Adversative connectives have been analyzed as articulating explicit and implicit facets of argumentative moves and have been thus recognized as potential argumentative indicators. Here we examine adversative connectives Ger. aber, Fr. mais, It. ma in young children’s speech in the context of the ArgImp project, a research endeavor seeking to understand in which situations children aged between two and six years engage in argumentation and how their contributions are structured. Two multilingual corpora have been collected for the project: everyday family (...) conversations, semi-structured play activities and problem solving in a kindergarten setting. Through the detailed analysis of a small collection of examples, we consider the indicative potential of adversative connectives for identifying argumentative episodes in interactions involving young children and for the reconstruction of the inferential configurations of children’s contributions to these argumentative discussions. The results show that fully fledged argumentative interpretations of adversatives occur as a possibility in children’s speech, and that adversative connectives can be used profitably to identify less apparent argumentative confrontations and implicit standpoints in children’s speech. (shrink)
This paper presents preliminary findings of the project [name omitted for anonymity]. This interdisciplinary project builds on Argumentation theory and developmental sociocultural psychology for the study of children’s argumentation. We reconstruct children’s inferences in adult-child and child-child dialogical interaction in conversation in different settings. We focus in particular on implicit premises using the Argumentum Model of Topics for the reconstruction of the inferential configuration of arguments. Our findings reveal that sources of misunderstandings are more often than not due to misalignments (...) of implicit premises between adults and children; these misalignments concern material premises rather than the inferential-procedural level. (shrink)
This special issue aims to explore the semantic and pragmatic dimensions of meaning in terms of their significance and relevance in the study of argumentation. Accordingly, the contributors to the project, who have all presented their work during the 2nd Argumentation and Language conference, which took place in Lugano in February 2018,1 have been specifically instructed to produce papers which explicitly tackle the importance of the study of meaning for that of argumentative practices. All papers therefore cover at least one (...) aspect of this complex relationship between argumentation and meaning, which contributes to delivering a state-of-the-art panorama on the issue. Drawing from computational linguistics, semantics, pragmatics and discourse analysis, the contributions to this special issue will illuminate how the study of meaning in its different forms may provide valuable insights for the study of people’s argumentative practices in different contexts, ranging from the political to the private sphere. This introductory discussion tackles specific aspects of the intricate relationship between pragmatic inference and argumentative inference – that is, between meaning and argumentation –, provides a brief survey of existing interfaces between the study of meaning and that of argumentation, and concludes with a presentation of the contributions to this special issue. (shrink)
The article examines the inaugural encounter of the Greek theory of tyranny and the Roman institution of dictatorship. Although the twentieth century is credited for fusing the tyrant and the dictator into one figure/concept, I trace the origins of this conceptual synthesis in a much earlier historical period, that of the later Roman Republic and the early Principate, and in the writings of two Greek historians of Rome, Dionysius of Halicarnassus and Appian of Alexandria. In their histories, the traditional interest (...) in the relationship between the king and the tyrant is displaced by a new curiosity about the tyrant and the dictator. The two historians placed the two figures alongside one another and found them to be almost identical, blurring any previous empirical, analytical, or normative distinctions. In their Greco-Roman synthesis dictatorship is re-described as `temporary tyranny by consent' and the tyrant as a `permanent dictator.' Dictatorship, a venerated republican magistracy, the ultimate guardian of the Roman constitution, is for the first time radically reinterpreted and explicitly questioned. It meets its first critics. (shrink)
When we affirm that someone knows something, we are making a value judgment of sorts - we are claiming that there is something superior about that person's opinion, or their evidence, or perhaps about them. A central task of the theory of knowledge is to investigate the sort of evaluation at issue. This is the first book to make 'epistemic normativity,' or the normative dimension of knowledge and knowledge ascriptions, its central focus. John Greco argues that knowledge is a (...) kind of achievement, as opposed to mere lucky success. This locates knowledge within a broader, familiar normative domain. By reflecting on our thinking and practices in this domain, it is argued, we gain insight into what knowledge is and what kind of value it has for us. (shrink)
This book, first published in 2000, is about the nature of skeptical arguments and their role in philosophical inquiry. John Greco delineates three main theses: that a number of historically prominent skeptical arguments make no obvious mistake, and therefore cannot be easily dismissed; that the analysis of skeptical arguments is philosophically useful and important, and should therefore have a central place in the methodology of philosophy; and that taking skeptical arguments seriously requires us to adopt an externalist, reliabilist epistemology. (...)Greco argues that the importance of skeptical arguments is methodological. It is further argued that taking skeptical arguments seriously requires us to adopt a version of 'virtue epistemology', or a theory of knowledge that makes intellectual virtue central in the analysis of knowledge. The above methodology has consequences for moral and religious epistemology; in particular, a theory of moral perception is defended. (shrink)
I discuss John Greco's paper 'What's Wrong with Contextualism?', in which he outlines a theory of knowledge which is virtue-theoretic while also being allied to a form of attributor contextualism about 'knows'.
