John Campbell proposed a so-called simple view of colours according to which colours are categorical properties of the surfaces of objects just as they normally appear to be. I raised an invertion problem for Campbell's view according to which the senses of colour terms fail to match their references, thus rendering those terms meaningless—or so I claimed. Gabriele de Anna defended Campbell's view against my example by contesting two points in particular. Firstly, de Anna claimed that there (...) is no special problem here for the simple view of colours, a similar invertion story could apply to primary qualities terms for shapes. Secondly, de Anna purported to give an account of the senses and references of colour terms in my invertion story which renders the senses and references of those terms mutually consistent. In this paper I contested both of de Anna's claims. Regarding the first, I argue that his imagined invertion of apparent shapes is not epistemically stable, in contrast to the invertion of apparent shapes is not epistemically stable, in contrast to the invertion of apparent colours. Hence the victims of apparently inverted shapes would be able to discover the mismatch of senses and refences of their shape terms, in contrast to the victims of apparent invertions of colours. Regarding the second, I argue that de Anna's account of the victim's colour terms itself uses and not merely mentions so-called colours terms. Hence de Anna' account of them is itself meaningless due to a mismatch of sense and reference. So I conclude that my objection to Campbell's simple view of colours stands. (shrink)
Tre studiosi di filosofia interculturale espongono – molto sinteticamente – le loro posizioni su alcuni snodi problematici del loro oggetto di ricerca. Cacciatore si concentra sulla relazione teorica, assai fruttuosa, fra lo storicismo critico-problematico, antiontologico e antimetafisico, della Scuola napoletana e i temi connessi all’interculturalità. D’Anna ritrova in Aristotele – discusso anche attraverso Pietro Piovani e Raul Fornet-Betancourt – un concetto di universale che, distinto da quello di assoluto, è inclusivo della molteplicità e dunque funzionale alla riflessione interculturale. Diana (...) – seguendo un percorso che contamina letteratura e filosofia – mette in luce il carattere storico, plurimo e relazionale dell’identità individuale e chiarisce il senso del cogito autobiografico. (shrink)
John Campbell proposed a so-called simple view of colours according to which colours are categorical properties of the surfaces of objects just as they normally appear to be. I raised an invertion problem for Campbell's view according to which the senses of colour terms fail to match their references, thus rendering those terms meaningless—or so I claimed. Gabriele de Anna defended Campbell's view against my example by contesting two points in particular. Firstly, de Anna claimed that there (...) is no special problem here for the simple view of colours, a similar invertion story could apply to primary qualities terms for shapes. Secondly, de Anna purported to give an account of the senses and references of colour terms in my invertion story which renders the senses and references of those terms mutually consistent.In this paper I contested both of de Anna's claims. Regarding the first, I argue that his imagined invertion of apparent shapes is not epistemically stable, in contrast to the invertion of apparent shapes is not epistemically stable, in contrast to the invertion of apparent colours. Hence the victims of apparently inverted shapes would be able to discover the mismatch of senses and refences of their shape terms, in contrast to the victims of apparent invertions of colours. Regarding the second, I argue that de Anna's account of the victim's colour terms itself uses and not merely mentions so-called colours terms. Hence de Anna' account of them is itself meaningless due to a mismatch of sense and reference. So I conclude that my objection to Campbell's simple view of colours stands. (shrink)
Current naturalistic accounts of value face the problem of explaining the normative constraints that value impose on agents. Attempts to solve this problem have progressively relaxed the strictness of naturalistic requirements, up to the point of seeking theistic solutions. However, appeals to God are also problematic, since it is questionable that a relevant notion of God is conceivable at all: if God is wholly other He cannot matter for our choices and if He is a being among natural beings He (...) cannot explain our normative constraints. Engaging a discussion with Fiona Ellis’ treatment of the problem, this essay sketches an account of transcendence, which vindicates the conceivability of a notion of God suitable for the explanation of value. The proposal rests on the possibility of transcendental arguments based on analogy. (shrink)
In this paper, the ontological, terminological, epistemological, and ethical aspects of omission are considered in a coherent and balanced framework, based on the idea that there are omissions which are actions and omissions which are non-actions. In particular, we suggest that the approach to causation which best deals with omission is Mackie's INUS conditional proposal. We argue that omissions are determined partly by the ontological conditional structure of reality, and partly by the interests, beliefs, and values of observers. The final (...) upshot is that moral judgments involved in cases of omissions cannot be grounded on, but are the ground for judgments about what INUS conditions count as omissions. (shrink)
