A counterpossible conditional is a counterfactual with an impossible antecedent. Common sense delivers the view that some such conditionals are true, and some are false. In recent publications, Timothy Williamson has defended the view that all are true. In this paper we defend the common sense view against Williamson’s objections.
The experimental approach in economics is a driving force behind some of the most exciting developments in the field. The 'experimental revolution' was based on a series of bold philosophical premises which have remained until now mostly unexplored. This book provides the first comprehensive analysis and critical discussion of the methodology of experimental economics, written by a philosopher of science with expertise in the field. It outlines the fundamental principles of experimental inference in order to investigate their power, scope and (...) limitations. The author demonstrates that experimental economists have a lot to gain by discussing openly the philosophical principles that guide their work, and that philosophers of science have a lot to learn from their ingenious techniques devised by experimenters in order to tackle difficult scientific problems. (shrink)
Este artigo apresenta as críticas de Francesco Patrizi à concepção aristotélica de tempo na sua Física, isto é, a crítica de Patrizi ao princípio de que o tempo é infinito em termos de infinidade matemática. A principal tese de Patrizi é a de que a “infinidade possível" da matemática acarreta contradições quando aplicada a substâncias naturais e à ciência natural em geral.
We present a theory of truth in fiction that improves on Lewis's  ‘Analysis 2’ in two ways. First, we expand Lewis's possible worlds apparatus by adding non-normal or impossible worlds. Second, we model truth in fiction as belief revision via ideas from dynamic epistemic logic. We explain the major objections raised against Lewis's original view and show that our theory overcomes them.
Language evolution, intended as an open problem in the evolutionary research programme, will be here analyzed from the theoretical perspective advanced by the supporters of the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis. Four factors and two associated concepts will be matched with a selection of critical examples concerning genus Homo evolution, relevant for the evolution of language, such as the evolution of hominin life-history traits, the enlargement of the social group, increased cooperation among individuals, behavioral change and innovations, heterochronic modifications leading to increased (...) synaptic plasticity. A particular form of niche construction will be considered in a multilevel framework. It will be argued that the four points mentioned above prove to be fundamental explanatory tools to understand how language might have emerged as a result of a gene-culture coevolutionary dynamics. (shrink)
It is a venerable slogan due to David Hume, and inherited by the empiricist tradition, that the impossible cannot be believed, or even conceived. In Positivismus und Realismus, Moritz Schlick claimed that, while the merely practically impossible is still conceivable, the logically impossible, such as an explicit inconsistency, is simply unthinkable. -/- An opposite philosophical tradition, however, maintains that inconsistencies and logical impossibilities are thinkable, and sometimes believable, too. In the Science of Logic, Hegel already complained against “one of the (...) fundamental prejudices of logic as hitherto understood”, namely that “the contradictory cannot be imagined or thought” (Hegel 1931: 430). Our representational capabilities are not limited to the possible, for we appear to be able to imagine and describe also impossibilities — perhaps without being aware that they are impossible. -/- Such impossibilities and inconsistencies are what this entry is about... (shrink)
According to Chomsky, creativity is a critical property of human language, particularly the aspect of ?the creative use of language? concerning the appropriateness to a situation. How language can be creative but appropriate to a situation is an unsolvable mystery from the Chomskyan point of view. We propose that language appropriateness can be explained by considering the role of the human capacity for Mental Time Travel at its foundation, together with social and ecological intelligences within a triadic language-grounding system. Our (...) proposal is based on the change of perspective from the analysis of individual sentences to the flux of speech in which the temporal dimension of language is much more relevant. (shrink)
This paper gives an account of work in progress on ‘Derrida and Biology’ that takes its point of departure from Derrida's unpublished seminar La vie la mort, the first six sessions of which are devoted to biology and, in particular, to the work of François Jacob, a genetic biologist known for his research on the DNA structure and the laws of heredity in the organization and evolution of the living. This seminar shows that Derrida's engagement with biology is already at (...) work in his earliest texts, and in particular in Of Grammatology, where biology functions as the horizon in which notions like ‘differance,’ ‘archi-writing,’ ‘trace,’ and ‘text’ find their genetic-structural foundation and articulation. The goal is to demonstrate that only within this horizon one can understand the statement ‘there is nothing outside the text’ as well as the notion of the ‘general text’, widely misunderstood as the thesis of a hyperbolic hermeneutics. (shrink)