"Powers and Capacities in Philosophy" is designed to stake out an emerging, discipline-spanning neo-Aristotelian framework grounded in realism about causal powers. The volume brings together for the first time original essays by leading philosophers working on powers in relation to metaphysics, philosophy of natural and social science, philosophy of mind and action, epistemology, ethics and social and political philosophy. In each area, the concern is to show how a commitment to real causal powers affects discussion at the level in question. (...) In metaphysics, for example, realism about powers is now recognized as providing an alternative to orthodox accounts of causation, modality, properties and laws. Dispositional realist philosophers of science, meanwhile, argue that a powers ontology allows for a proper account of the nature of scientific explanation. In the philosophy of mind there is the suggestion that agency is best understood in terms of the distinctive powers of human beings. Those who take virtue theoretic approaches in epistemology and ethics have long been interested in the powers that allow for knowledge and/or moral excellence. In social and political philosophy, finally, powers theorists are interested in the powers of sociological phenomena such as collectivities, institutions, roles and/or social relations, but also in the conditions of possibility for the cultivation of the powers of individuals. The book will be of interest to philosophers working in any of these areas, as well as to historians of philosophy, political theorists and critical realists. (shrink)
El kitsch no es solo una categoría que ha definido una de las posibles gramáticas estéticas de la modernidad, sino también una dimensión antropológica que ha tenido diferentes configuraciones en el curso de los procesos históricos. El ensayo ofrece una mirada histórico-crítica sobre las transformaciones que condujeron desde el kitsch de principios del siglo XX hasta el neokitsch contemporáneo: desde la génesis del kitsch hasta su afirmación como una de las manifestaciones más tangibles de la cultura de masas. Integrándose con (...) la estética posmoderna, el kitsch se transforma en neokitsch, una estética que utiliza el kitsch como su propia sintaxis en el complejo escenario de la estética contemporánea. /// -/- Kitsch is not just a category that has defined one of the possible aesthetic grammars of modernity, but also an anthropological dimension that has had different configurations in the course of historical processes. The essay offers a historical-critical look at the transformations that led from the early twentieth century kitsch to the contemporary neokitsch: from the genesis of kitsch to its affirmation as one of the most tangible manifestations of mass culture. Integrating with postmodern aesthetics, kitsch turns into neokitsch, an aesthetic that deliberately uses kitsch as its own syntax in the complex scenario of contemporary aesthetics. (shrink)
'Microphysicalism', the view that whole objects behave the way they do in virtue of the behaviour of their constituent parts, is an influential contemporary view with a long philosophical and scientific heritage. In _What's Wrong With Microphysicalism?_ Andreas Hüttemann offers a fresh challenge to this view. Hüttemann agrees with the microphysicalists that we can explain compound systems by explaining their parts, but claims that this does not entail a fundamentalism that gives hegemony to the micro-level. At most, it shows that (...) there is a relationship of determination between parts and wholes, but there is no justification for taking this relationship to be asymmetrical rather than one of mutual dependence. Hüttemann argues that if this is the case, then microphysicalists have no right to claim that the micro-level is the ultimate agent: neither the parts nor the whole have 'ontological priority'. Hüttemann advocates a pragmatic pluralism, allowing for different ways to describe nature. _What's Wrong With Microphysicalism?_ is a convincing and original contribution to central issues in contemporary philosophy of mind, philosophy of science and metaphysics. (shrink)
Andrea Falcon's work is guided by the exegetical ideal of recreating the mind of Aristotle and his distinctive conception of the theoretical enterprise. In this concise exploration of the significance of the celestial world for Aristotle's science of nature, Falcon investigates the source of discontinuity between celestial and sublunary natures and argues that the conviction that the natural world exhibits unity without uniformity is the ultimate reason for Aristotle's claim that the heavens are made of a special body, unique (...) to them. This book presents Aristotle as a totally engaged, systematic investigator whose ultimate concern was to integrate his distinct investigations into a coherent interpretation of the world we live in, all the while mindful of human limitations to what can be known. Falcon reads in Aristotle the ambition of an extraordinarily curious mind and the confidence that that ambition has been largely fulfilled. (shrink)
