The central theme of this paper is the dispositional/categorical distinction that has been one of the top agendas in contemporary metaphysics. I will first develop from my semantic account of dispositions what I think the correct formulation of the dispositional/categorical distinction in terms of counterfactual conditionals. It will be argued that my formulation does not have the shortcomings that have plagued previously proposed ones. Then I will turn my attention to one of its consequences, the thesis that dispositional properties are (...) not susceptible to intrinsic finks. This thesis was first advanced by me and has ever since stirred up a big controversy, endorsed by some philosophers like Handfield, Bird, and Cohen but rejected by others like Clarke and Fara. Against this background, I will remedy my defense of the impossibility of intrinsically finkable dispositions and then refute some of apparently powerful criticisms of it. And so the upshot is that it is much more reasonable to hold on to the thesis that dispositions are intrinsically unfinkable. This will have the effect of putting the dispositional/categorical distinction on firmer and more secure ground. (shrink)
Dispositions can be finkish, prone to disappear in circumstances that would commonly trigger their characteristic manifestations. Can a disposition be finkish because of something intrinsic to the object possessing that disposition? Sungho Choi has argued that this is not possible, and many agree. Here it is argued that no good case has been made for ruling out the possibility of intrinsic finks; on the contrary, there is good reason to accept it.
Eugen Fink is considered one of the clearest interpreters of phenomenology and was the preferred conversational partner of Edmund Husserl and Martin Heidegger. In Play as Symbol of the World, Fink offers an original phenomenology of play as he attempts to understand the world through the experience of play. He affirms the philosophical significance of play, why it is more than idle amusement, and reflects on the movement from "child's play" to "cosmic play." Well-known for its non-technical, literary (...) style, this skillful translation by Ian Alexander Moore and Christopher Turner invites engagement with Fink's philosophy of play and related writings on sports, festivals, and ancient cult practices. (shrink)
'Principles Of Mental Imagery' offers a broad, balanced, and up-to-date introduction to the major findings of this research and identifies five general principles that can account for most of them. It considers the development of experimental techniques that have solved many of the challenging methodological problems inherent in imagery research and includes recent experimental findings not covered in other imagery books..
Michael Smith has resisted Harry Frankfurt's claim that moral responsibility does not require the ability to have done otherwise. He does this by claiming that, in Frankfurt cases, the ability to do otherwise is indeed present, but is a disposition that has been `finked' or masked by other factors. We suggest that, while Smith's account appears to work for some classic Frankfurt cases, it does not work for all. In particular, Smith cannot explain cases, such as the Willing Addict, where (...) the Frankfurt devise - e.g. the addiction - is intrinsic to the agent. (shrink)
I argue for the existence of intrinsic Finks, Masks, and Mimics, and argue that these undermine certain recent attempts to revive simple conditional analyses of dispositions. I present some examples of intrinsic Finks, Masks, and Mimics, and argue that the example of an intrinsic fink I present has certain advantages over the examples of intrinsic finks recently suggested by Randolph Clarke. I conclude that the existence of such Finks, Masks, and Mimics, undermine a recent attempt by Sungho Choi to (...) distinguish dispositional properties from categorical properties. (shrink)