The paper argues against what I call the “Fregean interpretation” of Peirce’s distinction between the immediate and the dynamic object of a sign, according to which Peirce’s dynamic object is akin to Frege’s Bedeutung, while Peirce’s immediate object is akin to Frege’s Sinn. After having exposed the Fregean interpretation, I briefly reconstruct the genesis of Peirce’s notion of immediate object in his semiotic writings of the years 1904–1909 and defend the view that, according to Peirce, only propositions have immediate objects.Includes: (...) Comment by Helmut Pape. (shrink)
This paper analyzes the determinants underlying the internalization of proactive environmental management proposed by certifiable environmental management systems such as those set out in ISO 14001 and the European Management and Auditing Scheme. Using a study based on 232 usable questionnaires from EMAS-registered organizations, we explored the influence of institutional pressures from different stakeholders and the role of corporate strategy in the “substantial” versus “symbolic” integration of environmental practices. The results highlighted that although institutional pressures generally strengthen the internalization of (...) proactive environmental practices, the influence of stakeholders can either support the integration of these practices or encourage their superficial adoption. For example, while pressure from suppliers and shareholders contribute to corporate greening, pressure from customers and industrial associations tend to encourage greenwashing. Product quality-oriented strategies also positively influence EMS internalization. The paper sheds light on the institutional complexity underlying the substantial versus symbolic implementation of environmental practices, and questions the dominant isomorphic view of EMS adoption. The paper also bridges the gap between complementary approaches on corporate greening, notably neo-institutional and stakeholder theories. (shrink)
This book is both an introduction to and a research work on Meinongianism. “Meinongianism” is taken here, in accordance with the common philosophical jargon, as a general label for a set of theories of existence – probably the most basic notion of ontology. As an introduction, the book provides the first comprehensive survey and guide to Meinongianism and non-standard theories of existence in all their main forms. As a research work, the book exposes and develops the most up-to-date Meinongian theory (...) (called modal Meinongianism), applies it to specific fields, and discusses its open problems. Part I of the book provides a historical introduction to, and critical discussion of, the dominant philosophical view of existence: the “Kantian-Fregean-Quinean” perspective. Part II is the full-fledged introduction to the Meinongian theories of existence as a real property of individuals: after starting with the so-called naïve Meinongian conception and its problems, it provides a self-contained presentation of the main neo-Meinongian proposals, and a detailed discussion of their strengths and weaknesses. Part III develops a specific neo-Meinongian theory of existence employing a model-theoretic semantic framework. It discusses its application to the ontology and semantics of fictional objects, and its open problems. The methodology of the book follows the most recent trends in analytic ontology. In particular, the meta-ontological point of view is largely privileged. (shrink)
Strong Reciprocity theorists claim that cooperation in social dilemma games can be sustained by costly punishment mechanisms that eliminate incentives to free ride, even in one-shot and finitely repeated games. There is little doubt that costly punishment raises cooperation in laboratory conditions. Its efficacy in the field however is controversial. I distinguish two interpretations of experimental results, and show that the wide interpretation endorsed by Strong Reciprocity theorists is unsupported by ethnographic evidence on decentralised punishment and by historical evidence on (...) common pool institutions. The institutions that spontaneously evolve to solve dilemmas of cooperation typically exploit low-cost mechanisms, turning finite games into indefinitely repeated ones and eliminating the cost of sanctioning. (shrink)