How can the discoveries made in the biological sciences play a role in a discussion on the foundation of ethics? This book responds to this question by examining how evolutionism can explain and justify the existence of ethical normativity and the emergence of particular moral systems. Written by a team of philosophers and scientists, the essays collected in this volume deal with the limits of evolutionary explanations, the justifications of ethics, and methodological issues concerning evolutionary accounts of ethics, among other (...) topics. They offer deep insights into the origin and purpose of human moral capacities and of moral systems. (shrink)
Cass Sunstein and Richard Thaler have been arguing for what they named libertarian paternalism (henceforth LP). Their proposal generated extensive debate as to how and whether LP might lead down a full-blown paternalistic slippery slope. LP has the indubitable merit of having hardwired the best of the empirical psychological and sociological evidence into public and private policy making. It is unclear, though, to what extent the implementation of policies so constructed could enhance the capability for the exercise of an autonomous (...) citizenship. Sunstein and Thaler submit it that in most of the cases in which one is confronted with a set of choices, some default option must be picked out. In those cases whoever devises the features of the set of options ought to rank them according to the moral principle of non-maleficence and possibly to that of beneficence. In this paper we argue that LP can be better implemented if there is a preliminary deliberative debate among the stakeholders that elicits their preferences, and makes it possible to rationally defend them. (shrink)
In the past years, the relevance of Thomas Aquinas's theory of cognition for contemporary debates on epistemology has been widely discussed. That theory claims that mind and world are formally identical and that this relationship overcomes various problems associated with scepticism concerning mental representation. The proposal, however, is grounded on the idea that the world can act on the mind through a relation of formal causation. This thesis attempts to develop a Thomistic theory of formal causation which may be suitable (...) for a realist account of mental representation and which may meet the requirements prompted by current discussions. The suggested view is grounded on Aquinas's metaphysics, according to which the world is constituted of substances. The claim that change is possible since substances are hylomorphically constituted is defended. Aquinas's claim that some substances have forms which may act independently of matter is also supported. The paradigmatic examples are human souls, i.e. the forms of human beings, whose higher cognitive capacity, i.e. thinking, can be in principle carried on without the need of any material organ. A Thomistic theory of causation is subsequently proposed. It is argued that hylomorphism explains the distinction among four species of causes. Aquinas's attempt to explain causal relations conditionally is developed along the lines suggested by John Mackie's INUS conditional analysis. Jaegwon Kim's implementation of Mackie's proposal through an object-based metaphysics of events is then adapted to the hylomorphical account of substances. On these grounds, a theory of formal causation can be proposed and applied to Aquinas's theory of mental representation. The ensuing proposal is offered not in the spirit of historical exegesis but as a substantive philosophical account and it is Thomistic only in the broad sense that it is built on Aquinas's metaphysics and is consistent with his claims on causation. (shrink)
Summary Sister and brother Anna Letitia Barbauld (née Aikin; 1743?1825) and John Aikin (1747?1822) are two famous Rational Dissenting writers who strategically appropriated republican discourse to advance the Dissenting cause. Both make the case that, far from being subversive, Rational Dissent actually granted its adherents the independence that, from a republican perspective, was considered essential to true patriotism. In a fresh formulation of republican discourse, they present the strength of the Rational Dissenting commitment to ?free inquiry? as security for (...) continuing independence, enabling liberal Dissenters to act as patriotic guardians of British virtue and liberty against the dangerous effects of luxury, even as they continued to contribute towards the development of the British commercial economy and to promote the benefits of commerce, traditionally regarded with hostility by classical republicans. Effectively exploiting the classical republican belief in the central role of education, Barbauld and Aikin particularly sought to publicize the role that the Dissenting academies had played in producing patriots by making ?free inquiry? the basis of their pedagogical philosophy and practice. (shrink)
This essay deals with Simon Evnine’s amorphic hylomorphism, and the bearings that considerations about modality might have on it. It is suggested that the assumption of amorphic hylomorphism makes an account of modality extensionally incorrect in the domain of natural, non-organic objects. It is further argued that, in the case of NNOs, the existence of real forms should be accepted and this conclusion is claimed to be consistent with scientific knowledge, on the basis of substance gradualism.