Can we employ the property of rationality in establishing what rationality requires? According to a central and formal thesis of John Broome’s work on rational requirements, the answer is ‘no’ – at least if we expect a precise answer. In particular, Broome argues that (i) the property of full rationality (i.e. whether or not you are fully rational) is independent of whether we formulate conditional requirements of rationality as having a wide or a narrow logical scope. That is, (ii) by (...) replacing a wide-scope requirement with a corresponding narrow-scope requirement (or vice versa), we do not alter the situations in which a person is fully rational. As a consequence, (iii) the property of full rationality is unable to guide us in determining whether a rational requirement has a wide or a narrow logical scope. We cannot resolve the wide/narrow scope debate by appealing to a theory of fully rational attitudes. This paper argues that (i), (ii) and (iii) are incorrect. Replacing a wide- with a corresponding narrow-scope requirement (or vice versa) can alter the set of circumstances in which a person is fully rational. The property of full rationality is therefore not independent of whether we formulate conditional requirements of rationality as having a wide or a narrow logical scope. As a consequence, the property of full rationality can guide us in determining what rationality requires – even in cases where we expect a precise answer. (shrink)
In the last decade of his life (from 1928 to 1938), Husserl sought to develop a new understanding of his transcendental phenomenology (in publications such as Cartesian Meditations, Formal and Transcendental Logic, and the Crisis) in order to combat misconceptions of phenomenology then current (chief among which was Heidegger’s hermeneutic phenomenology as articulated in Being and Time). During this period, Husserl had an assistant and collaborator, Eugen Fink, who sought not only to be midwife to the birth of Husserl’s (...) own ideas but who also wanted to mediate between Husserl and Heidegger. As a result of the Fink- Husserl collaboration there appeared a rich flow of works that testify to the depth with which transcendental phenomenology had been rethought. Bruzina is the chief scholar of this material. This paper attempts both to disentangle the relationships between the phenomenologies of Husserrl, Heidegger, and Fink and to assess critically the value of Bruzina’s contribution. (shrink)
Handfield and Bird claim that dispositionalists such as Martin and Heil appeal to antidotes and finks to explain why and how a conditional analysis of dispositions falls to Kripke's criticisms, but fail. The main reason is that some antidotes and finks are unavoidably intrinsic and relatively permanent in an agent, in which case the ascription of a rule-following disposition to the agent is false. In this paper, I contend that the presence of intrinsic and relatively permanent finks or antidotes does (...) not imply the absence of a rule-following disposition; some additional condition is needed for this implication to go through, but remains wanting. I end the paper with a discussion of where the real challenge lies for realist dispositionalism. (shrink)
This lecture from 1946 presents Eugen Fink’s interpretation of Nietzsche’s metaphysics. Fink’s aim here is twofold: to work against the trend of psychologistic interpretations of Nietzsche’s work and to perform the philosophical interpretation of Nietzsche he finds lacking in his predecessors. Fink contends that play is the central intuition of Nietzsche’s philosophy, specifically in his rejection of Western metaphysics’ insistence on being and presence. Drawing instead from Heraclitus, Nietzsche argues for an ontology of becoming characterized by the (...) Dionysian as the temporalization of time and the Apollonian as temporalized in time. The play of becoming is thus the cosmic coming to be and passing away of appearance. Playing, as the creative projection of such a play-world of appearing and concealing, is central to understanding the Nietzschean theme of the will to power as the revaluation of values. (shrink)
Philosophers disagree over whether dispositions can be intrinsically ﬁnked or masked. Choi suggests that there are no clear, relevant differences between cases where intrinsic ﬁnks would be absurd and those where they seem plausible, and as a result rejects them wholesale. Here, I highlight two features of dispositional properties which, when considered together, provide a plausible explanation for when dispositions can be subject to intrinsic ﬁnks and when not.
