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  1.  34
    Resemblance, Representation and Scepticism: The Metaphysical Role of Berkeley’s Likeness Principle.David Bartha - 2022 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 4 (1):1.
    Berkeley’s likeness principle states that only an idea can be like an idea. In this paper, I argue that the principle should be read as a premise only in a metaphysical argument showing that matter cannot instantiate anything like the sensory properties we perceive. It goes against those interpretations that take it to serve also, if not primarily, an epistemological purpose, featuring in Berkeley’s alleged Representation Argument to the effect that we cannot reach beyond the veil of our ideas. First, (...)
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  2.  4
    Localizing Violations of the Principle of Sufficient Reason—Leibniz on the Modal Status of the PSR.Sebastian Bender - 2022 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 4 (1):11.
    The Principle of Sufficient Reason —the principle that everything has a reason—plays a central role in Leibniz’s philosophical system. It is rather difficult, however, to determine what Leibniz’s attitude towards the modal status of the PSR is. The prevailing view is that Leibniz takes the PSR to be true necessarily. This paper develops a novel interpretation and argues that Leibniz’s PSR is a contingent principle. It also discusses whether a merely contingent PSR can do the metaphysical heavy lifting that Leibniz (...)
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  3. The Contours of Locke’s General Substance Dualism.Graham Clay - 2022 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 4 (1):1-20.
    In this paper, I will argue that Locke is a substance dualist in the general sense, in that he holds that there are, independent of our classificatory schema, two distinct kinds of substances: wholly material ones and wholly immaterial ones. On Locke’s view, the difference between the two lies in whether they are solid or not, thereby differentiating him from Descartes. My way of establishing Locke as a general substance dualist is to be as minimally committal as possible at the (...)
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  4.  7
    Shepherd on Causal Necessity and Human Agency.Louise Daoust - 2022 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 4 (1):15.
    Shepherd defends an account of the universe founded on two causal principles: that effects necessarily have causes, and that like causes have like effects. Folding mind into the class of natural phenomena governed by these principles, Shepherd naturalizes the mind, but in doing so she sets herself the challenge of explaining how, within a deterministic universe, agents can be necessary causes of their own actions. With special attention to Shepherd’s resistance to materialism and to any reduction of the mental, the (...)
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  5.  4
    Leibniz’s Dual Concept of Probability.Binyamin Eisner - 2022 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 4 (1):17.
    Leibniz uses the concept of probability in both epistemic and non-epistemic contexts, as do many of his contemporaries. Some commentators have claimed that this dual-use is inexact or confused. In this paper, I describe Leibniz’s understanding of the concept of probability and discuss its dual usage in his work. Then, building on Leibniz’s creation theory, in conjunction with Russell’s interpretation of the Principle of Sufficient Reason, I endeavor to justify this dual usage and to show that this justification is also (...)
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  6.  15
    Locke’s Composition Principle and the Argument for God’s Immateriality.Tyler Hanck - 2022 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 4 (1):4.
    Locke’s argument for God’s immateriality in _Essay_ IV x is usually interpreted as involving a principle that in some way prohibits the causation of thought by matter. I reject these causal readings in favor of one that involves a principle which says a thinking being cannot be composed out of unthinking parts. This Composition Principle, as I call it, is crucial to understanding how Locke’s theistic argument can succeed in the face of his skepticism about the substance of matter and (...)
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  7.  16
    The Unity of Space in Kant’s Pre-Critical Philosophy.Dai Heide - 2022 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 4 (1):7.
    Much recent attention has been paid to Kant’s account of the unity of space in the Critique of Pure Reason, not least because of the significant implications of that view for other key critical-period doctrines. But far less attention has been paid to the development of Kant’s account of the unity of space. This paper aims to offer a systematic account of Kant’s pre-critical account of the unity of space. On the view presented herein, Kant’s early account of the unity (...)
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  8. Shepherd on Meaning, Reference, and Perception.David Landy - 2022 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 4 (1):12.
    The aim of this paper is to present an interpretation of Shepherd’s account of our most fundamental cognitive powers, most especially the faculty that Shepherd calls perception, which she claims is a unity of contributions from the understanding and the senses. I find that Shepherd is what we would nowadays call a meaning holist: she holds that the meaning of any natural-kind term is constituted by its place in a system of definitions, which system specifies the causal roles of the (...)
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  9.  23
    Self-Love or Diffidence? Malebranche and Hume on the Love of Fame.Alison McIntyre & Julie Walsh - 2022 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 4 (1):2.
    Hume’s discussion of pride and sympathy in the _Treatise_ shows direct engagement with Malebranche’s discussion of ‘imitation’ in the _Search_. For Malebranche, imitation—both of passions and belief—and our tendency to judge ourselves by comparison, generate the passion of pride or grandeur, which plays a useful social role. However, as both cause and effect of the admiration of others, grandeur is ungrounded and thus imaginary. Hume disagrees. He invokes the principle of sympathy to explain how the evaluations of others can support (...)
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  10.  3
    Hegelian Practical Freedom and Nature.Nicolás García Mills - 2022 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 4 (1):13.
