In the third of his Logical Investigations, Husserl draws an important distinction between two kinds of parts: the dependent parts like the redness of a visual datum or the squareness of a given picture, and the independent parts like the head of a horse or a brick in a wall. On his view, the distinction is to be understood in terms of a more fundamental notion, the notion of foundation. This paper is an attempt at clarifying that notion. Such attempts (...) have already been undertaken by Peter Simons and Kit Fine, and the paper also contains elements of comparison of our three sets of views. (shrink)
This volume features essays about and by Paul Benacerraf, whose ideas have circulated in the philosophical community since the early nineteen sixties, shaping key areas in the philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of language, the philosophy of logic, and epistemology. The book started as a worskhop held in Paris at the Collège de France in May 2012 with the participation of Paul Benacerraf. The introduction addresses the methodological point of the legitimate use of so-called “Princess Margaret Premises” in drawing philosophical (...) conclusions from Gödel’s first incompleteness theorem. The book is then divided into three sections. The first is devoted to an assessment of the improved version of the original dilemma of “Mathematical Truth” due to Hartry Field: the challenge to the platonist is now to explain the reliability of our mathematical beliefs given the very subject matter of mathematics, either pure or applied. The second addresses the issue of the ontological status of numbers: Frege’s logicism, fictionalism, structuralism, and Bourbaki’s theory of structures are called up for an appraisal of Benacerraf’s negative conclusions of “What Numbers Could Not Be.” The third is devoted to supertasks and bears witness to the unique standing of Benacerraf’s first publication: “Tasks, Super-Tasks, and Modern Eleatics” in debates on Zeno’s paradox and associated paradoxes, infinitary mathematics, and constructivism and finitism in the philosophy of mathematics. Two yet unpublished essays by Benacerraf have been included in the volume: an early version of “Mathematical Truth” from 1968 and an essay on “What Numbers Could Not Be” from the mid 1970’s. A complete chronological bibliography of Benacerraf’s work to 2016 is provided.Essays by Jody Azzouni, Paul Benacerraf, Justin Clarke-Doane, Sébastien Gandon, Brice Halimi, Jon Pérez Laraudogoitia, Mary Leng, Antonio Leòn-Sànchez and Ana Leòn-Mejía, Marco Panza, Fabrice Pataut, Philippe de Rouilhan, Andrea Sereni, and Stewart Shapiro. (shrink)
L’œuvre de Villiers de l’Isle-Adam se signale par l’ambivalence qu’elle entretient par rapport à la science. Une certaine fascination pour la démarche scientifique et ses applications techniques va en effet de pair avec des exigences métaphysiques, d’inspiration philosophique et occultiste, qui en limitent la portée, voire en contredisent les valeurs. Le propos de l’article est donc double. Il s’agit d’abord d’évaluer le statut même de l’entreprise scientifique, en tant qu’il fait l’objet, dans les récits de Villiers, d’une appréciation contrastée. Il (...) faut ensuite saisir comment, dans L’Eve future en particulier, les enjeux de la fabrication d’une « Andréide » débordent largement ceux d’une évocation sans distance des possibilités matérielles de l’intelligence technicienne pour concerner non seulement la fonction idéalisante de l’artifice, mais encore les pouvoirs occultes de l’« esprit ». (shrink)
Avec un titre comme Luther et la philosophie, depuis le xviiie siècle et dans les milieux « libéraux » du xixe siècle, on aurait pu s’attendre à un exposé, bien sûr complet, de la philosophie du Réformateur. On trouve l’expression, par exemple, dans les tables analytiques de L’Encyclopédie, à l’entrée « luthéranisme ». Bien que Philippe Büttgen se soit donné comme objet, pour d’autres travaux, « la confessionnalisation de la philosophie ..