This paper discusses the prospects of a dispositional solution to the Kripke–Wittgenstein rule-following puzzle. Recent attempts to employ dispositional approaches to this puzzle have appealed to the ideas of finks and antidotes—interfering dispositions and conditions—to explain why the rule-following disposition is not always manifested. We argue that this approach fails: agents cannot be supposed to have straightforward dispositions to follow a rule which are in some fashion masked by other, contrary dispositions of the agent, because in all cases, at least (...) some of the interfering dispositions are both relatively permanent and intrinsic to the agent. The presence of these intrinsic and relatively permanent states renders the ascription of a rule-following disposition to the agent false. (shrink)
The period from Plato's birth to Aristotle's death (427-322 BC) is one of the most influential and formative in the history of Western philosophy. The developments of logic, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics and science in this period have been investigated, controversies have arisen and many new theories have been produced. But this is the first book to give detailed scholarly attention to the development of dialectic during this decisive period. It includes chapters on topics such as: dialectic as interpersonal debate between (...) a questioner and a respondent; dialectic and the dialogue form; dialectical methodology; the dialectical context of certain forms of arguments; the role of the respondent in guaranteeing good argument; dialectic and presentation of knowledge; the interrelations between written dialogues and spoken dialectic; and definition, induction and refutation from Plato to Aristotle. The book contributes to the history of philosophy and also to the contemporary debate about what philosophy is. (shrink)
Sceptics vis-à-vis introspection often base their scepticism on ‘phenomenological disputes’, ‘introspective disagreement’, or ‘introspective disputes’ (Kriegel, 2007; Bayne and Spener, 2010; Schwitzgebel, 2011): introspectors massively diverge in their opinions about experiences, and there seems to be no method to resolve these issues. Sceptics take this to show that introspection lacks any epistemic merit. Here, I provide a list of paradigmatic examples, distill necessary and sufficient conditions for IDs, present the sceptical argument encouraged by IDs, and review the two main strategies (...) to reject such a scepticism. However, both types of strategies are unsatisfactory. In order to save introspection from the looming sceptical threat, I advocate a deflationary strategy, based on either an ‘Argument from Perceptual Kinship’ or an ‘Argument from Ownership’. In the end, there cannot be any genuine IDs, for nothing can fulfil the reasonable conditions for IDs. What looks like IDs may instead be indicators of phenomenal variation. Debates that look like IDs may then arise even if introspection were a perfect method to know one’s mind. Thus, scepticism vis-à-vis introspection based on IDs rests on shaky grounds. (shrink)
This paper argues that practical reasoning is a mental process which leads a person from a set of existent mental states to an intention. In Section 1, I defend this view against two other proposals according to which practical reasoning either concludes in an action itself or in a normative belief. Section 2 discusses the correctness of practical reasoning and explains how the correctness of instrumental reasoning can be explained by the logical relations that hold between the contents of the (...) mental states. In Section 3, I explore the correctness of normative practical reasoning. I conclude with the sceptical view that correct practical reasoning cannot require us to intend to do what we believe we ought to do. (shrink)
The governance of nanotechnology seeks to limit its risks, without constraining opportunities. The literature on the effectiveness of approaches to governance has neglected approaches that impact directly on the behavior of a researcher. We analyze the effectiveness of legal regulations versus regulation via self-commitment. Then, we refine this model by analyzing competition and autonomy as key contingency factors. In the first step, qualitative interviews with nanotechnology researchers are conducted to reflect this model. In the second step, its empirical relevance is (...) tested using a survey of 90 nanotech researchers. The results indicate that legal regulations, as well as self-commitment to an informal CoC reduce the scope of behavior. Finally, that competition and autonomy affect the relative strength of these governance factors. (shrink)
In this rewarding book, Laurie A. Finke challenges assumptions about gender, the self, and the text which underlie fundamental constructs of contemporary feminist theory. She maintains that some of the key concepts structuring feminist literary criticism need to be reexamined within both their historical context and the larger framework of current theory concerning language, representation, subjectivity, and value.
