In his book Gabriele Lolli discusses the notion of proof, which is, according to him, the most important and at the same time the least studied aspect of mathematics. According to Lolli, a theorem is a conditional sentence of the form ‘if T then A’ such that A is a logical consequence of T, where A is a sentence and T is a sentence or a conjunction or set of sentences. Verifying that A is a consequence of T generally (...) involves considering infinitely many interpretations; so it is something which is impossible to do in finite terms. Proofs may serve as ‘shortcuts’ in this respect. A proof is defined by Lolli as any finite argument certifying that A is a consequence of T. A proof is a shortcut in the sense that it spares us considering infinitely many interpretations.The reason for such a very general definition of proof is Lolli's strong belief that mathematics is not a rigid system of explicit rules, but rather a set of tools; as a consequence, there is no prescription as to what a proof should or should not be. Actually, mathematics is historically situated and not timeless, and the history of mathematics is the …. (shrink)
This discussion of pride, shame, and guilt centers on the beliefs involved in the experience of any of these emotions. Through a detailed study, the author demonstrates how these beliefs are alike--in that they are all directed towards the self--and how they differ. The experience of these three emotions are illustrated by examples taken from English literature. These concrete cases supply a context for study and indicate the complexity of the situations in which these emotions usually occur.
Gabriele Taylor presents a philosophical investigation of the "ordinary" vices traditionally seen as "death to the soul": sloth, envy, avarice, pride, anger, lust, and gluttony. In the course of a richly detailed discussion of individual and interrelated vices, which complements recent work by moral philosophers on virtue, she shows why these "deadly sins" are correctly so named and grouped together.
In this paper, I develop Mauricio Suárez’s distinction between denotation, epistemic representation, and faithful epistemic representation. I then outline an interpretational account of epistemic representation, according to which a vehicle represents a target for a certain user if and only if the user adopts an interpretation of the vehicle in terms of the target, which would allow them to perform valid (but not necessarily sound) surrogative inferences from the model to the system. The main difference between the interpretational conception I (...) defend here and Suárez’s inferential conception is that the interpretational account is a substantial account—interpretation is not just a “symptom” of representation; it is what makes something an epistemic representation of a something else. (shrink)
Italy is one of the European countries with the highest levels of gender inequalities . The aims of this paper were to understand to what extent the well-documented gender gap in Italian adult society has an impact on both political and civic actions of younger generations, and whether the process of participation assumes specific features according to gender. 835 Italian participants completed a self-administered questionnaire. Analyses confirmed general trends and showed the existence of a small gender gap . The results (...) confirmed that family cultural capital and normative support are significant predictors of political participation, in particular for girls and young women. (shrink)
In this paper, I distinguish scientific models in three kinds on the basis of their ontological status—material models, mathematical models and fictional models, and develop and defend an account of fictional models as fictional objects—i.e. abstract objects that stand for possible concrete objects.