Although the modern age is often described as the age of democratic revolutions, the subject of popular foundings has not captured the imagination of contemporary political thought. Most of the time, democratic theory and political science treat as the object of their inquiry normal politics, institutionalized power, and consolidated democracies. The aim of Andreas Kalyvas' study is to show why it is important for democratic theory to rethink the question of its beginnings. Is there a founding unique to democracies? Can (...) a democracy be democratically established? What are the implications of expanding democratic politics in light of the question of whether and how to address democracy's beginnings? Kalyvas addresses these questions and scrutinizes the possibility of democratic beginnings in terms of the category of the extraordinary, as he reconstructs it from the writings of Max Weber, Carl Schmitt, and Hannah Arendt and their views on the creation of new political, symbolic, and constitutional orders. (shrink)
In the history of philosophical thought, few themes loom as large as skepticism. Skepticism has been the most visible and important part of debates about knowledge. Skepticism at its most basic questions our cognitive achievements, challenges our ability to obtain reliable knowledge; casting doubt on our attempts to seek and understand the truth about everything from ethics, to other minds, religious belief, and even the underlying structure of matter and reality. Since Descartes, the defense of knowledge against skepticism has been (...) one of the primary tasks not just of epistemology but philosophy itself. The Oxford Handbook of Skepticism features twenty-six newly commissioned chapters by top figures in the field. Part One contains articles explaining important kinds of skeptical reasoning. Part Two focuses on responses to skeptical arguments. Part Three concentrates on important contemporary issues revolving around skepticism. As the first volume of its kind, the articles make significant contributions to the debate on skepticism. (shrink)
Chapter 14. Andrea Timár engages with literary representations of the experience of perpetrators of dehumanization. Her chapter focuses on perpetrators of dehumanization who do not violate laws of their society (i.e., they are not criminals) but exemplify what Simona Forti, inspired by Hannah Arendt, calls “the normality of evil.” Through the parallel examples of Dezső Kosztolányi’s Anna Édes (1926) and Doris Lessing’s The Grass is Singing (1950), Timár first explores a possible clash between criminals and perpetrators of dehumanization, showing (...) literature’s exceptional ability to reveal the gap between ethics and law. Second, she examines novels focalized through perpetrators and the difficult narrative empathy they provoke, arguing that only the critical reading of these novels can make one engage with the potential perpetrator in oneself. As case studies, Timár examines Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe (1719), which may potentially turn its reader into an accomplice in the process of dehumanization, and J.M. Coetzee’s Foe (1986), which puts on critical display the dehumanizing potentials of both aesthetic representation and sympathy as imaginative violence. Third, she reads Jonathan Littell’s The Kindly Ones [Les Bienveillantes, 2006], which can make the reader question, through the polyphony of the voice of its protagonist, the notions of narrative voice and readerly empathy, only to reveal that the difficulty involved in empathizing with perpetrator characters lies not so much in the characters’ being perpetrators, but rather in their being literary characters. Eventually, Timár briefly touches upon the problem of the aesthetic and the comic via Nabokov’s Lolita (1955) to ask whether one can avoid some necessarily dehumanizing aspects of humor. (shrink)
This is the first book devoted to the work of Ernest Sosa, one of the most influential contemporary epistemologists. Part of the acclaimed Philosophers and Their Critics series. The editor’s introduction serves as an introduction to Sosa’s epistemology. Contains critical essays by more than twenty of the most prominent epistemologists in the world, commenting on Sosa's work. Concludes with Sosa’s own reply to his critics.