So called “shapes of opposition”—like the classical square of opposition and its extensions—can be seen as graphical representations of the ways in which types of statements constrain each other in their possible truth values. As such, they can be used as a novel way of analysing the subject matter of disputes. While there have been great refinements and extensions of this logico-topological tool in the last years, the broad range of shapes of opposition are not widely known outside of a (...) circle of specialists. This ignorance may lead to the presumption that the classical square of opposition fits all disputes. A broader view, which takes expanded shapes of opposition into account, may come to a more nuanced appraisal of possible disputes. Once we take other shapes of opposition into account, some alleged disputes may turn out to be Scheindisputes. In order to do the wide range of linguistic expressions justice and to differentiate Scheindisputes from real ones, a broader view is advised. To illustrate this point, I discuss the notion of “introspective disputes”. These are commonly reconstructed as obeying the square, but are more aptly reconstructed with a more complex octagon. If we reconstruct these disputes based on Buridan’s octagon, it becomes obvious that “introspective disputes” are likely Scheindisputes. (shrink)
Although Eugen Fink often reflected upon the role religion, these reflections are yet to be addressed in secondary literature in any substantive sense. For Fink, religion is to be understood in relation to “play,” which is a metaphor for how the world presents itself. Religion is a non-repetitive, and entirely creative endeavor or “symbol” that is not achieved through work and toil, or through evaluation or power, but rather, through his idea of play and “cult” as the imaginative (...) distanciation from a predictable lifeworld. This paper describes Fink’s understanding of religion and its most relevant aspects found in Spiel als Weltsymbol. The paper is organized into five sections—1: An introduction to his phenomenological approach in general, and description of the role of “play”; 2: investigations into the relation between play and world; 3: a description of his phenomenology of religion; 4: engagements in the idea of cult-play and the sacred sphere, and 5: reflection on his idea of the play of God. (shrink)
The results of this comparison of the Republic and the Nicomachean Ethics can be summed up thusly: the texts share the same methodology, this methodology is based on a functional account of human nature, and whereas Plato believes that political philosophy needs grounding in metaphysics, Aristotle considers such a thing possible but superfluous.I shall here focus on exclusively. The shared methodology is characterized by two Platonic similes: the cave from the Republic, and the racecourse simile that Aristotle attributes to Plato (...) in EN 1.4. Both represent a research program with three steps: starting from ordinary intuitions about political matters and ascending towards higher principles... (shrink)
"Ronald Bruzina’s superb translation... makes available in English a text of singular historical and systematic importance for phenomenology." —Husserl Studies "... a pivotal document in the development of phenomenology... essential reading for students of phenomenology twentieth-century thought." —Word Trade "... an invaluable addition to the corpus of Husserl scholarship. More than simply a scholarly treatise, however, it is the result of Fink’s collaboration with Husserl during the last ten years of Husserl’s life.... This truly essential work in phenomenology should (...) find a prominent place alongside Husserl’s own works. For readers interested in phenomenology—and in Husserl in particular—it cannot be recommended highly enough." —Choice "... a thorough critique of Husserl’s transcendental phenomenology... raises many new questions.... a classic." —J. N. Mohanty A foundational text in Husserlian phenomenology, written in 1932 and now available in English for the first time. (shrink)
A main goal of the neuroscience of consciousness is: find the neural correlate to conscious experiences (NCC). When have we achieved this goal? The answer depends on our operationalization of “NCC.” Chalmers (2000) shaped the widely accepted operationalization according to which an NCC is a neural system with a state which is minimally sufficient (but not necessary) for an experience. A deeper look at this operationalization reveals why it might be unsatisfactory: (i) it is not an operationalization of a correlate (...) for occurring experiences, but of the capacity to experience; (ii) it is unhelpful for certain cases which are used to motivate a search for neural correlates of consciousness; (iii) it does not mirror the usage of “NCC” by scientists who seek for unique correlates; (iv) it hardly allows for a form of comparative testing of hypotheses, namely experimenta crucis. Because of these problems (i–iv), we ought to amend or improve on Chalmers's operationalization. Here, I present an alternative which avoids these problems. This “NCC2.0” also retains some benefits of Chalmers's operationalization, namely being compatible with contributions from extended, embedded, enacted, or embodied accounts (4E-accounts) and allowing for the possibility of non-biological or artificial experiencers. (shrink)
