Many philosophers have declared that everything which exists is a particular. There is a weak interpretation of this doctrine which I believe to be a true proposition, and a strong one which I believe to be false.
The Bhagavad-Gītā is the most important text in the smrti literature of India, as distinct from the śruti literature which is traditionally regarded as ultimately authoritative. The Bhagavad-Gītā has been assigned a date ranging from the fifth century B.C. to the second century B.C. The Indian religious tradition places the Gītā at the end of the third age of the present cycle of the universe and the beginning of the fourth, namely the Kali Yuga to which we belong.
The title of this paper reflects the fact truthmaking is quite frequently considered to be expressive of realism. What this means, exactly, will become clearer in the course of our discussion, but since we are interested in Armstrong’s work on truthmaking in particular, it is natural to start from a brief discussion of how truthmaking and realism appear to be associated in his work. In this paper, special attention is given to the supposed link between truthmaking and realism, but (...) it is argued that this link should not be taken too seriously, as truthmaking turns out to be, to a large extent, ontologically neutral. Some consequences of this are studied. (shrink)
Resemblances obtain not only between objects but between properties. Resemblances of the latter sort - in particular resemblances between quantitative properties - prove to be the downfall of a well-known theory of universals, namely the one presented by David Armstrong. This paper examines Armstrong's efforts to account for such resemblances within the framework of his theory and also explores several extensions of that theory. All of them fail.
I show that Armstrong’s view of laws as second-order contingent relations of ‘necessitation’ among categorical properties faces a dilemma. The necessitation relation confers a relation of extensional inclusion (‘constant conjunction’) on its relata. It does so either necessarily or contingently. If necessarily, it is not a categorical relation (in the relevant sense). If contingently, then an explanation is required of how it confers extensional inclusion. That explanation will need to appeal to a third-order relation between necessitation and extensional inclusion. (...) The same dilemma reappears at this level. Either Armstrong must concede that some properties are not categorical but have essential powers – or he is faced with a regress. (shrink)
D. M. Armstrong famously claims that deterministic laws of nature are contingent relations between universals and that his account can also be straightforwardly extended to irreducibly probabilistic laws of nature. For the most part, philosophers have neglected to scrutinize Armstrong’s account of probabilistic laws. This is surprising precisely because his own claims about probabilistic laws make it unclear just what he takes them to be. We offer three interpretations of what Armstrong-style probabilistic laws are, and argue that (...) all three interpretations are incompatible either with some feature of Armstrong’s broader metaphysics or with essential features of his account of laws (or both). (shrink)
Foundationalism in moral epistemology is a core tenet of ethical intuitionism. According to foundationalism, some moral beliefs can be known without inferential justification; instead, all that is required is a proper understanding of the beliefs in question. In an influential criticism against this view, Walter Sinnott-Armstrong has argued that certain psychological facts undermine the reliability of moral intuitions. He claims that foundationalists would have to show that non-inferentially justified beliefs are not subject to those defeaters, but this would already (...) constitute a form of inference and hence undermine the possibility of noninferential justification. The goal of my paper is to defend foundationalism against Sinnott-Armstrong’s criticism. After presenting his challenge, I first argue that the most promising objection to it fails. This objection makes the case that defeater-defeaters are not part of the justification, but merely preserve the justification which the original claim provides. I object to this argument by distinguishing between weak and robust defeaters; only weak defeaters, I argue, fall outside the scope of justification, and it is an open question whether Sinnott-Armstrong’s defeaters fall into that category. This leads the way to my own criticism of Sinnott-Armstrong’s challenge: foundationalists in moral epistemology are entitled to the use of defeater-defeaters as part of the justification for moral beliefs as long as those defeater-defeaters themselves do not entail moral claims. Therefore, Sinnott-Armstrong’s challenge does not undermine foundationalism. (shrink)
In his Education of a Christian Prince Erasmus applies ancient and Christian virtues to the functions of a Christian prince. Slovak humanist writer Ján Milo- chovský , who new Erasmus’s work, expanded in his Ornamentum Magistratus Politici the scope of the ethical and moral functions of a prince, focusing on three fundamental virtues: piety, justice and tolerance.The paper offers an analysis of Erasmus’s political ethics and examines the impact of the latter on the Slovak humanism of the second half of (...) the 17th century, especially in the writings of Ján Milochovský. (shrink)
In this paper we seek to take notice of the evolution and continuity of Jan Patočka’s phenomenology on the topic of the world and human existence’s relationship with it. We believe that this problem underlies and stimulates Patočka’s whole phenomenological research and we think that it is a key element to understand the ensemble of his thought.