Is logic masculine? Is women's lack of interest in the "hard core" philosophical disciplines of formal logic and semantics symptomatic of an inadequacy linked to sex? Is the failure of women to excel in pure mathematics and mathematical science a function of their inability to think rationally? Andrea Nye undermines the assumptions that inform these questions, assumptions such as: logic is unitary, logic is independenet of concrete human relations, and logic transcends historical circumstances as well as gender. In a (...) series of studies of the logics of historical figures--Parmenides, Plato, Aristotle, Zeno, Abelard, Ockham, and Frege--she traces the changing interrelationships between logical innovation and oppressive speech strategies, showing that logic is not transcendent truth but abstract forms of language spoken by men, whether Greek ruling citizens, or scientists. (shrink)
It is sometimes argued that certain sentences of natural language fail to express truth conditional contents. Standard examples include e.g. Tipper is ready and Steel is strong enough. In this paper, we provide a novel analysis of truth conditional meaning using the notion of a question under discussion. This account explains why these types of sentences are not, in fact, semantically underdetermined, provides a principled analysis of the process by which natural language sentences can come to have enriched meanings in (...) context, and shows why various alternative views, e.g. so-called Radical Contextualism, Moderate Contextualism, and Semantic Minimalism, are partially right in their respective analyses of the problem, but also all ultimately wrong. Our analysis achieves this result using a standard truth conditional and compositional semantics and without making any assumptions about enriched logical forms, i.e. logical forms containing phonologically null expressions. (shrink)
This essay defends virtue reliabilism against a line of argument put forward by Duncan Pritchard. In the process, it discusses (1) the motivations for virtue reliabilism, (2) some analogies between epistemic virtue and moral virtue, and (3) the relation between virtue (epistemic and otherwise) and luck (epistemic and otherwise). It argues that considerations about virtue and luck suggest a solution to Gettier problems from the perspective of a virtue theory.
Part One of the paper argues against evidentialism and individualism in religiousepistemology, and in favor of a “social turn” in the field. The idea here is that humanbelief in general, and religious belief in particular, is largely characterized by epistemicdependence on other persons. An adequate epistemology, it is agued, ought to recognizeand account for social epistemic dependence.Part Two considers a problem that becomes salient when we make such a turn. Inshort, how are we to understand the transmission of knowledge and (...) rational faith in areligious tradition? The problem arises because, by all accounts, even the best traditionstransmit superstitions, self-serving prejudices, and other things that are down right falseon any reasonable view. So how is it that these same traditions can also transmit rationalfaith and even knowledge by means of the very same channels, for example channels ofreligious authority and religious teaching?Part Three offers a tentative solution to this problem. (shrink)
This paper addresses the question whether future contingents are knowable, that is, whether one can know that things will go a certain way even though it is possible that things will not go that way. First I will consider a long-established view that implies a negative answer, and draw attention to some endemic problems that affect its credibility. Then I will sketch an alternative line of thought that prompts a positive answer: future contingents are knowable, although our epistemic access of (...) them is limited in some important respects. (shrink)
This 1995 book takes as its starting point Plato's incorporation of specific genres of poetry and rhetoric into his dialogues. The author argues that Plato's 'dialogues' with traditional genres are part and parcel of his effort to define 'philosophy'. Before Plato, 'philosophy' designated 'intellectual cultivation' in the broadest sense. When Plato appropriated the term for his own intellectual project, he created a new and specialised discipline. In order to define and legitimise 'philosophy', Plato had to match it against genres of (...) discourse that had authority and currency in democratic Athens. By incorporating the text or discourse of another genre, Plato 'defines' his new brand of wisdom in opposition to traditional modes of thinking and speaking. By targeting individual genres of discourse Plato marks the boundaries of 'philosophy' as a discursive and as a social practice. (shrink)
Traditionally, the manufacturer/operator of a machine is held (morally and legally) responsible for the consequences of its operation. Autonomous, learning machines, based on neural networks, genetic algorithms and agent architectures, create a new situation, where the manufacturer/operator of the machine is in principle not capable of predicting the future machine behaviour any more, and thus cannot be held morally responsible or liable for it. The society must decide between not using this kind of machine any more (which is not a (...) realistic option), or facing a responsibility gap, which cannot be bridged by traditional concepts of responsibility ascription. (shrink)
Research on the ethics of algorithms has grown substantially over the past decade. Alongside the exponential development and application of machine learning algorithms, new ethical problems and solutions relating to their ubiquitous use in society have been proposed. This article builds on a review of the ethics of algorithms published in 2016, 2016). The goals are to contribute to the debate on the identification and analysis of the ethical implications of algorithms, to provide an updated analysis of epistemic and normative (...) concerns, and to offer actionable guidance for the governance of the design, development and deployment of algorithms. (shrink)
Greco wants to understand the difference between knowledge generation and transmission. Doing so, he argues, will show that there are substantively different norms governing the two types of knowledge acquisition. I offer an alternative way of cashing out the difference between transmission and generation in non-normative terms.
