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.
The subject of this essay is political, and therefore social, philosophy; and therefore, ethics. We want to know whether the right thing for a society to do is to incorporate in its structure requirements that we bring about equality, or liberty, or both if they are compatible, and if incompatible then which if either, or what sort of mix if they can to some degree be mixed. But this fairly succinct statement of the issue before us requires considerable clarification, even (...) as a statment of the issue. For it is widely, and in my view correctly, held that some sort of equality is utterly fundamental in these matters. We seek a principle, or principles, that apply to all, are the same for all. In that sense, certainly, equality is fundamental and inescapable. But this is a very thin sort of “equality.” It will almost equally widely be agreed that the principles in question should in some more interesting sense “treat” people equally, e.g., by allotting to all the same set of rights, and moreover, rights that are – again we have to say “in some sense” – nonarbitrary, so that whatever they are, persons of all races, sexes, and so on will have the same fundamental rights assigned to them. Taking this to be, again, essentially uncontroversial, though not without potentially worrisome points of unclarity, it needs, now, to be pointed out that this characterization does not settle the issue that this essay is concerned with. That issue is about economic matters in particular. (shrink)
Jan Sprenger and Stephan Hartmann offer a fresh approach to central topics in philosophy of science, including causation, explanation, evidence, and scientific models. Their Bayesian approach uses the concept of degrees of belief to explain and to elucidate manifold aspects of scientific reasoning.
Multi-modal versions of propositional logics S5 or S4—commonly accepted as logics of knowledge—are capable of describing static states of knowledge but they do not reflect how the knowledge changes after communications among agents. In the present paper (part of broader research on logics of knowledge and communications) we define extensions of the logic S5 which can deal with public communications. The logics have natural semantics. We prove some completeness, decidability and interpretability results and formulate a general method that solves certain (...) kind of problems involving public communications—among them well known puzzles of Muddy Children and Mr. Sum & Mr. Product. As the paper gives a formal logical treatment of the operation of restriction of the universe of a Kripke model, it contributes also to investigations of semantics for modal logics. (shrink)
The main argument of this paper is concerned with a formal recognition of difference, namely recognition of the value of a culture for the other. Axel Honneth makes a distinction between three types of recognition: love, respect and social esteem. Recognition of cultural difference is situated in the third sphere. There are two problems with his proposals. In the first place he constructs appreciation for cultural difference as a moral imperative in the form of 'solidarity'. When it comes to normative (...) demands in the third sphere of recognition, our alternative is hermeneutic openness. In the second place, formal respect in Honneth's scheme is solely the universal recognition of personal autonomy and its preconditions. But the logic of a recognition of cultural difference, also asks for a non-evaluative recognition, a respect for difference. Differencerespect cannot be reduced to personal autonomy, but is oriented towards another dimension of the human condition, what we call social ties. By recognising the moral importance both of personal autonomy and of social ties, we do not have to surrender to the reductive bent in modern moral philosophy. Will Kymlicka's proposals for that matter are not fully convincing. (shrink)
Modern societies are characterized by a division of epistemic labor between laypeople and epistemic authorities. Authorities are often far more competent than laypeople and can thus, ideally, inform their beliefs. But how should laypeople rationally respond to an authority’s beliefs if they already have beliefs and reasons of their own concerning some subject matter? According to the standard view, the beliefs of epistemic authorities are just further, albeit weighty, pieces of evidence. In contrast, the Preemption View claims that, when one (...) discovers what an authority believes, it is not permissible to rely on any of one’s own reasons concerning the subject matter. The original version of this view, as proposed by Linda Zagzebski, has recently been severely criticized for recommending blind trust and for abandoning even minimal standards for critical thinking. In our paper, we defend a new version of the Preemption View—Defeatist Preemptionism—in a way that differs radically from Zagzebski’s. We argue that our view can be derived from certain widely accepted general epistemic principles. In particular, we claim that preemption can be identified as a special case of source sensitive defeat. Moreover, we argue that Defeatist Preemptionism does not lead to the undesirable consequences that critics ascribe to the Preemption View. The paper thus articulates the foundations and refinements of the Preemption View, such that it adequately captures the phenomenon of epistemic authority and the rational requirements related to it. (shrink)
This paper describes the work of the Polish logician Jan Kalicki (1922?1953). After a biographical introduction, his work on logical matrices and equational logic is appraised. A bibliography of his papers and reviews is also included.