This book presents a systematic interpretation of Charles S. Peirce’s work based on a Kantian understanding of his teleological account of thought and inquiry. Departing from readings that contrast Peirce’s treatment of purpose, end, and teleology with his early studies of Kant, Gabriele Gava instead argues that focusing on Peirce’s purposefulness as a necessary regulative condition for inquiry and semiotic processes allows for a transcendental interpretation of Peirce’s philosophical project. The author advances this interpretation through presenting original views on (...) aspects of Peirce’s thought, including: a detailed analysis of Peirce’s ‘methodeutic’ and ‘speculative rhetoric,’ as well as his ‘critical common-sensism’; a comparison between Peirce’s and James’ pragmatisms in view of the account of purposefulness Gava puts forth; and an examination of the logical relationships that order Peirce’s architectonic classification of the sciences. (shrink)
From mass murder to genocide, slavery to colonial suppression, acts of atrocity have lives that extend far beyond the horrific moment. They engender trauma that echoes for generations, in the experiences of those on both sides of the act. Gabriele Schwab reads these legacies in a number of narratives, primarily through the writing of postwar Germans and the descendents of Holocaust survivors. She connects their work to earlier histories of slavery and colonialism and to more recent events, such as (...) South African Apartheid, the practice of torture after 9/11, and the "disappearances" that occurred during South American dictatorships. Schwab's texts include memoirs, such as Ruth Kluger's _Still Alive_ and Marguerite Duras's _La Douleur_; second-generation accounts by the children of Holocaust survivors, such as Georges Perec's _W_, Art Spiegelman's _Maus_, and Philippe Grimbert's _Secret_; and second-generation recollections by Germans, such as W. G. Sebald's _Austerlitz_, Sabine Reichel's _What Did You Do in the War, Daddy?_, and Ursula Duba's _Tales from a Child of the Enemy_. She also incorporates her own reminiscences of growing up in postwar Germany, mapping interlaced memories and histories as they interact in psychic life and cultural memory. Schwab concludes with a bracing look at issues of responsibility, reparation, and forgiveness across the victim/perpetrator divide. (shrink)
Mereological nihilism is the thesis that there are no composite objects—i.e. objects with proper material parts. One of the main advantages of mereological nihilism is that it allows its supporters to avoid a number of notorious philosophical puzzles. However, it seems to offer this advantage only at the expense of certain widespread and deeply entrenched beliefs. In particular, it is usually assumed that mereological nihilism entails eliminativism about ordinary objects—i.e. the counterintuitive thesis that there are no such things as tables, (...) apples, cats, and the like. In this paper, I argue that this assumption is false—mereological nihilists do not need to be eliminativists about tables, apples, or cats. Non-eliminativist nihilists claim that all it takes for there to be a cat is that there are simples arranged cat-wise. More specifically, non-eliminative nihilists argue that expressions such as ‘the cat’ in sentences such as ‘The cat is on the mat’ do not refer to composite objects but only to simples arranged cat-wise and compare this metaphysical discovery to the scientific discovery that ‘water’ refers to dihydrogen oxide. Non-eliminative nihilism, I argue, is not only a coherent position, but it is preferable to its more popular, eliminativist counterpart, as it enjoys the key benefits of nihilism without incurring the prohibitive costs of eliminativism. Moreover, unlike conciliatory strategies adopted by eliminative nihilists, non-eliminative nihilism allow its supporters to account not only for how we can assert something true by saying ‘The cat is on the mat’ but also for how we can believe something true by believing that the cat is on the mat. (shrink)
In this paper, I distinguish between two varieties of actualism—hardcore actualism and softcore actualism—and I critically discuss Ross Cameron’s recent arguments for preferring a softcore actualist account of the truthmakers for modal truths over hardcore actualist ones. In the process, I offer some arguments for preferring the hardcore actualist account of modal truthmakers over the softcore actualist one.
The Simple Counterfactual Analysis (SCA) was once considered the most promising analysis of disposition ascriptions. According to SCA, disposition ascriptions are to be analyzed in terms of counterfactual conditionals. In the last few decades, however, SCA has become the target of a battery of counterexamples. In all counterexamples, something seems to be interfering with a certain object’s having or not having a certain disposition thus making the truth-values of the disposition ascription and of its associated counterfactual come apart. Intuitively, however, (...) it would seem that, if all interferences were absent, the disposition ascription and its associated conditional would have the same truth-value. Although this idea may seem obvious, it is far from obvious how to implement it. In fact, it has become widely assumed that the content of qualifying ceteris paribus clauses (such as ‘if all interferences were absent’) cannot be specified in a clear and non-circular manner. In this paper, I will argue that this assumption is wrong. I will develop an analysis of disposition ascriptions, the Interference-Free Counterfactual Analysis, which relies on a clear and non-circular definition of the notion of interference and avoids the standard counterexamples to SCA while vindicating the intuition that disposition ascriptions and counterfactual conditionals are intimately related. (Please note that an erratum has been issued for the published version of this paper. It is recommended to read the self-archived version of the paper.). (shrink)