On the one hand, after Matteo d'Acquasparta's distinction between the three types of eternity and the temporal necessity of the past, Meyronnes radicalized Scotus's dynamic vision of duration, conceiving the modality as a relation of implication between predicate and existing subject, and time as relationship between Creator and creature. On the other hand, after Ockham denied the real simultaneity of opposed potencies, the Ochamist extension of temporal necessity to the present was denied by Gregory of Rimini, who was favourable, together (...) with Wodeham, to the mutability of the past in a divided sense. Mirecourt, strong on the English subtleties, appears to follow Gregory and tries to find a solution to the interaction between the two contingencies, from top to bottom, which had been formalized by Gregory: if I, performing or not performing X, can act as if God, as the supreme intellect from eternity, could have known or not known X to come, and, if God as agent, absolutely willing omnipotent and unimpeadable from eternity can act as if X happened or did not happen, then can I act as if X, which is from eternity, did not happen from eternity? (shrink)
This article proposes to investigate Jan Patočka’s idea of “post-Europe”, in the context of his understanding of European contemporary history. Therefore, I first stress how important it is for Patočka to conceive a “post-European perspective”, i.e. a peculiar insight into historical problems and conflicts that would allow humanity to find a possible path out of the condition that characterizes the twentieth century. Second, I focus on the existential figure that, according to Patočka, is capable of engendering this perspective, and whose (...) fundamental traits are equality, detachment, openness and courage. Thus, I consider Husserl’s idea of Europe, Arendt’s concept of the political and Bergson’s concept of the open soul as fundamental references for Patočka’s reconstruction. I conclude by showing how Patočka’s ethical stance on Europe and post-Europe can also be meaningful in light of the current European economic and political crisis. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to show how both Jan Patočka and Jürgen Habermas, starting from a reinterpretation of the idea of «lifeworld», engaged a critique of modern civilisation, aiming (with different outcomes) at a redefinition of the concept of political community. In order to achieve this goal, I firstly focus on Patočka’s understanding of modern rational civilisation and its attempt to fix the fracture between «life» and «world». At this stage, I take also advantage of Hans Blumenberg’s distinction (...) between these two terms, in order to better clarify Patočka’s stance on this problem. Secondly, I analyse Habermas’ ideas of lifeworld and system, and their uncoupling in modern societies, as well as the reemergence of this issue in Habermas’ recent works on the European economic and political crisis. Finally, I focus on the very different ways in which Patočka and Habermas tackled the ideas of conflict and crisis in contemporary world, also in view of a possible path out of this crisis through a re-constitution of Europe. (shrink)
The denial of the intrinsic value of acts apart from both motives and consequences lies at the heart of Ross’s deontology and his opposition to ideal utilitarianism. Moreover, the claim that acts can have intrinsic value is a staple element of early and contemporary attempts to “consequentialise” all of morality. I first show why Ross’s denial is relevant both for his philosophy and for current debates. Then I consider and reject as inconclusive some of Ross’s explicit and implicit motivations for (...) his claim, stemming from his philosophy of action, his axiology, and his concept of intrinsic value, or a combination of these. I also criticize Ross’s later view that all right acts somehow produce some good, but that the value of some of these goods is explained by the prior rightness of the act. In the course of the discussion, the idea that acts can have intrinsic value apart from motives and consequences gains credibility both from the weaknesses in Ross’s arguments and from some putative examples. So, finally, I distinguish two attitudes in the history of ideal utilitarianism towards the necessity or not to give a detailed account of the intrinsic value of acts, and suggest that a Why Bother attitude is more promising than a Constructive one. (shrink)
Is there a notion of contradiction—let us call it, for dramatic effect, “absolute”—making all contradictions, so understood, unacceptable also for dialetheists? It is argued in this paper that there is, and that spelling it out brings some theoretical benefits. First it gives us a foothold on undisputed ground in the methodologically difficult debate on dialetheism. Second, we can use it to express, without begging questions, the disagreement between dialetheists and their rivals on the nature of truth. Third, dialetheism has an (...) operator allowing it, against the opinion of many critics, to rule things out and manifest disagreement: for unlike other proposed exclusion-expressing-devices (for instance, the entailment of triviality), the operator used to formulate the notion of absolute contradiction appears to be immune both from crippling expressive limitations and from revenge paradoxes—pending a rigorous nontriviality proof for a formal dialetheic theory including it. (shrink)