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)
Why are conditional degrees of belief in an observation E, given a statistical hypothesis H, aligned with the objective probabilities expressed by H? After showing that standard replies are not satisfactory, I develop a suppositional analysis of conditional degree of belief, transferring Ramsey’s classical proposal to statistical inference. The analysis saves the alignment, explains the role of chance-credence coordination, and rebuts the charge of arbitrary assessment of evidence in Bayesian inference. Finally, I explore the implications of this analysis for Bayesian (...) reasoning with idealized models in science. (shrink)
This text addresses a problem that is not sufficiently dealt with in most of the recent literature on emotion and feeling. The problem is a general underestimation of the extent to which affective intentionality is essentially bodily. Affective intentionality is the sui generis type of world-directedness that most affective states – most clearly the emotions – display. Many theorists of emotion overlook the extent to which intentional feelings are essentially bodily feelings. The important but quite often overlooked fact is that (...) the bodily feelings in question are not the regularly treated, non-intentional bodily sensations (known from Jamesian accounts of emotion), but rather crucial carriers of world-directed intentionality. Consequently, most theories of human emotions and feelings recently advocated are deficient in terms of phenomenological adequacy. This text tries to make up for this deficit and develops a catalogue of five central features of intentional bodily feelings. In addition, Jesse Prinz’s embodied appraisal theory is criticized as an exemplary case of the misconstrual of the bodily nature of affective experience in naturalistic philosophy of mind. (shrink)
The world we live in is unjust. Preventable deprivation and suffering shape the lives of many people, while others enjoy advantages and privileges aplenty. Cosmopolitan responsibility addresses the moral responsibilities of privileged individuals to take action in the face of global structural injustice. Individuals are called upon to complement institutional efforts to respond to global challenges, such as climate change, unfair global trade, or world poverty. Committed to an ideal of relational equality among all human beings, the book discusses the (...) impact of individual action, the challenge of special obligations, and the possibility of moral overdemandingness in order to lay the ground for an action-guiding ethos of cosmopolitan responsibility. This thought-provoking book will be of interest to any reflective reader concerned about justice and responsibilities in a globalised world. Jan-Christoph Heilinger is a moral and political philosopher. He teaches at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität, Munich, Germany, and at Ecole normale supérieure, Port-au-Prince, Haiti. (shrink)
A unifying framework of probabilistic reasoning Content Type Journal Article Category Book Review Pages 1-4 DOI 10.1007/s11016-011-9573-x Authors Jan Sprenger, Tilburg Center for Logic and Philosophy of Science, Tilburg University, P.O. Box 90153, 5000 LE Tilburg, The Netherlands Journal Metascience Online ISSN 1467-9981 Print ISSN 0815-0796.
Scholars from all the continents have written articles to celebrate the seventieth birthday of Jan Srzednicki, a thinker still at the height of his powers. Born in Warsaw on 24 April 1993, Jan Srzednicki divided his energies between his philosophical studies at the University of Warsaw and his service in the underground army. In 1944 he was caught up in the dramatic attempt to liberate Warsaw from the Nazis. Srzednicki's scientific work alternates between problems of Austrian and German philosophy and (...) questions of political philosophy. The papers published in this volume discuss topics of general philosophy, in the clear and deep style both of Srzednicki's own philosophical work and of the Authors investigated in his writings. The topics developed pertain to the fields of epistemology and of logic and philosophy of logic. (shrink)
As the theory of the atom, quantum mechanics is perhaps the most successful theory in the history of science. It enables physicists, chemists, and technicians to calculate and predict the outcome of a vast number of experiments and to create new and advanced technology based on the insight into the behavior of atomic objects. But it is also a theory that challenges our imagination. It seems to violate some fundamental principles of classical physics, principles that eventually have become a part (...) of western common sense since the rise of the modern worldview in the Renaissance. So the aim of any metaphysical interpretation of quantum mechanics is to account for these violations. (shrink)
The article focuses on the report of the International Workshop on “17th Century Polish Jesuits in China: Michal Boym, Jan Mikolaj Smogulecki, and Andrzej Rudomina” held at the University School of Philosophy and Education in Poland organized by the Monumenta Serica Institute. The author focuses on the Chinese philosophy lecture by Professor Shi Yunli about the influence of Smogulecki on Xue Fengzou, Chinese culture and science and their work on astrology and astronomy.