The requirements of rationality are fundamental in practical and theoretical philosophy. Nonetheless, there exists no correct account of what constitutes rational requirements. This paper attempts to provide a correct constitutive account of ‘rationality requires’. I argue that rational requirements are grounded in ‘necessary explanations of subjective incoherence’, as I shall put it. Rationality requires of you to X if and only if your rational capacities, in conjunction with the fact that you not-X, explain necessarily why you have a non-maximal degree (...) of subjective coherence. (shrink)
Eugen Fink’s interpretation of play is virtually absent in the current philosophy of sport, despite the fact that it is rich in original descriptions of the structure of play. This might be due to Fink’s decision not to merely describe play, but to employ its analysis in the course of an elucidation of the ontological problem of the world as totality. On the other hand, this approach can enable us to properly evaluate the true existential and/or ontological value (...) of play. According to Fink, by integrating beings into the imaginary play-world, we become able to transcend mere circumscribed individual entities and encounter reality as such in a new, more profound way. This positive ontological value of play is, however, forgotten because the imaginary dimension of play is traditionally interpreted as a virtual imitation of a model reality which already actually exists somewhere else. For this reason, Fink returns to the Platonic interpretation of play, which laid the foundations for this understanding, and... (shrink)
Auf welchen normativen Grundlagen beruhte das NS-System? Mit welcher Rechtfertigung konnte der Führerwille dort zu einer Quelle des Rechts werden? Wie war es gemäß der NS-Strafgesetzgebung möglich, Handlungen zu bestrafen, die gegen kein geschriebenes Gesetz verstießen? Die in diesem Band versammelten und kommentierten Originaltexte geben Einblick in das Denken von Rechtstheoretikern, die mit dem Nationalsozialismus sympathisierten, und belegen deren Versuch, autoritäre und dem Rechtsstaat widersprechende Rechtsprinzipien zu legitimieren. Dabei zeigt sich ein überraschender und bis jetzt von der rechts- und moralphilosophischen (...) Forschung weitgehend unbeachteter Aspekt des NS-Unrechtssystems: der Versuch einer »Ethisierung« des Rechts und die damit verbundene Totalisierung des machtstaatlichen Einflusses. (shrink)
This paper discusses whether rationality, morality or prudence impose process‐requirements upon us. It has been argued that process‐requirements fulfil two essential functions within a system of rational, moral or prudential requirements. These functions are considered to prove the existence of process‐requirements. First, process‐requirements are deemed necessary to ensure that rationality, morality or prudence can guide our deliberations and actions. Second, their existence is regarded as essential for the correctness of our ordinary explanations of why a person possesses a certain degree (...) of morality, rationality or prudence. However, I argue that these two functions are unable to show the existence of process‐requirements. Instead, I propose a different essential function for process‐requirements: they are necessary for attributing the correct degree of rationality, morality or prudence to a subject who is not entirely rational, moral or prudent. This function, I argue, necessitates the existence of process‐requirements. (shrink)
How to model non-egoic experiences – mental events with phenomenal aspects that lack a felt self – has become an interesting research question. The main source of evidence for the existence of such non-egoic experiences are self-ascriptions of non-egoic experiences. In these, a person says about herself that she underwent an episode where she was conscious but lacked a feeling of self. Some interpret these as accurate reports, but this is questionable. Thomas Metzinger, Rocco Gennaro, and Charles Foster have hinted (...) at the self-defeating nature of such statements if we take them to be genuine reports: Apparently, the reporter explicitly denies her existence during the selfless experience, but implicitly affirms her existence as a witness to that selfless experience in order to give a first-person report about it. So the content of such a report conflicts with the pragmatics of reporting. If all self-ascriptions of non-egoic experiences are self-defeating in this way, then they cannot count as evidence for the existence of non-egoic experiences. Here, I map out why such strong conclusions do not directly follow: What look like self-ascriptions of non-egoic experiences may occur for a number of reasons. Only some explanations for such utterances rely on a change in consciousness. Of those that do rely on a change in consciousness, only one is incoherent. But its alternatives do not lead to contradictions. I argue that the most likely change in phenomenality that leads to self-ascriptions of non-egoic experiences is not one where a felt self disappears, but where it expands. (shrink)
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