Many philosophers hold that physical laws have a unique modal status known as nomic necessity which is weaker than metaphysical necessity. This orthodox view has come into question in the past few decades. In particular, the metaphysical view known as essentialism has provided an argument that the laws of nature are necessary in the strongest possible sense. It seems obvious to many that at least some essentialist arguments in favor of the necessity of scientific claims are going to be sound. (...) For example, the view that claims like "water is H2O" are necessary has itself 2 become an orthodox view. However, the question of whether laws, like the law of conservation of energy, or the law of gravity, are necessary is far more contentious. Philosophers divide roughly into two camps, law necessitarians1 who hold that the laws are necessary in the strongest sense and contingency theorists who hold that they are at least in some sense contingent. One argument for the necessitarian position is via an essentialist theory of the transworld identity of properties. In this paper I defend such a theory of the identity of properties and its necessitarian consequences from one major criticism. To focus the paper, I center the discussion on a single critic, E. J. Lowe. In his book, The Four Category Ontology, he offers a criticism of the essentialist argument for necessitarianism via an analogy with other forms of transworld identity and intuitions about the contingency of the physical constants2. I undermine the usefulness of Lowe's analogy by examining the purposes of attributions of properties. I also show that the essentialist's position can allow it to accommodate the intuitions of contingency in a way that fits best with the purpose behind property attributions. (shrink)
Recent metaphysics has turned its focus to two notions that are—as well as having a common Aristotelian pedigree—widely thought to be intimately related: grounding and essence. Yet how, exactly, the two are related remains opaque. We develop a unified and uniform account of grounding and essence, one which understands them both in terms of a generalized notion of identity examined in recent work by Fabrice Correia, Cian Dorr, Agustín Rayo, and others. We argue that the account comports with antecedently (...) plausible principles governing grounding, essence, and identity taken individually, and illuminates how the three interact. We also argue that the account compares favorably to an alternative unification of grounding and essence recently proposed by Kit Fine. (shrink)
Jean-Luc Nancy discusses his life's work with Pierre-Philippe Jandin. As Nancy looks back on his philosophical texts, he thinks anew about democracy, community, jouissance, love, Christianity, and the arts.
An extraordinary and challenging synthesis of ideas uniting Quantum Theory, and the theories of Computation, Knowledge and Evolution, Deutsch's extraordinary book explores the deep connections between these strands which reveal the fabric ...
Most traditional accounts of Aristotle's theory of ethical education neglect its cognitive aspects. This book asserts that, in Aristotle's view, excellence of character comprises both the sentiments and practical reason. Sherman focuses particularly on four aspects of practical reason as they relate to character: moral perception, choicemaking, collaboration, and the development of those capacities in moral education. Throughout the book, she is sensitive to contemporary moral debates, and indicates the extent to which Aristotle's account of practical reason provides an alternative (...) to theories of impartial reason. (shrink)
Some of the most eminent and enduring philosophical questions concern matters of priority: what is prior to what? What 'grounds' what? Is, for instance, matter prior to mind? Recently, a vivid debate has arisen about how such questions have to be understood. Can the relevant notion or notions of priority be spelled out? And how do they relate to other metaphysical notions, such as modality, truth-making or essence? This volume of new essays, by leading figures in contemporary metaphysics, is the (...) first to address and investigate the metaphysical idea that certain facts are grounded in other facts. An introduction introduces and surveys the debate, examining its history as well as its central systematic aspects. The volume will be of wide interest to students and scholars of metaphysics. (shrink)
The purpose of the book is to clarify the notion of existential dependence and cognate notions, such as supervenience and the notion of an internal relation. I defend the view that such notions are best understood in terms of the concept of metaphysical grounding, i.e. the concept of one fact obtaining in virtue of other facts, where ‘in virtue of’ has a distinctively metaphysical meaning.