The aim of this essay is to investigate “moments of meeting” and rhythms of interruption in Pina Bausch’s piece “Kontakthof”. Combining the perspective of microanalysis and a close reading of two significant scenes of the piece with a macroanalysis of dance aesthetics and questions of framing in theatre theory, contextualising “Kontakthof” within the history of “Tanztheater”, the article shows how the composition and bodily articulation of movement interactions are constituted between the dancers and the audience. The “Ponyriding” scene is based (...) on rhythms of transgression touching the boundaries both between male and female dancers and between performers and audience. A close reading of the “Tango-Scene” shows how the rhythms of moving together and the disbalances between interruption in the movements and gestures of a “tango” can be compared with performative processes of turn-taking in language interaction. (shrink)
Both in his pre-critical writings and in his critical works, Kant criticizes the Wolffian tradition for its use of the mathematical method in philosophy. The chapter argues that the apparent unambiguousness of this opposition between Kant and Wolff notwithstanding, the problem of ascertaining the relationship between Kant’s and Wolff’s methods in philosophy cannot be dismissed so quickly. Only a close consideration of Kant’s different remarks on Wolff’s approach and a comparison of the methods that Wolff and Kant actually used in (...) philosophy can allow us to determine when Kant’s criticisms are justified and where the differences in their methodological proposals for philosophy actually lie. We see that Kant’s account of philosophical method in fact has some elements in common with the Wolffian paradigm, even though there are also relevant differences. (shrink)
This paper explores the debate between those philosophers who take (fundamental, perfectly natural) properties to be pure powers and those who take them to be powerful qualities. I first consider two challenges for the view that properties are powerful qualities, which I call, respectively, ‘the clarification challenge’ and ‘the explanatory challenge’. I then examine a number of arguments that aim to show that properties cannot be pure powers and find them all wanting. Finally, I sketch what I take to be (...) the most promising argument against pure powers and for powerful qualities. (shrink)
The most important question concerning picture perception is: what perceptual state are we in when we see an object in a picture? In order to answer this question, philosophers have used the results of the two visual systems model, according to which our visual system can be divided into two streams, a ventral stream for object recognition, allowing one to perceive from an allocentric frame of reference, and a dorsal stream for visually guided motor interaction, thus allowing one to perceive (...) from an egocentric frame of reference. Following this model, philosophers denied that we can be in a dorsal perceptual state when perceiving a depicted object. This is because a depicted object is not physically graspable or manipulable and, in turn, it cannot be egocentrically localized, as a normal object, by the dorsal stream. Thus, the impossibility of manipulating depicted objects and of localizing them from an egocentric frame of reference has led some people to be sceptical about the possibility of a representation of action properties in the perception of objects in pictures, which pertains to the dorsal visual system. The aim of the present paper is to show that it is possible for the depicted object to be represented by dorsal perception. That means that we can ascribe action properties to depicted objects as well, even if depicted objects cannot be egocentrically localized—at least, not as much as normal objects can. (shrink)
Are there any universal entities? Or is the world populated only by particular things? The problem of universals is one of the most fascinating and enduring topics in the history of metaphysics, with roots in ancient and medieval philosophy. This collection of new essays provides an innovative overview of the contemporary debate on universals. Rather than focusing exclusively on the traditional opposition between realism and nominalism, the contributors explore the complexity of the debate and illustrate a broad range of positions (...) within both the realist and the nominalist camps. Realism is viewed through the lens of the distinction between constituent and relational ontologies, while nominalism is reconstructed in light of the controversy over the notion of trope. The result is a fresh picture of contemporary metaphysics, in which traditional strategies of dealing with the problem of universals are both reaffirmed and called into question. (shrink)