We outline a neo-Meinongian framework labeled as Modal Meinongian Metaphysics (MMM) to account for the ontology and semantics of fictional discourse. Several competing accounts of fictional objects are originated by the fact that our talking of them mirrors incoherent intuitions: mainstream theories of fiction privilege some such intuitions, but are forced to account for others via complicated paraphrases of the relevant sentences. An ideal theory should resort to as few paraphrases as possible. In Sect. 1, we make this explicit via (...) two methodological principles, called the Minimal Revision and the Acceptability Constraint. In Sect. 2, we introduce the standard distinction between internal and external fictional discourse. In Sects. 3–5, we discuss the approaches of (traditional) Meinongianism, Fictionalism, and Realism—and their main troubles. In Sect. 6 we propose our MMM approach. This is based upon (1) a modal semantics including impossible worlds (Subsect. 6.1); (2) a qualified Comprehension Principle for objects (Subsect. 6.2); (3) a notion of existence-entailment for properties (Subsect. 6.3). In Sect. 7 we present a formal semantics for MMM based upon a representation operator. And in Sect. 8 we have a look at how MMM solves the problems of the three aforementioned theories. (shrink)
Accounts of propositions as sets of possible worlds have been criticized for conflating distinct impossible propositions. In response to this problem, some have proposed to introduce impossible worlds to represent distinct impossibilities, endorsing the thesis that impossible worlds must be of the same kind; this has been called the parity thesis. I show that this thesis faces problems, and propose a hybrid account which rejects it: possible worlds are taken as concrete Lewisian worlds, and impossibilities are represented as set-theoretic constructions (...) out of them. This hybrid account (1) distinguishes many intuitively distinct impossible propositions; (2) identifies impossible propositions with extensional constructions; (3) avoids resorting to primitive modality, at least so far as Lewisian modal realism does. (shrink)
Biological evolution and cultural evolution are distinct evolutionary processes; they are apparent also in human language, where both processes contributed in shaping its evolution. However, the nature of the interaction between these two processes is still debated today. It is often claimed that the emergence of modern language was preceded by the evolution of a language-ready brain: the latter is usually intended as a product of biological evolution, while the former is believed to be the consequence of cultural processes. I (...) label this account separationist, and I argue that current evidence coming from the archaeological and fossil record suggests that cultural evolution has played a pivotal role in shaping not only modern language but also the language-ready brain. I label the latter the integrative perspective. I analyze the two accounts from two different conceptual frameworks, the Standard Evolutionary Theory and the Extended Evolutionary Synthesis, and I discuss the limits of the sharp proximate–ultimate distinction in this specific case study arguing in favor of a causal feedback model. I extend the argument to the debate on gradual and punctuational evolutionary rates, suggesting that the debate on patterns in language evolution should leave room for discussion of the nature of the processes involved in producing those patterns, providing reasons in favor of the eco-evolutionary feedback dynamics underlying the integrative perspective. (shrink)
A dialetheia is a sentence, A, such that both it and its negation, ¬A, are true (we shall talk of sentences throughout this entry; but one could run the definition in terms of propositions, statements, or whatever one takes as her favourite truth-bearer: this would make little difference in the context). Assuming the fairly uncontroversial view that falsity just is the truth of negation, it can equally be claimed that a dialetheia is a sentence which is both true and false.
I present an approach to our conceiving absolute impossibilities—things which obtain at no possible world—in terms of ceteris paribus intentional operators: variably restricted quantifiers on possible and impossible worlds based on world similarity. The explicit content of a representation plays a role similar in some respects to the one of a ceteris paribus conditional antecedent. I discuss how such operators invalidate logical closure for conceivability, and how similarity works when impossible worlds are around. Unlike what happens with ceteris paribus counterfactual (...) conditionals, the closest worlds are relevantly closest belief-worlds: closest to how things are believed to be, rather than to how they are. Also, closeness takes into account apriority and the opacity of intentional contexts. (shrink)