D. M. Armstrong rejects various ontologies that posit truths without truthmakers. But, lest proponents of such questionable ontologies postulate suspicious truthmakers in a bid to regain ontological respectability, Armstrong requires a plausible restriction on truthmaking that eliminates such ontologies. I discuss three different candidate restrictions: categorical, natural, and intrinsic difference-making. While the categorical and natural restrictions eliminate the questionable ontologies, they also eliminate Armstrong’s own ontology. The intrinsic difference-making restriction, on the other hand, fails to eliminate any (...) of them. Thus Armstrong lacks a principled reason for rejecting such ontologies. (shrink)
In this paper I argue against Armstrong’s recent truthmaking account of possibility. I show that the truthmaking account presupposes modality in a number of different ways, and consequently that it is incapable of underwriting a genuine reduction of modality. I also argue that Armstrong’s account faces serious difficulties irrespective of the question of reduction; in particular, I argue that his Entailment and Possibility Principles are both false.
This article argues that there is a great divide between semantics and metaphysics. Much of what is called metaphysics today is still stuck in the linguistic turn. This is illustrated by showing how Fraser MacBride misunderstands David Armstrong's theory of modality.
In his Education of a Christian Prince (1516) Erasmus applies ancient and Christian virtues to the functions of a Christian prince. Slovak humanist Ján Milochovský (1630 – 1684), who new Erasmus’s work, expanded in his Ornamentum Magistratus Politici (1678) the scope of the ethical and moral functions of a prince, focusing on three fundamental virtues: piety, justice and tolerance. The paper offers an analysis of Erasmus’s political ethics and examines the impact of the latter on the Slovak humanism of the (...) second half of the 17th century, especially in the writings of Ján Milochovský. (shrink)
Jan Patočka became politically active for the first time as a spokesperson of the dissident movement Charter 77. In this capacity he wrote several essays, the first of which, entitled "On the Matters of The Plastic People of the Universe and DG 307", I interpret as the explanation and justification of his turn toward political engagement. The following article is a reading of Patočka's essay that pays particular attention to a peculiar formal feature of the essay – namely that it's (...) presented as a reversal of Dostoevsky's short story "The Dream of a Ridiculous Man". In reversing this story, Patočka shows us the two basic ways of human life and explains his political engagement as an action taken on behalf of the properly human way of life, which he calls "life in truth" or "the responsible life". The purpose of his political engagement thus wasn't defending human rights, but defending life in truth, to which human rights provide suitable conditions. "On the Matters…" also presents Patočka's assessment of the Communist regime with clarity and severity not seen elsewhere in his writings, and shows a shift in his views of youth and youthful rebellion. (shrink)
_ Source: _Volume 55, Issue 4, pp 273 - 306 Jan Dullaert was a direct student of John Mair and a teacher of Gaspar Lax, Juan de Celaya, and Juan Luis Vives. His commentary on Aristotle’s _Peri Hermeneias_ addresses the foundations of propositional logic, including a detailed analysis of conditionals and the semantics of logical connectives. Dullaert’s propositional logic is limited to the immediate implications of the semantics of these connectives, i.e., their introduction and elimination rules. In the same context, (...) he discusses several alternative treatments of semantic paradoxes, paying most attention to the approaches derived from Martin Le Maistre and John Mair. (shrink)
This article attempts to bring together the life, situation, and philosophical work of the Czech phenomenologist Jan Patočka in order to present his conception of philosophy and sacrifice and to understand his action of dissent and his own sacrifice as spokesman for Charter 77 in light of these concepts. Patočka philosophized despite being barred from teaching under the German occupation and under the communist regime, even after he was forced to retire and banned from publication. He also refused the official (...) philosophical categories of communism and, what is more, criticized the very manner in which its ideology allowed it to function. Against the destruction of moral and political life by communist and liberal regimes alike, he outlined the necessity of a “life in the idea” that would be responsive to the notion of sacrifice. Such a position of distance from the things of the world which remains anchored among them is meant to respond to dissatisfaction with the world as it is found and is the very movement of human freedom. Taken together, these three aspects of his philosophical practice made him a dissident, a role he took on more completely when, as part of the Charter 77 movement, he publicly opposed the state, in a course of action that led to his death. (shrink)
Aaron Ancell and Walter Sinnott-Armstrong (A&SA) propose a pragmatic approach to problems arising from conscientious objections in healthcare. Their primary focus is on private healthcare systems like that in the United States. A&SA defend three claims: (i) many conscientious objections in healthcare are morally permissible and should be lawful, (ii) conscientious objections that involve invidious discrimination are morally impermissible, but (iii) even invidiously-discriminatory conscientious objections should not always be unlawful, as there is a better way to protect patient rights. (...) Pursuant to (iii), A&SA propose a framework that legally allows discriminatory conscientious objections, but that shifts the financial costs associated with such objections from patients to the clinics that employ doctors who discriminate against patients. Though their proposal is controversial, it has attractive features, and merits further discussion. In this paper, I remain neutral on the third claim A&SA advance in support of their proposal, but point out a problem with the two first claims. In the light of my criticisms, I propose to modify their proposal so that costs are shifted to clinics in a broader range of cases. (shrink)
A tribute, originally given at David Armstrong's retirement in 1991 as Challis Professor of Philosophy at Sydney University. Stove recalls Armstrong's role in the "Sydney disturbances" of the 1970s when under attack from Marxists.