ABSTRACT:Are face-to-face perception and picture perception different perceptual phenomena? The question is controversial. On the one hand, philosophers have offered several solid arguments showing that, despite some resemblances, they are quite different perceptual phenomena and that pictures are special objects of perception. On the other hand, neuroscientists routinely use pictures in experimental settings as substitutes for normal objects, and this practice is successful in explaining how the human visual system works. But this seems to imply that face-to-face perception and picture (...) perception are very similar, if not actually the same. How can we decide between these two opposite intuitions? Here I offer a regimentation of the notion of picture perception that can reconcile these two apparently conflicting ideas about pictures. It follows that philosophers and neuroscientists can maintain their respective stances without any theoretical conflict. (shrink)
My two daughters would love to go tobogganing down the hill by themselves, but they are just toddlers and I am an apprehensive parent, so, before letting them do so, I want to ensure that the toboggan won’t go too fast. But how fast will it go? One way to try to answer this question would be to tackle the problem head on. Since my daughters and their toboggan are initially at rest, according to classical mechanics, their final velocity will (...) be determined by the forces they will be subjected to between the moment the toboggan will be released at the top of the hill and the moment it will reach its highest speed. The problem is that, throughout their downhill journey, my daughters and the toboggan will be subjected to an incredibly large number of forces—from the gravitational pull of any massive object in the universe to the weight of the snowflake that is sitting on the tip of one of my youngest daughter’s hairs—so that any attempt to apply the theory directly to the real-world system in all its complexity seems to be doomed to failure. (shrink)
Since the early 1990s, increasing attention has been paid to the impact of workplace bullying on employees’ well-being and job attitudes. However, the relationship between workplace bullying and job satisfaction remains unclear. This study aims to shed light on the nature of the bullying-job satisfaction relationship in the Italian context. As expected, the results revealed a U-shape curvilinear relationship between workplace bullying and job satisfaction after controlling for demographic variables. In contrast to the curvilinear model, the results support a negative (...) linear relationship between workplace bullying and psychological well-being, in which higher exposure to negative acts at work is associated with diminished well-being. In addition, gender and job position significantly predicted mental health scores where men and managers reported a better psychological well-being than women, blue-collar, and white-collar employees. Practical and theoretical implications are discussed according to these results. (shrink)
Everyday life suggests that picture seeing is sometimes infused by an emotional charge. However, nobody has addressed the importance of explaining this emotional charge in picture perception. Even our best model of picture perception, the dorsal/ventral account of picture perception, which integrates the most important empirical results coming from our best model on vision in neuroscience, the two visual systems model, lacks a reference to this emotional charge. The aim of the present paper is to offer an account of picture (...) perception that is able to regain and explain this neglected emotional charge. My claim is that, as for face-to-face perception, during picture perception, we are not only in a visual perceptual state, but also in an emotional state, which is directly connected to our visual perceptual state. I also show that it is possible to offer this integration while remaining in the philosophical/empirical framework of the dorsal/ventral account of picture perception, whose explanatory power is confirmed and improved. (shrink)
Kant’s account of practical justification for belief has attracted much attention in the literature, especially in recent years. In this context, scholars have generally emphasized the originality of Kant’s thought about belief (Glaube), and Kant indeed offers a definition of belief that is very different from views that were prevalent in eighteenth-century Germany. In this article, however, I argue that it is very likely that Christian August Crusius exerted influence on Kant’s definition of belief and his account of practical justification. (...) In turn, acknowledging this influence has relevant consequences for how we understand the phenomenology of Kantian belief. (shrink)
Fictionalism and deflationism are two moderate meta-ontological positions that try to occupy a middle ground between the extremes of heavy-duty realism and hard-line eliminativism. Deflationists believe that the existence of certain entities (e.g.: numbers) can be established by means of ‘easy’ arguments—arguments that, supposedly, rely solely on uncontroversial premises and trivial inferences. Fictionalists, however, find easy arguments unconvincing. Amie Thomasson has recently argued that, in their criticism of easy arguments, fictionalists beg the question against deflationism and that the fictionalist alternative (...) interpretation of easy arguments is untenable. In this paper, I argue that both charges are unsubstantiated. Properly understood, the fictionalist’s objection to ‘easy’ arguments takes the form of a dilemma—either the premises of ‘easy’ arguments are not truly uncontroversial or the inferences on which they rely are not truly trivial. Moreover, I argue not only that, contrary to what Thomasson claims, the fictionalist’s interpretation of easy argument is tenable but that the fictionalist might, in fact, have a better explanation of the seemingly trivial nature of the inferences involved in easy arguments than the deflationist’s. (shrink)