    In this paper, I argue that, despite his remarks to the effect that freedom consists in the ‘movement’ away from nature, Hegel conceives of the will as a natural power or capacity of sorts. I articulate and defend this thesis in two steps. In section I of the paper, I sketch a reading of Hegel’s account of practical freedom in the Introduction to the Philosophy of Right as a capacity to respond to ethical requirements or duties. In section II, I (...)
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  11.  11
    ‘Fine, Invisible Threads’: Schopenhauer on the Cognitively Mediated Structure of Motivation.Sean T. Murphy - 2022 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 4 (1):1-22.
    The central claim of Schopenhauer’s account of human motivation is that ‘cognition is the medium of motives’. In light of motivation’s cognitively mediated structure, he contends that human beings are caused to act by ‘mere thoughts’, what he refers to metaphorically as ‘fine, invisible threads’. Despite this avowedly intellectualist handling of the subject, some commentators remain convinced that Schopenhauer is best read as accepting the ‘Humean truism’ that reason alone never motivates; rather, motivation always has its source in desire together (...)
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  12.  2
    A True Friend Stabs You in the Front: Astell’s Admonisher Conception of a Friend.Jen Nguyen - 2022 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 4 (1):16.
    My goal in what follows is to argue that Astell endorses what I call the admonisher conception of a friend. For I will argue that, according to Astell, a sufficient condition for whether someone is our friend is that they admonish us in her technical sense. So anyone who admonishes us in this sense—be they Mother Teresa, the sinner sitting in confession, or our professional rival—is a friend to us. Put simply, an Astellian friend is an admonisher. The paper is (...)
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  13.  6
    Spinoza and the Possibility of Adequate Ideas.Thaddeus Robinson - 2022 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 4 (1):8.
    Adequate ideas are the fundamental element of Spinoza’s epistemological program. However, a recurrent worry among scholars is that Spinoza’s account of adequate ideas is inconsistent with any finite being ever having one. As I frame it, the problem is that for Spinoza an idea is adequate in a mind only if all its causal antecedents lie within the mind as well. However, it seems there can be no finite mind for which this is true; finite minds come to be and (...)
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  14.  12
    Spinoza’s Evanescent Self.Sanja Särman - 2022 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 4 (1):5.
    Selfhood is a topic of great interest in early modern philosophy. In this essay, I will discuss Spinoza’s radical position on the topic of selfhood. Whereas for Descartes and Leibniz, there is a manifold of thinking substances, for Spinoza, there is, crucially only one: God. Minds, for Spinoza, do not have substantial status, they are instead merely complexes of ideas, and thus complex modes of the one substance: God. Observations such as these often lead Spinoza’s readers to the conclusion that, (...)
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  15.  80
    Thomas Reid, the Internalist.Robert Weston Siscoe - 2022 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 4 (1):10.
    Philosophical orthodoxy holds that Thomas Reid is an externalist concerning epistemic justification, characterizing Reid as holding the key to an externalist response to internalism. These externalist accounts of Reid, however, have neglected his work on prejudice, a heretofore unexamined aspect of his epistemology. Reid’s work on prejudice reveals that he is far from an externalist. Despite the views Reid may have inspired, he exemplifies internalism in opting for an accessibility account of justification. For Reid, there are two normative statuses that (...)
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  16. Incompatibilism and the Principle of Sufficient Reason in Kant’s Nova Dilucidatio.Aaron Wells - 2022 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 4 (1:3):1-20.
    The consensus is that in his 1755 Nova Dilucidatio, Kant endorsed broadly Leibnizian compatibilism, then switched to a strongly incompatibilist position in the early 1760s. I argue for an alternative, incompatibilist reading of the Nova Dilucidatio. On this reading, actions are partly grounded in indeterministic acts of volition, and partly in prior conative or cognitive motivations. Actions resulting from volitions are determined by volitions, but volitions themselves are not fully determined. This move, which was standard in medieval treatments of free (...)
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  17.  3
    Was Clarke a Voluntarist?Lukas Wolf - 2022 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 4 (1):6.
    The distinction between voluntarism and intellectualism has recently been criticized for inaccurately characterising early modern theories of divine freedom. In response, defenders of the distinction have argued that these labels are needed in order to account for the famous correspondence between Leibniz (intellectualist) and Clarke (voluntarist). In this paper, I argue that the voluntarism/intellectualism distinction is unable to account for the opposition between Leibniz and Clarke. In the first part, I provide an analysis of Clarke’s theory of divine freedom, and (...)
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  18.  3
    A True Friend Stabs You in the Front: Astell’s Admonisher Conception of a Friend.Jen Nguyen - 2022 - Journal of Modern Philosophy 1 (4):1-16.
    My goal in what follows is to argue that Astell endorses what I call the admonisher conception of a friend. For I will argue that, according to Astell, a sufficient condition for whether someone is our friend is that they admonish us in her technical sense. So anyone who admonishes us in this sense—be they Mother Teresa, the sinner sitting in confession, or our professional rival—is a friend to us. Put simply, an Astellian friend is an admonisher. The paper is (...)
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