Inhaltsverzeichnis/Table of Contents: Rudolf HALLER: Zwei Vorworte in einem. Evelyn DÖLLING: Alexius Meinong: "Der blinde Seher Theiresias". Jaakko HINTIKKA: Meinong in a Long Perspective. Richard SYLVAN: Re-Exploring Item-Theory. Francesca MODENATO: Meinong's Theory of Objects: An Attempt at Overcoming Psychologism. Jan WOLE??N??SKI: Ways of Dealing with Non-existence. Karel LAMBERT: Substitution and the Expansion of the World. Terence PARSONS: Meinongian Semantics Generalized. Reinhardt GROSSMANN: Thoughts, Objectives and States of Affairs. Peter SIMONS: Meinong's Theory of Sense and Reference. Barry SMITH: More Things in (...) Heaven and Earth. Michele LENOCI: Meinongs unvollständige Gegenstände und das Universalienproblem. Maria E. REICHER: Gibt es unvollständige Gegenstände? Dale JACQUETTE: Meinong's Concept of Implexive Being and Nonbeing. Herbert HOCHBERG:s, Functions, Existence and Relations in the Russell-Meinong Dispute, the Bradley Paradox and the Realism-Nominalism Controversy. Jacek PA_NICZEK: Are Contradictions Still Lurking in Meinongian Theories of Objects? Marie-Luise SCHUBERT KALSI: Apriorische Elemente im Denken. Liliana ALBERTAZZI: Forms of Completion. Johann Ch. MAREK: Zwei Gegenstände und ein Inhalt. Zur Intentionalität bei Meinong. Wolfgang KÜNNE: Some Varieties of Thinking. Reflections on Meinong and Fodor. Alberto VOLTOLINI: Is Meaning Without Actually Existing Reference Naturalizable? Markus S. STEPANIANS: Russells Kritik an Meinongs Begriff des Annahmeschlusses. Nenad MIŠ_EVI_: Imagination and Necessity. R.D. ROLLINGER: Meinong on Perception: Two Questions Concerning Propositional Seeing. Wolfgang G. STOCK: Die Genese der Theorie der Vorstellungsproduktion der Grazer Schule. Rudolf HALLER: Über Meinongs Wissenschaftstheorie. Alfred SCHRAMM: Meinongs Wahrscheinlichkeit. Karl SCHUHMANN: Der Wertbegriff beim frühen Meinong. Wilhelm BAUMGARTNER: Wertpräsentation. Ursula ZEGLÉN: Meinong's Analysis of Lying. Seppo SAJAMA: Hitting Reality: France Veber's Concept of Zadevanje. Matja_ POTR_: Sensation According to Meinong and Veber. Róbert SOMOS: Zwei Schüler Brentanos: Ákos von Pauler und Meinong. J.C. NYÍRI: Palágyis Kritik an der Gegenstandstheorie. David M. ARMSTRONG: Reaction to Meinong. (shrink)
Walter Sinnott-Armstrong's recent defense of moral skepticism raises the debate to a new level, but I argue that it is unsatisfactory because of problems with its assumption of global skepticism, with its use of the Skeptical Hypothesis Argument, and with its use of the idea of contrast classes and the correlative distinction between "everyday" justification and "philosophical" justification. I draw on Chisholm's treatment of the Problem of the Criterion to show that my claim that I know that, e.g., baby-torture (...) is wrong, is no more question-begging than Sinnott-Armstrong's denial that I know this. (shrink)
Central-state materialism is a very strong, but also very exciting theory of mind according to which each mental state is identical with a state of the central nervous system. CSM thus goes considerably beyond early versions of the identity theory of mind, since those early accounts held only that sensations are to be identified with neural events. CSM, by contrast, is a thesis about all mental states; every mental state is held to be a state of the central nervous system. (...) In fact, as we will see shortly, CSM is an even more sweeping thesis than this formulation of it suggests, since it is not concerned simply with mental states.One prominent defender of CSM, David Armstrong, has maintained that CSM can be established by means of a two-step argument. (shrink)
Philosophical lessons come in many different shapes and sizes. Some lessons are big, some are small. Some lessons go deep and have a big impact, some are shallow and have almost none. Some lessons are not really philosophical at all or would not really be lessons for an audience of academic philosophers. I mention these truisms not to disparage this informative book on 'moral OCD' (moral obsessive-compulsive disorder, or 'Scrupulosity') but rather to emphasize how difficult it can be to discern (...) the book's intended audience, given its interdisciplinary aims and structure. That question is never explicitly addressed (it is admittedly a slim book, slimmer than it appears), but the question has consequences for how to think about the book's ultimate value, and for whom. The book might attract two groups in particular: philosophers working on the nature of responsibility (the subject of the book's longest chapter) and psychiatric researchers or mental health professionals interested in moral philosophy and the philosophy of mental illness. I will return to what moral philosophers can learn from moral OCD, but there will be spoilers. (shrink)