The central contention of this article is that the classificatory scheme of contemporary affective science, with its traditional categories of emotion, anger, fear, and so on, is no longer suitable to the needs of affective science. Unlike psychological constructionists, who have urged the transition from a discrete to a dimensional approach in the study of affective phenomena, I argue that we can stick to a discrete approach as long as we accept that traditional emotion categories will have to be transformed (...) in order to do any scientific work. I conclude by articulating some general rules for turning traditional emotion categories into suitable scientific tools. (shrink)
She was intensely sympathetic. She was immensely charming. She excelled in the difficult arts of family life. She sacrificed herself daily. If there was chicken, she took the leg, if there was a draught, she sat in it—in short, she was so constituted that she never had a mind or wish of her own, but preferred to sympathise always with the minds and wishes of others. — Virginia Woolf (1979, 59).
Many philosophers believe that there exist distinctive obstacles to relying on moral testimony. In this paper, I criticize previous attempts to identify these obstacles and offer a new theory. I argue that the problems associated with moral deference can't be explained in terms of the value of moral understanding, nor in terms of aretaic considerations related to subjective integration. Instead, our uneasiness with moral testimony is best explained by our attachment to an ideal of authenticity that places special demands on (...) our moral beliefs. (shrink)
Despite the impressive progress that has been made on both the empirical and conceptual fronts of boredom research, there is one facet of boredom that has received remarkably little attention. This is boredom's relationship to morality. The aim of this article is to explore the moral dimensions of boredom and to argue that boredom is a morally relevant personality trait. The presence of trait boredom hinders our capacity to flourish and in doing so hurts our prospects for a moral life. (...) -/- . (shrink)
In fourth-century Greece, the debate over the nature of philosophy generated a novel claim: that the highest form of wisdom is theoria, the rational 'vision' of metaphysical truths. This 2004 book offers an original analysis of the construction of 'theoretical' philosophy in fourth-century Greece. In the effort to conceptualise and legitimise theoretical philosophy, the philosophers turned to a venerable cultural practice: theoria. In this practice, an individual journeyed abroad as an official witness of sacralized spectacles. This book examines the philosophic (...) appropriation and transformation of theoria, and analyses the competing conceptions of theoretical wisdom in fourth-century philosophy. By tracing the link between traditional and philosophic theoria, this book locates the creation of theoretical philosophy in its historical context, analysing theoria as a cultural and an intellectual practice. It develops a new, interdisciplinary approach, drawing on philosophy, history and literary studies. (shrink)
Many attempts have been made to provide Quantum Field Theory with conceptually clear and mathematically rigorous foundations; remarkable examples are the Bohmian and the algebraic perspectives respectively. In this essay we introduce the dissipative approach to QFT, a new alternative formulation of the theory explaining the phenomena of particle creation and annihilation starting from nonequilibrium thermodynamics. It is shown that DQFT presents a rigorous mathematical structure, and a clear particle ontology, taking the best from the mentioned perspectives. Finally, after the (...) discussion of its principal implications and consequences, we compare it with the main Bohmian QFTs implementing a particle ontology. (shrink)