It is often claimed that emotions are linked to formal objects. But what are formal objects? What roles do they play? According to some philosophers, formal objects are axiological properties which individuate emotions, make them intelligible and give their correctness conditions. In this paper, I evaluate these claims in order to answer the above questions. I first give reasons to doubt the thesis that formal objects individuate emotions. Second, I distinguish different ways in which emotions are intelligible and argue that (...) philosophers are wrong in claiming that emotions only make sense when they are based on prior sources of axiological information. Third, I investigate how issues of intelligibility connect with the correctness conditions of emotions. I defend a theory according to which emotions do not respond to axiological information, but to non-axiological reasons. According to this theory, we can allocate fundamental roles to the formal objects of emotions while dispensing with the problematic features of other theories. (shrink)
The development of geometrical analysis in the 10th century was partly inspired by the reception of the works of Apollonius, which Arab mathematicians translated as early as the preceding century. Al-Qūhī contributed to this development by writing several collections of problems dealing with Apollonian themes and solved by the method of analysis; however, it seems that they do not all occupy the same place in his work. The author gives here the edition, translation, and mathematical commentary of a short work, (...) entitled The determination of two straight lines from a point along a known angle, which presents the particularity of providing problems as geometrical lemmas to other studies. Indeed, al-Qūhī uses two of these lemmas in more complex constructions which belong to his Treatise on the art of the astrolabe. In this same treatise on the astrolabe, as well as in his Treatise on the perfect compass, this scholar also uses as lemmas several problems solved in another of his works, entitled The generation of points on straight lines according to ratios of which the terms are surfaces. This work is unfortunately lost, and all that remains of it are the traces which subsist in other treatises in which it has been used. This study seems to be necessary if one wishes to understand the organization of the work of al-Qūhī, a mathematician of the first rank who was representative of his time. (shrink)
How does metaphysical grounding interact with the truth-functions? I argue that the answer varies according to whether one has a worldly conception or a conceptual conception of grounding. I then put forward a logic of worldly grounding and give it an adequate semantic characterisation.
The aim of this paper is to discuss the “Austro-American” logical empiricism proposed by physicist and philosopher Philipp Frank, particularly his interpretation of Carnap’s Aufbau, which he considered the charter of logical empiricism as a scientific world conception. According to Frank, the Aufbau was to be read as an integration of the ideas of Mach and Poincaré, leading eventually to a pragmatism quite similar to that of the American pragmatist William James. Relying on this peculiar interpretation, Frank intended to bring (...) about a rapprochement between the logical empiricism of the Vienna Circle in exile and American pragmatism. In the course of this project, in the last years of his career, Frank outlined a comprehensive, socially engaged philosophy of science that could serve as a “link between science and philosophy”. (shrink)
'Ontological dependence' is a term of philosophical jargon which stands for a rich family of properties and relations, often taken to be among the most fundamental ontological properties and relations. Notions of ontological dependence are usually thought of as 'carving reality at its ontological joints', and as marking certain forms of ontological 'non-self-sufficiency'. The use of notions of dependence goes back as far as Aristotle's characterization of substances, and these notions are still widely used to characterize other concepts and to (...) formulate metaphysical claims. This paper first gives an overview of the varieties of these notions, and then discusses some of their main applications. (shrink)
“Because those who come after us may not be like us, or because those like us may not come after us, or because after a time there may be none to come after us, mankind must now set to work to insure that those who come after us will be more unlike us. In this there is at work the modern intellect’s penchant for species suicide.” With these words Paul Ramsey brings to a conclusion his provocative and surprising study of (...) the problems we are encountering – and will encounter – as scientific advances make the genetic control of man a real possibility. Now, increased knowledge of chromosome structure has taken the alteration of the human race out of the realm of science fiction and placed it in the hands of laboratory scientists. Ramsey sees this advance in science and technology as a mixed blessing. He examines the ramifications of genetic control, not only the now common measures of birth control and artificial insemination, but also the effect on the genetic pool of the increasing numbers of genetically poor individuals. His concern for humanistic values informs each argument as he tackles such issues as asexual reproduction of men, frozen semen banks, and the breeding of human beings for special purposes. No less than the future of man as we know him hangs on these issues. One must pay particular attention to this book. (shrink)
I identify a notion of logical grounding, clarify it, and show how it can be used (i) to characterise various consequence relations, and (ii) to give a precise syntactic account of the notion of “groundedness” at work in the literature on the paradoxes of truth.