Biologists and philosophers of science have recently called for an extension of evolutionary theory. This so-called ‘extended evolutionary synthesis’ seeks to integrate developmental processes, extra-genetic forms of inheritance, and niche construction into evolutionary theory in a central way. While there is often agreement in evolutionary biology over the existence of these phenomena, their explanatory relevance is questioned. Advocates of EES posit that their perspective offers better explanations than those provided by ‘standard evolutionary theory’. Still, why this would be the case (...) is unclear. Usually, such claims assume that EES’s superior explanatory status arises from the pluralist structure of EES, its different problem agenda, and a growing body of evidence for the evolutionary relevance of developmental phenomena. However, what is usually neglected in this debate is a discussion of what the explanatory standards of EES actually are, and how they differ from prevailing standards in SET. In other words, what is considered to be a good explanation in EES versus SET? To answer this question, we present a theoretical framework that evaluates the explanatory power of different evolutionary explanations of the same phenomena. This account is able to identify criteria for why and when evolutionary explanations of EES are better than those of SET. Such evaluations will enable evolutionary biology to find potential grounds for theoretical integration. (shrink)
Is knowledge-how, or “practical” knowledge, a species of knowledge-that, or “theoretical” knowledge? There is no comfortable position to take in the debate around this question. On the one hand, there are counterexamples against the anti-intellectualist thesis that practical knowledge is best analysed as an ability. They show that having an ability to ϕ is not necessary for knowing how to ϕ. On the other hand, the intellectualist analysis of practical knowledge as a subspecies of theoretical knowledge is threatened by its (...) own set of counterexamples, which convincingly establish that practical knowledge lacks many of the typical characteristics of theoretical knowledge. Most strikingly it does not even appear to require a belief. In this paper, I develop an account of practical knowledge that avoids these counterexamples. It also manages to preserve both the status of such knowledge as a cognitive achievement and its apparently close conceptual relation to abilities. I start with the counterexamples against the necessity of abilities for practical knowledge and show that they fail because they underestimate the cognitive demands of attempts. I then make use of the logic of dispositions to bridge the gap that counterexamples against the necessity of abilities for practical knowledge open. It is argued that, instead of the ability to ϕ, it is a specific disposition to have the ability to ϕ that constitutes practical knowledge about ϕ. The resulting theory is an anti-intellectualist position that preserves essential intellectualist motivations and thus should be satisfactory for proponents of both views. (shrink)
The contemporary situation within the realm of ethical theories is quite complicated. Were it not enough that many classical ethical theories are evolving into the new modern forms, new types of ethical theories are arising, as well. The main aim of the paper is to introduce this issue of ethical theories which are known under the term hybrid ethical theories. A secondary aim of the paper is to describe and characterize the contemporary ethical theory of ethics of social consequences, and (...) look for the answer whether it can be an example of this type of theory. To achieve the scope, the paper begins with a short introduction into the issue of contemporary consequentialism, followed by a presentation of the concept of hybrid ethical theories and its examples. Later the variability of consequentialism and ethics of social consequences are presented. The normative basis of this theory is subsequently analysed and explored in the context of hybrid ethical theories. Finally, the study clarify that the ethics of social consequences might be considered as a hybrid ethical theory. (shrink)
In this paper, I provide some evidence for the view that a common charge against those who adopt vegetarianism is that they would be sentimental. I argue that this charge is pressed frequently by those who adopt moral absolutism, a position that I reject, before exploring the question if vegetarianism might make sense. I discuss three concerns that might motivate those who adopt vegetarian diets, including a concern with the human health and environmental costs of some alternative diets, a concern (...) about inflicting pain on animals, and a concern with the killing of animals. While I argue that vegetarianism does not make sense in some situations, I hope that this paper shows that there are many good reasons why the adoption of vegetarian, and—even more so—vegan diets might be appropriate in some situations. In carving out this position, I focus primarily on the question whether a morally relevant distinction between the killing of plants and the killing of animals should be made. I engage primarily with the views of two of the most prominent authors on this issue, arguing that neither Peter Singer nor Tom Regan provide a satisfactory account on the ethics of killing nonhuman organisms. Two views are challenged in particular, the view that relatively simple animals such as molluscs, as well as plants, lack awareness, and the view that animals without a preference to continue living stand to lose little or nothing by being killed. I provide some evidence to support the claim that many share my view that it is more problematic to kill animals than to kill plants, before analyzing why some suppress the negative feelings they associate with killing animals. By exploring these issues I hope to shed some light on the issue of whether the feelings of those who adopt vegetarianism are sentimental or make sense, and to stimulate reflection amongst those with an interest in food ethics. (shrink)
Aggregation in moral philosophy calls for the summing or averaging of values or utilities as a guide to individual behavior. But morality, it is argued, needs to be individualistic, in view of the evident separateness of persons, especially given the great disparities among individuals who nevertheless interact with each other in social life. The most plausible general moral program is the classical liberal one calling for mutual noninterference rather than treating others as equal to oneself in point of demands on (...) our action. Why, then, would we ever aggregate? The reason is that we are affected by behavior that has general effects, especially unintended side effects, on all sorts of people among whom we ourselves are often to be found. When we are randomly situated among such groups—as we sometimes are and often are not—minimizing aggregate harm is the plausible strategy, and sometimes promoting aggregate benefit as well. (shrink)