Jan Patočka, perhaps more so than any other philosopher in the twentieth century, managed to combine intense philosophical insight with a farsighted analysis of the idea and challenges facing Europe as a historical, cultural and political signifier. As a political dissident in communist Czechoslovakia he also became a moral and political inspiration to a generation of Czechs, including Václav Havel. He accomplished this in a time of intense political repression when not even the hint of a unified Europe seemed visible (...) by showing in exemplary fashion how concrete thought can be without renouncing in any way its depth. Europe as an idea and a political project is a central issue in contemporary political theory. Patočka’s political thought offers many original insights into questions surrounding the European project. Here, for the first time, a group of leading scholars from different disciplines gathers together to discuss the specific political impact of Patočka’s philosophy and its lasting significance. (shrink)
What is it for a car, a piece of art or a person to be good, bad or better than another? In this first book-length introduction to value theory, Francesco Orsi explores the nature of evaluative concepts used in everyday thinking and speech and in contemporary philosophical discourse. The various dimensions, structures and connections that value concepts express are interrogated with clarity and incision. -/- Orsi provides a systematic survey of both classic texts including Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Moore and (...) Ross and an array of contemporary theorists. The reader is guided through the moral maze of value theory with everyday examples and thought experiments. Rare stamps, Napoleon's hat, evil demons, and Kant's good will are all considered in order to probe our intuitions, question our own and philosophers' assumptions about value, and, ultimately, understand better what we want to say when we talk about value. -/- 1. Value and Normativity 1.1 Introduction 1.2 Which Evaluations? 1.3 The Idea of Value Theory 1.4 Value and Normativity 1.5 Overview 1.6 Meta-ethical Neutrality 1.7 Value Theory: The Questions -/- 2. Meet the Values: Intrinsic, Final & Co. 2.1 Introduction 2.2 Final and Unconditional Value: Some Philosophical Examples 2.3 Intrinsic Value and Final Value 2.4 The Reduction to Facts 2.5 Intrinsic and Conditional Value 2.6 Elimination of Extrinsic Value? 2.7 Summary -/- 3. The Challenge against Absolute Value 3.1 Introduction 3.2 Geach and Attributive Goodness 3.3 Foot and the Virtues 3.4 Thomson and Goodness in a Way 3.5 Zimmerman's Ethical Goodness 3.6 A Better Reply: Absolute Value and Fitting Attitudes 3.7 Summary -/- 4. Personal Value 4.1 Introduction 4.2 Moore on Good and Good For 4.3 Good For and Fitting Attitudes 4.4 Moore Strikes Back? 4.5 Agent-relative Value 4.6 Impersonal/Personal and Agent-neutral/Agent-relative 4.7 Summary -/- 5. The Chemistry of Value 5.1 Introduction 5.2 Supervenience and Other Relations 5.3 Organic Unities 5.4 Alternatives to Organic Unities: Virtual Value 5.5 Alternatives to Organic Unities: Conditional Value 5.6 Holism and Particularism 5.7 Summary -/- 6. Value Relations 6.1 Introduction 6.2 The Trichotomy Thesis and Incomparability 6.3 A Fitting Attitude Argument for Incomparability 6.4 Against Incomparability: Epistemic Limitations 6.5 Against Incomparability: Parity 6.6 Parity and Choice 6.7 Parity and Incomparability 6.8 Summary -/- 7. How Do I Favour Thee? 7.1 Introduction 7.2 Three Dimensions of Favouring 7.3 Responses to Value: Maximizing 7.4 Two Concepts of Intrinsic Value? 7.5 Summary -/- 8. Value and the Wrong Kind of Reasons 8.1 Introduction 8.2 The Fitting Attitude Account and its Rivals 8.3 The Wrong Kind of Reasons Problem 8.4 The Structure of the Problem and an Initial Response 8.5 Reasons for What? 8.6 Characteristic Concerns and Shared Reasons 8.7 Circular Path: No-Priority 8.8 Summary . (shrink)
Improving the evidence in public health is an important goal for the health promotion community. With better evidence, health professionals can make better decisions to achieve effectiveness in their interventions. The relative failure of such evidence in public health is well-known, and it is due to several factors. Briefly, from an epistemological point of view, it is not easy to develop evidence-based public health because public health interventions are highly complex and indeterminate. This paper proposes an analytical explanation of the (...) complexity and indeterminacy of public health interventions in terms of 12 points. Public health interventions are considered as a causal chain constituted by three elements and two levels of evaluation. Public health interventions thus differ from clinical interventions, which comprise two causal elements and one level of evaluation. From the two levels of evaluation, we suggest a classification of evidence into four typologies: evidence of both relations; evidence of the second but not of the first relation; evidence of the first but not of the second relation; and no evidence of either relation. In addition, a grading of indeterminacy of public health interventions is introduced. This theoretical point of view could be useful for public health professionals to better define and classify the public health interventions before acting. (shrink)