Resumo Recentemente o Hilemorfismo – a visão tradicional, segundo a qual, as substâncias são constituídas pela combinação de forma e matéria – tem sido alvo de renovado interesse. Este artigo centra-se na substância material e sugere que, neste caso, a constituição hilemórfica exige uma noção de forma que deve ser alargada ao conceito de energia, ou ao exercício de uma força. Neste artigo também se defende o gradualismo substancial: se a forma for assim entendida, a substancialidade possui graus, ou seja, (...) as coisas podem ser substâncias em maior ou menor grau. O gradualismo substancial pode iluminar os actuais debates relativos à identificação das partes das substâncias e à compatibilidade entre o hilemorfismo e o categorialismo. Palavras-chave : forma, gradualismo substancial, hilemorfismo, matéria, substânciaHylomorphism, the old traditional view according to which substances are constituted by the combination of form and matter, has recently undergone a renaissance. This essay focuses on material substance, and suggests that in this case the hylomorphic constitution calls for a notion of form which should be understood also as energy, or the exercise of a force. It further argues for substantial gradualism: when form is thus understood, substantiality comes in degrees, i.e. things can be substances to a greater or lesser degree. Substantial gradualism sheds new light on current discussions concerning the identification of the parts of substances and the compatibility between hylomorphism and sortalism. Keywords : form, hylomorphism, matter, substance, substantial gradualism. (shrink)
“How should authority relate to common sense, in making the judgements that its functioning requires?” This essay tries to address this question. Firstly, it attempts at clarifying three key concepts which are deployed in the question: the concepts of authority, common sense, and judgement. Subsequently, it claims that the elucidation of those concepts suggests that we need to settle two preliminary issues, to begin with: a. given what authority is, what roles should formal logic and other sciences have in the (...) rational procedures which authority uses to make its judgements? b. In what sense can a suitable notion of common sense be common? Finally, the essay suggests, as an answer to the initial question, the view that common sense is a common ground of experiences and beliefs that all human beings can share, and that authority, in order to maintain its role, can make judgements based on scientific theories which are inaccessible to people subject to that authority, only to the extent that those theories are consistent with common sense. (shrink)
The study of perception and the role of the senses have recently risen to prominence in philosophy and are now a major area of study and research. However, the philosophical history of the senses remains a relatively neglected subject. Moving beyond the current philosophical canon, this outstanding collection offers a wide-ranging and diverse philosophical exploration of the senses, from the classical period to the present day. Written by a team of international contributors, it is divided into six parts: -/- Perception (...) from Non-Western Perspectives Perception in the Ancient Period Perception in the Medieval Latin/Arabic Period Perception in the Early Modern Period Perception in the Post-Kantian Period Perception in the Contemporary Period. The volume challenges conventional philosophical study of perception by covering a wide range of significant, as well as hitherto overlooked, topics, such as perceptual judgment, temporal and motion illusions, mirror and picture perception, animal senses and cross-modal integration. By investigating the history of the senses in thinkers such as Plotinus, Auriol, Berkeley and Cavendish; and considering the history of the senses in diverse philosophical traditions, including Chinese, Indian, Byzantine, Greek and Latin it brings a fresh approach to studying the history of philosophy itself. -/- Including a thorough introduction as well as introductions to each section by the editors, The Senses and the History of Philosophy is essential reading for students and researchers in the history of philosophy, perception, philosophy of mind, philosophical psychology, aesthetics and eastern and non-western philosophy. It will also be extremely useful for those in related disciplines such as psychology, religion, sociology, intellectual history and cognitive sciences. (shrink)
How many hairs must a person lose before they become bald? There doesn’t seem to be an easy way of answering this. This is because “bald”, along with a large number of other words, is vague. This vagueness causes problems and Anna Mahtani specialises in thinking very precisely about these problems….
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)
The Anna Karenina Theory says: all conscious states are alike; each unconscious state is unconscious in its own way. This note argues that many components have to function properly to produce consciousness, but failure in any one of many different ones can yield an unconscious state in different ways. In that sense the Anna Karenina theory is true. But in another respect it is false: kinds of unconsciousness depend on kinds of consciousness.
Anna Leuschner argues that there is problematic circularity in Helen Longino's approach that postulates the existence of some shared norms as a necessary precondition for well-functioning pluralistic communities. As an alternative, Leuschner proposes to approach the establishing of more pluralistic communities through political means on a case-by-case basis, taking relevant epistemic and political factors into account. In this paper, I argue that there is an alternative understanding of norms that avoids circularity. I do so by drawing on Isabelle Peschard's (...) discussion of shared practice. I go on to show that norms, so understood, are important in the cases where a political decision may not alone be sufficient for establishing a successful community. Specifically, I discuss pluralistic communities that include laypersons in possession of relevant expertise as an example. (shrink)
Anna Julia Cooper's 1892 A Voice from the South is a hybrid text that speaks provocatively to contemporary feminist philosophy. Negotiating exclusionary categories of being and knowing and writing herself into intellectual traditions meant to exclude her, Cooper's narrative methods are politically tactical and epistemologically significant. Cooper inserts subjectivity into objective analysis and underscores knowledge as located and embodied. By speaking from spaces of exclusion, Cooper fully articulates the promise of intersectional approaches to liberation.
In this paper we investigate composition models of incarnation, according to which Christ is a compound of qualitatively and numerically different constituents. We focus on three-part models, according to which Christ is composed of a divine mind, a human mind, and a human body. We consider four possible relational structures that the three components could form. We argue that a ‘hierarchy of natures’ model, in which the human mind and body are united to each other in the normal way, and (...) in which they are jointly related to the divine mind by the relation of co-action, is the most metaphysically plausible model. Finally, we consider the problem of how Christ can be a single person even when his components may be considered persons. We argue that an Aristotelian metaphysics, according to which identity is a matter of function, offers a plausible solution: Christ's components may acquire a radically new identity through being parts of the whole, which enables them to be reidentified as parts, not persons. (shrink)