In this chapter, we first introduce the idea that emotions are evaluations. Next, we explore two approaches attempting to account for this idea in terms of attitudes that are alleged to become emotional when taking evaluative contents. According to the first approach, emotions are evaluative judgments. According to the second, emotions are perceptual experiences of evaluative properties. We explain why this theory remains unsatisfactory insofar as it shares with the evaluative judgement theory the idea that emotions are evaluations in virtue (...) of their contents. We then outline an alternative � the attitudinal theory of emotions. It parts with current theorizing about the emotions in elucidating the fact that emotions are evaluations not in terms of what they represent, but in terms of the attitude subjects take towards what they represent. We explore what sorts of attitudes emotions are and claim that they are felt bodily attitudes. (shrink)
In recent years, Nietzsche’s views on science attracted a considerable amount of scholarly attention. Overall, his attitude towards science tends to be one of suspicion, or ambivalence at least. My article addresses the “Nietzsche and science” theme from a slightly different perspective, raising a somewhat different type of question, more pragmatic if you like, namely: how to be a Nietzschean philosopher of science today? What would the methodological contours of a Nietzschean approach to present-day research areas amount to? In other (...) words, my paper reflects a shift of focus from author studies to extrapolation. The design of my article is as follows. I will start with the question to what extent Friedrich Nietzsche managed to familiarise himself with the natural sciences of his epoch. Subsequently, I will outline some basic methodological and conceptual ingredients of Nietzsche’s philosophy of science, focussing on core issues such as “genealogy”, “interpretation”, “enhancement” and “truth”. Next, I will elucidate Nietzsche’s genealogical methodology with the help of three case studies taken from Nietzsche’s writings and dealing with physiology, astronomy and neuro-psychology respectively. Finally, I will present the methodological contours of a Nietzschean understanding of contemporary technoscience. (shrink)
I offer and defend an account of real definitions. I put forward two versions of the account, one formulated in terms of the notion of generalised identity and of a suitable notion of grounding, and the other one formulated in terms of the former notion and of a suitable notion of comparative joint-carvingness. Given a plausible assumption, and turn out to be equivalent. I give a sketch of a unified account of the three notions involved in and from which the (...) assumption can be derived. (shrink)
Pre-theoretically, it seems obvious that there are deep and multifarious relations between memory and emotions. On the one hand, a large chunk of our affective lives concerns the good and bad events that happened to us and that we preserve in memory. This is one amongst the many ways in which memory is relevant to the nature and causation of emotions. What does recent research teach us about these relations? § 1 surveys some key issues in this regard. On the (...) other hand, which events we happen to preserve in memory very much depends on how we affectively reacted to them when they took place. Emotions are relevant to the nature and causation of memory in this and many other ways. Key issues regarding these relations are surveyed in § 2. (shrink)
Psychologists have emphasized children's acquisition of information through firsthand observation. However, many beliefs are acquired from others' testimony. In two experiments, most 4yearolds displayed sceptical trust in testimony. Having heard informants' accurate or inaccurate testimony, they anticipated that informants would continue to display such differential accuracy and they trusted the hitherto reliable informant. Yet they ignored the testimony of the reliable informant if it conflicted with what they themselves had seen. By contrast, threeyearolds were less selective in trusting a reliable (...) informant. Thus, young children check testimony against their own experience and increasingly recognise that some informants are more trustworthy than others. (shrink)
It is often claimed that emotions are linked to formal objects. But what are formal objects? What roles do they play? According to some philosophers, formal objects are axiological properties which individuate emotions, make them intelligible and give their correctness conditions. In this paper, I evaluate these claims in order to answer the above questions. I first give reasons to doubt the thesis that formal objects individuate emotions. Second, I distinguish different ways in which emotions are intelligible and argue that (...) philosophers are wrong in claiming that emotions only make sense when they are based on prior sources of axiological information. Third, I investigate how issues of intelligibility connect with the correctness conditions of emotions. I defend a theory according to which emotions do not respond to axiological information, but to non‐axiological reasons. According to this theory, we can allocate fundamental roles to the formal objects of emotions while dispensing with the problematic features of other theories. (shrink)