I argue that this (...)
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  • Perception and Its Modalities.Dustin Stokes, Mohan Matthen & Stephen Biggs (eds.) - 2014 - Oxford University Press.
    This volume is about the many ways we perceive. Contributors explore the nature of the individual senses, how and what they tell us about the world, and how they interrelate. They consider how the senses extract perceptual content from receptoral information. They consider what kinds of objects we perceive and whether multiple senses ever perceive a single event. They consider how many senses we have, what makes one sense distinct from another, and whether and why distinguishing senses may be useful. (...)
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  • Names.Sam Cumming - 2009 - Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
  • Seeing and Visual Reference.Kevin J. Lande - 2021 - Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.
    Perception is a central means by which we come to represent and be aware of particulars in the world. I argue that an adequate account of perception must distinguish between what one perceives and what one's perceptual experience is of or about. Through capacities for visual completion, one can be visually aware of particular parts of a scene that one nevertheless does not see. Seeing corresponds to a basic, but not exhaustive, way in which one can be visually aware of (...)
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  • Searle's Defence of Internalism.Petr Koťátko - 2012 - Organon F: Medzinárodný Časopis Pre Analytickú Filozofiu 19:93-106.
  • Warrant for Nothing (and Foundations for Free)?Crispin Wright - 2004 - Aristotelian Society Supplementary Volume 78 (1):167–212.
  • Review of Transcendental Philosophy and Naturalism: Joel Smith & Peter Sullivan Transcendental Philosophy and Naturalism , 2011, Vii-212. [REVIEW]Dominic Shaw - 2012 - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences 11 (3):423-430.
    Review of Transcendental Philosophy and Naturalism Content Type Journal Article Pages 1-8 DOI 10.1007/s11097-012-9255-1 Authors Dominic Shaw, Department of Philosophy, The University of York, Heslington, York, YO10 5DD UK Journal Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences Online ISSN 1572-8676 Print ISSN 1568-7759.
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  • The Perception/Cognition Distinction.Anders Nes, Kristoffer Sundberg & Sebastian Watzl - 2021 - Inquiry: An Interdisciplinary Journal of Philosophy 1:1-31.
    The difference between perception and cognition seems introspectively obvious in many cases. Perceiving and thinking have also been assigned quite different roles, in epistemology, in theories of reference and of mental content, in philosophy of psychology, and elsewhere. Yet what is the nature of the distinction? In what way, or ways, do perception and cognition differ? The paper reviews recent work on these questions. Four main respects in which perception and cognition have been held to differ are discussed. First, their (...)
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  • Semantic Internalism and Externalism.Katalin Farkas - 2006 - In Ernest Lepore & Barry C. Smith (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy of Language. Oxford University Press. pp. 323.
    Abstract: This paper introduces and analyses the doctrine of externalism about semantic content; discusses the Twin Earth argument for externalism and the assumptions behind it, and examines the question of whether externalism about content is compatible with a privileged knowledge of meanings and mental contents.
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  • The Mental Simulation Debate.Martin Davies - 1994 - Philosophical Issues 5:189-218.
    For philosophers, the current phase of the debate with which this volume is concerned can be taken to have begun in 1986, when Jane Heal and Robert Gordon published their seminal papers (Heal, 1986; Gordon, 1986; though see also, for example, Stich, 1981; Dennett, 1981). They raised a dissenting voice against what was becoming a philosophical orthodoxy: that our everyday, or folk, understanding of the mind should be thought of as theoretical. In opposition to this picture, Gordon and Heal argued (...)
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  • Bodily feelings and felt inclinations.Rowland Stout - forthcoming - Phenomenology and the Cognitive Sciences:1-16.
    The paper defends a version of the perceptual account of bodily feelings, according to which having a feeling is feeling something about one’s body. But it rejects the idea, familiar in the work of William James, that what one feels when one has a feeling is something biological about one’s body. Instead it argues that to have a bodily feeling is to feel an apparent bodily indication of something – a bodily appearance. Being aware of what one’s body is apparently (...)
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  • Language, Truth, and Logic and the Anglophone Reception of the Vienna Circle.Andreas Vrahimis - 2020 - In Adam Tamas Tuboly (ed.), The Historical and Philosophical Significance of Ayer’s Language, Truth and Logic. Hampshire: Palgrave. pp. 41-68.
    A. J. Ayer’s Language, Truth, and Logic had been responsible for introducing the Vienna Circle’s ideas, developed within a Germanophone framework, to an Anglophone readership. Inevitably, this migration from one context to another resulted in the alteration of some of the concepts being transmitted. Such alterations have served to facilitate a number of false impressions of Logical Empiricism from which recent scholarship still tries to recover. In this paper, I will attempt to point to the ways in which LTL has (...)
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  • Existence Predicates.Friederike Moltmann - 2020 - Synthese 197 (1):311-335.
    Natural languages generally distinguishes among different existence predicates for different types of entities, such as English 'exist', 'occur', and 'obtain'. The paper gives an in-depth discussion and analysis of a range of existence predicates in natural language within the general project of descriptive metaphysics, or more specifically ‘natural language ontology’.