Norman Daniels’s theory of ‘accountability for reasonableness’ is an influential conception of fairness in healthcare resource allocation. Although it is widely thought that this theory provides a consistent extension of John Rawls’s general conception of justice, this paper shows that accountability for reasonableness has important points of contact with both utilitarianism and intuitionism, the main targets of Rawls’s argument. My aim is to demonstrate that its overlap with utilitarianism and intuitionism leaves accountability for reasonableness open to damaging critiques. The important (...) role that utilitarian-like cost-effectiveness calculations are allowed to play in resource allocation processes disregards the separateness of persons and is seriously unfair towards individuals whose interests are sacrificed for the sake of groups. Furthermore, the function played by intuitions in settling frequent value conflicts opens the door for sheer custom and vested interests to steer decision-making. (shrink)
According to power theorists, properties are powers—i.e. they necessarily confer on their bearers certain dispositions. Although the power theory is increasingly gaining popularity, a vast majority of analytic metaphysicians still favors what I call ‘the nomic theory’—i.e. the view according to which what dispositions a property confers on its bearers is contingent on what the laws of nature happen to be. This paper argues that the nomic theory is inconsistent, for, if it were correct, then properties would not confer any (...) dispositions on their bearers—they would only appear to do so (just like how, in cases of mimicking, objects do not really have the relevant dispositions, they merely appear to have them). If my arguments are sound, then the nomic theory is incoherent and ultimately collapses into what I call ‘neo-occasionalism’ and powers turns out to be the only available option for those who believe that properties genuinely confer dispositions on their bearers. (shrink)
This paper introduces a possible alternative model of gravity based on the theory of fractional-dimension spaces and its applications to Newtonian gravity. In particular, Gauss’s law for gravity as well as other fundamental classical laws are extended to a D-dimensional metric space, where D can be a non-integer dimension. We show a possible connection between this Newtonian Fractional-Dimension Gravity and Modified Newtonian Dynamics, a leading alternative gravity model which accounts for the observed properties of galaxies and other astrophysical structures without (...) requiring the dark matter hypothesis. The MOND acceleration constant \ can be related to a natural scale length \ in NFDG, i.e., \, for astrophysical structures of mass M, and the deep-MOND regime is present in regions of space where the dimension is reduced to \. For several fundamental spherically-symmetric structures, we compare MOND results, such as the empirical Radial Acceleration Relation, circular speed plots, and logarithmic plots of the observed radial acceleration \ vs. the baryonic radial acceleration \, with NFDG results. We show that our model is capable of reproducing these results using a variable local dimension \\), where \ is a dimensionless radial coordinate. At the moment, we are unable to derive explicitly this dimension function \\) from first principles, but it can be obtained empirically in each case from the general RAR. Additional work on the subject, including studies of axially-symmetric structures, detailed galactic rotation curves fitting, and a possible relativistic extension, will be needed to establish NFDG as a viable alternative model of gravity. (shrink)
Philosophers have suggested that, in order to understand the particular visual state we are in during picture perception, we should focus on experimental results from vision neuroscience—in particular, on the most rigorous account of the functioning of the visual system that we have from vision neuroscience, namely, the ‘Two Visual Systems Model’. According to the initial version of this model, our visual system can be dissociated, from an anatomo-functional point of view, into two streams: a ventral stream subserving visual recognition, (...) and a dorsal stream subserving the visual guidance of action. Following this model, philosophers have suggested that, since the two streams have different functions, they represent different properties of a picture. However, the original view proposed by the ‘Two Visual Systems Model’ about the presence of a strong anatomo-functional dissociation between the two streams has recently been questioned on both philosophical and experimental grounds. Indeed, the analysis of several new pieces of evidence seems to suggest that many visual representations in our visual system, related to different tasks, are the result of a deep functional interaction between the streams. In the light of the renewed status of the ‘Two Visual Systems Model’, also our best philosophical model of picture perception should be renewed, in order to take into account a view of the process of picture perception informed by the new evidence about such interaction. Despite this, no account fulfilling this role has been offered yet. The aim of the present paper is precisely to offer such an account. It does this by suggesting that the peculiar visual state we are in during picture perception is subserved by interstream interaction. This proposal allows us to rely on a rigorous philosophical account of picture perception that is, however, also based on the most recent results from neuroscience. Unless the explanation offered in this paper is endorsed, all the recent evidence from vision neuroscience will remain unexplained under our best empirically informed philosophical theory of picture perception. (shrink)