This book is intended not only for scholars and students in humanities, history (esp. the history of ideas), Jewish studies, philosophy (esp. the history of philosophy), and Christian theology, but also for those concerned with the roots of anti-Semitism and with the need for toleration and intercultural pluralism. Modernity and the Final Aim of History: * Combines the development of German philosophy from the Enlightenment to Idealism, and from Idealism to the revolutionary turning-point of the mid-nineteenth century with the Jewish (...) question; * Shows the close entwining of anti-Jewish prejudices with awareness of the importance of Judaism in the formation of modern thought; * Points out the hopes, obstacles, compromises, and disappointments of Jewish emancipation right up to the appearance of racial anti-Semitism; * Traces the changes in the debate over Judaism from the theological perspective to the philosophical and from the philosophical to that of the economic and naturalistic; * Underlines the dangers to toleration that arise from seeing human history as directed towards a single aim; *Can be used in university courses and seminars, as well as in research groups. (shrink)
There is a principle in things, about which we cannot be deceived, but must always, on the contrary, recognize the truth – viz. that the same thing cannot at one and the same time be and not be": with these words of the Metaphysics, Aristotle introduced the Law of Non-Contradiction, which was to become the most authoritative principle in the history of Western thought. However, things have recently changed, and nowadays various philosophers, called dialetheists, claim that this Law does not (...) hold unrestrictedly – that in peculiar circumstances the same thing may at the same time be and not be, and contradictions may obtain in the world. This book opens with an examination of the famous logical paradoxes that appear to speak on behalf of contradictions (e.g., the Liar paradox, the set-theoretic paradoxes such as Cantor’s and Russell’s), and of the reasons for the failure of the standard attempts to solve them. It provides, then, an introduction to paraconsistent logics – non-classical logics in which the admission of contradictions does not lead to logical chaos –, and their astonishing applications, going from inconsistent data base management to contradictory arithmetics capable of circumventing Gödel’s celebrated Incompleteness Theorem. The final part of the book discusses the philosophical motivations and difficulties of dialetheism, and shows how to extract from Aristotle’s ancient words a possible reply to the dialetheic challenge. How to Sell a Contradiction will appeal to anyone interested in non-classical logics, analytic metaphysics, and philosophy of mathematics, and especially to those who consider challenging our most entrenched beliefs the main duty of philosophical inquiry. (shrink)
A logic is called 'paraconsistent' if it rejects the rule called 'ex contradictione quodlibet', according to which any conclusion follows from inconsistent premises. While logicians have proposed many technically developed paraconsistent logical systems and contemporary philosophers like Graham Priest have advanced the view that some contradictions can be true, and advocated a paraconsistent logic to deal with them, until recent times these systems have been little understood by philosophers. This book presents a comprehensive overview on paraconsistent logical systems to change (...) this situation. The book includes almost every major author currently working in the field. The papers are on the cutting edge of the literature some of which discuss current debates and others present important new ideas. The editors have avoided papers about technical details of paraconsistent logic, but instead concentrated upon works that discuss more 'big picture' ideas. Different treatments of paradoxes takes centre stage in many of the papers, but also there are several papers on how to interpret paraconistent logic and some on how it can be applied to philosophy of mathematics, the philosophy of language, and metaphysics. (shrink)
This paper examines the view held by Francesco Piccolomini (1523-1607) on the relation between prime matter and extension. In his discussion of prime matter in the Libri ad scientiam de natura attinentes Piccolomini develops a theory of prime matter that incorporates crucial elements of the viewpoint adhered to by the Neoplatonist Simplicius. The originality of Piccolomini’s undertaking is highlighted by contrasting it with the ideas found in Jacopo Zabarella’s De rebus naturalibus . The case of Piccolomini shows that, in (...) order to classify early modern metaphysical theories of prime matter, the category ‘prime matter as sheer dimensionality’ is indispensable. (shrink)
Francesco Patrizi da Cherso's Discussiones peripateticae are one of the most comprehensive analyses of the whole of Aristotelian philosophy to be published before Werner Jaeger's Aristoteles. The main thrust of the argument in the Discussiones is that whatever Aristotle had said that was true was not new, and that whatever he had said that was new was not true. The article shows how Patrizi proves this with respect to the Organon, and deals with the implications for the history af (...) ancient philosophy in general implied by his stance. (shrink)