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  • Educating the Design Stance: Issues of Coherence and Transgression. Commentary on Bullot & Reber.Norman H. Freeman & Melissa L. Allen - forthcoming - Behavioral and Brain Sciences.
  • Mindless Accuracy: On the Ubiquity of Content in Nature.Alex Morgan - 2018 - Synthese 195 (12):5403-5429.
    It is widely held in contemporary philosophy of mind that states with underived representational content are ipso facto psychological states. This view—the Content View—underlies a number of interesting philosophical projects, such as the attempt to pick out a psychological level of explanation, to demarcate genuinely psychological from non-psychological states, and to limn the class of states with phenomenal character. The most detailed and influential theories of underived representation in philosophy are the tracking theories developed by Fodor, Dretske, Millikan and others. (...)
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  • Subjectivity and Mineness.Donnchadh O’Conaill - 2019 - Erkenntnis 84 (2):325-341.
    Recent work on consciousness has distinguished between the qualitative character of an experience and its subjective character or subjectivity. It is often suggested that subjectivity is a characteristic inner awareness subjects enjoy of their own occurrent experiences. A number of thinkers have also suggested that not only is each subject aware of her own experiences, but that in having these experiences she is aware of them as her own. This is the subjectivity-mineness thesis: necessarily, an experience which is given to (...)
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  • The Epistemic Significance of Valid Inference – A Model-Theoretic Approach.Constantin C. Brîncuș - 2015 - In Sorin Costreie & Mircea Dumitru (eds.), Meaning and Truth. Bucharest: PRO Universitaria Publishing. pp. 11-36.
    The problem analysed in this paper is whether we can gain knowledge by using valid inferences, and how we can explain this process from a model-theoretic perspective. According to the paradox of inference (Cohen & Nagel 1936/1998, 173), it is logically impossible for an inference to be both valid and its conclusion to possess novelty with respect to the premises. I argue in this paper that valid inference has an epistemic significance, i.e., it can be used by an agent to (...)
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  • How Proper Names Refer.Imogen Dickie - 2011 - Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society 111 (1pt1):43-78.
    This paper develops a new account of reference-fixing for proper names. The account is built around an intuitive claim about reference fixing: the claim that I am a participant in a practice of using α to refer to o only if my uses of α are constrained by the representationally relevant ways it is possible for o to behave. §I raises examples that suggest that a right account of how proper names refer should incorporate this claim. §II provides such an (...)
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  • Transcendental Kantianism, Naturalized Kantianism, and the Bounds of Psychology.Yakir Levin - 2017 - Acta Analytica 32 (4):465-488.
    Are there sensory states that, unlike mere sensory registrations, require an explanatory framework that goes beyond biology? Based on a reconstruction of Kant’s a priori, transcendental psychology, contemporary Kantians answer this question in the positive but dramatically limit the scope of psychology. In contrast, naturalistically oriented deflationists answer it in the negative, thereby not giving psychology any explanatory role whatsoever. In his recent monumental book Origins of Objectivity, Burge argues against both of these approaches and seeks to develop an intermediate (...)
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  • Is Moral Responsibility Essentially Interpersonal? A Reply to Zimmerman.Benjamin7 De Mesel - 2017 - The Journal of Ethics 21 (3):309-333.
    According to Michael Zimmerman, no interpretation of the idea that moral responsibility is essentially interpersonal captures a significant truth. He raises several worries about the Strawsonian view that moral responsibility consists in susceptibility to the reactive attitudes and claims that this view at best supports only an etiolated interpretation of the idea that moral responsibility is essentially interpersonal. He outlines three problems. First, the existence of self-reactive attitudes may be incompatible with the interpersonal nature of moral responsibility. Secondly, Zimmerman questions (...)
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  • Freedom, Recognition and Non-Domination: A Republican Theory of (Global) Justice.Fabian Schuppert (ed.) - 2014 - Springer.
    Introduction : A Republican Theory of (Global) Justice.- Chapter One: The Nature of Free Rational Agency -- Chapter Two: Analysing Freedom & Autonomy Recognition, Responsibility and Threats to Agency -- Chapter Three: Needs, Interests and Rights -- Chapter Four: Capabilities, Freedom and Sufficiency -- Chapter Five: Collective Agency, Democracy and Political Institutions -- Chapter Six: Global Justice and Non-Domination -- Conclusion: Freedom, Recognition & Non-Domination.
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  • É o método filosófico baseado na intuição?Cláudia Ribeiro - 2017 - Principia: An International Journal of Epistemology 21 (3):411-426.
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  • Estados de cosas en el tiempo.José Tomás Alvarado Marambio - 2013 - Revista de Humanidades de Valparaíso 2:83-104.
    Un ‘estado de cosas’ es comprendido aquí como cualquier tipo de entidad que pueda jugar el rol de verificador. Diferentes ontologías proponen diferentes estructuras de entidades para funcionar como ‘estados de cosas’ en este sentido. Los defensores de universales van a proponer para este rol estructuras no-mereológicas de universales, objetos y tiempos. Los defensores de tropos van a proponer tropos, ya sea con o sin universales y objetos. Los nominalistas de semejanza van a proponer hechos ontológicos primitivos de semejanza entre (...)
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