Recent epidemiological research on the social determinants of health has been used to attack an important framework, associated with Norman Daniels, that depicts healthcare as special. My aim is to rescue the idea that healthcare has special importance in society, although specialness will turn out to be mainly limited to clinical care. I build upon the link between Daniels's theory and the work of John Rawls to develop a conception of public justification liberalism that is suitable to the field of (...) justice and health. I argue that, from the perspective of public justification liberalism, (clinical) healthcare deserves special status. (shrink)
Molyneux’s question famously asks about whether a newly sighted subject might immediately recognize, by sight alone, shapes that were already familiar to her from a tactile point of view. This paper addresses three crucial points concerning this puzzle. First, the presence of two different questions: the classic one concerning visual recognition and another one concerning vision-for-action. Second, the explicit distinction, reported in the literature, between ocular and cortical blindness. Third, the importance of making reference to our best neuroscientific account on (...) vision, ‘the two visual systems model’, in order to better address Molyneux’s problem. Then, by offering a new, deeper analysis of the relation between, and, this paper suggests that the subjects of Molyneux’s two different questions show the same visual impairment as brain-damaged subjects with different lesions of the visual cortex. In particular, the subject of the first question shows the same impairment in visual recognition as a visual agnosic subject, while the subject of the second question shows the same visual impairment in visuomotor processing as an optic ataxic subject. These impairments still hold even if ocular processing is restored. Therefore, I suggest the following. For the first classic question, the required experimental setting cannot be properly reached. By contrast, concerning the second question, based on the interpretation we select, either the answer is negative, or, as with the first question, the experimental setting cannot be properly reached. This proposal constitutes, with the other approaches offered in the literature, a further attempt to tackle the enormous complexity of Molyneux’s puzzle. (shrink)
Suppose we want to take seriously the neoverificationist idea that an intuitionistic theory of meaning can be generalized in such a way as to be applicable not only to mathematical but also to empirical sentences. The paper explores some consequences of this attitude and takes some steps towards the realization of this program. The general idea is to develop a meaning theory, and consequently a formal semantics, based on the idea that knowing the meaning of a sentence is tantamount to (...) having a criterion for establishing what is a justification for it. Section 1 motivates a requirement of epistemic transparency imposed onto justifications conceived as mental states. In Section 2, the formal notion of justification for an atomic formula is defined, in terms of the notion of cognitive state. In Section 3, the definition is extended to logically complex formulas. In Section 4, the notion of truth-ground is introduced and is used to give a definition of logical validity. (shrink)
In this paper, I argue that, contrary to the constructive empiricist’s position, observability is not an adequate criterion as a guide to ontological commitment in science. My argument has two parts. First, I argue that the constructive empiricist’s choice of observability as a criterion for ontological commitment is based on the assumption that belief in the existence of unobservable entities is unreasonable because belief in the existence of an entity can only be vindicated by its observation. Second, I argue that (...) the kind of ontological commitment that is under consideration when accepting a scientific theory is commitment to what I call theoretical kinds and that observation can vindicate commitment to kinds only in exceptional cases. (shrink)
According to the Simple Conditional Analysis of disposition ascriptions, disposition ascriptions are to be analyzed in terms of counterfactual conditionals. The Simple Conditional Analysis is notoriously vulnerable to counterexamples. In this paper, I introduce a new sort of counterexample to the Simple Conditional Analysis of disposition ascriptions, which I call ‘tricks’. I then explore a number of possible strategies to modify the Simple Conditional Analysis so as to avoid tricks and conclude that, in order to avoid tricks, the associated counterfactual (...) should be evaluated at the closest possible world at which the manifestation of the disposition does not obtain. (shrink)