There cannot be a reductive theory of modality constructed from the concepts of sparse particular and sparse universal. These concepts are suffused with modal notions. I seek to establish this conclusion by tracing out the pattern of modal entanglements in which these concepts are involved. In order to appreciate the structure of these entanglements a distinction must be drawn between the lower-order necessary connections in which particulars and universals apparently figure, and higher-order necesary connections. The former type of connection relates (...) specific entities. By contrast, the latter type of connection is unspecific: it relates entities to some others. I argue that whilst there may be techniques that succeed in providing reductive truth conditions for sentences that say particulars and universals figure in lower-order necessary connections, such techniques cannot succeed in providing reductive truth conditions for sentences that say these entities figure in higher-order necessary connections. I conclude that this situation leaves reductionists with a dilemma. If they wish to affirm that there are particulars and universals then the project of reducing modality by positing these entities must be abandoned. Alternatively, they may continue to deploy their usual reductive techniques but then they must abandon the doctrine that there is more than one fundamental category of entity. (shrink)
Presented here is the German translation of Jan Patočka’s fragment Nitro a svět which was written in the 1940s and belongs to the so called „Strahov Papers“. The fragment reflects Patočka’s early attempts towards a thinking of subjectivity and the world. Thereby Patočka’s approach is phenomenological, but also integrates motives of German Idealism. The critical impact of the fragment lies in its orientation against the scientific biologism of its times.
In this article, I will focus on the notion of supervenience introduced and deployed by Armstrong. The aim is to settle the issue of whether it has any fruitful applications. My conclusions are negative. Armstrong gives to his notion of supervenience a major explanatory role of telling why one need not consider certain beings as a genuine ontic expansion, if one already assumes a certain meagre set of more basic entities. On closer inspection, however, Armstrong’s notion does (...) not clarify such intuitions any further. The legitimate uses of the notion for the above purpose turn out to be redundant: the concepts of identity and partial identity can be employed instead. (shrink)
This response to the articles of Luzzati and Broekman (in this issue) addresses principally the character of early rabbinic legal interpretation, as viewed by the Rabbis themselves. It considers, with examples, their concept of "simple meaning'' (peshat), its place within their overall hermeneutic system and its theological presuppositions. The second section responds more briefly to thetheoretical critiques of Luzzati and Broekman, stressing that (my version of) semiotics is descriptive rather than normative; resists the reduction of textual meaning to interpretation; and (...) refuses to equate decision-making with justification. (shrink)
To get distracted, to enclose and to give oneself. The Gesture of Transcendence in Jan Patočka The problem of transcendence can be traced throughout the whole work of Jan Patočka. The appeal to transcend our bonds to mere objectivity is a constant issue of his thought. It finds a new substantiation in the 1960s in his studies focusing on the meaning of the other as human being. The relation to the other person offers a special "occasion" or "place" of transcendence (...) and poses the challenge to transcend one's own particular setting. While in the mid-1960s Patočka maintains his earlier dramatic vocabulary to describe the process of transcendence, in the late 1960s his idiom becomes less vehement. Yet, it is precisely within this more "sober" framework that he symbolizes the process of transcendence with an emphatic turn to a "myth of the divine man" and its key metaphor of resurrection. To transcend means, for Patočka, always to liberate oneself from a state of self-distraction between things. However, in his late lectures, he briefly refers to a deeper layer, suggesting that this self-distraction has its "roots" in a self-enclosure or self-isolation, in the exclusive concentration on our own interests and in the illusion of our self-sufficiency. Transcendence, then, means to overcome this self-enclosure by means of a self-forgetting love. Are these rarely mentioned "roots" perhaps implicitly present in all Patočka's accounts of transcendence? (shrink)