_ Source: _Page Count 28 This paper develops four proposals for explicating the notion of an ersatz part. It then evaluates each proposal with respect to a number of jobs for which ersatz parts are posited. We argue that each of the four notions of ersatz parthood do better with respect to some jobs, and worse with respect to others. Thus, we think, it’s horses for courses: which notion of ersatz part one chooses will be sensitive to which metaphysical project (...) one is pursuing. (shrink)
This paper develops four proposals for explicating the notion of an ersatz part. It then evaluates each proposal with respect to a number of jobs for which ersatz parts are posited. We argue that each of the four notions of ersatz parthood do better with respect to some jobs, and worse with respect to others. Thus, we think, it’s horses for courses: which notion of ersatz part one chooses will be sensitive to which metaphysical project one is pursuing.
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The debate about concepts has always been shaped by a contrast between subjectivism, which treats them as phenomena in the mind or head of individuals, and objectivism, which insists that they exist independently of individual minds. The most prominent contemporary version of subjectivism is Fodor's RTM. The Fregean charge against subjectivism is that it cannot do justice to the fact that different individuals can share the same concepts. Proponents of RTM have accepted shareability as a ‘non-negotiable constraint’. At the same (...) time they insist that by distinguishing between sign-types and – tokens the Fregean objection cannot just be circumvented but revealed to be fallacious. My paper rehabilitates the Fregean argument against subjectivism. The RTM response rests either on an equivocation of ‘concept’—between types which satisfy the non-negotiable constraint and tokens which are mental particulars in line with RTM doctrine—or on the untenable idea that one and the same entity can be both a shareable type and hence abstract and a concrete particular in the head. Furthermore, subjectivism cannot be rescued by adopting unorthodox metaphysical theories about the type/token and universal/particular contrasts. The final section argues that concepts are not representations or signs, but something represented by signs. Even if RTM is right to explain conceptual thinking by reference to the occurrence of mental representations, concepts themselves cannot be identical with such representations. (shrink)
After reading the careful, thoughtful, carefully circumscribed scholarship that characterizes the study of argumentation, I can’t help but think that the study of visual argument might be, at least some of the time, a MacGuffin. That label comes from Alfred Hitchcock and now is enshrined in the lore of cinematic composition: the MacGuffin is a device whose presence motivates dramatic action yet proves to be “nothing” , whether trivial or unknowable or nonexistent. In like manner, the visual image has provided (...) the occasion for renewed exploration of what had been thought to be familiar terrain, and often to resolve the mystery on behalf of the assurance of a known world regained.If one were to protest that many disciplines have their MacGuffins, I would agree. Hans Blumenberg has had the audacity to suggest that in the philosophy of being, Being itself is the MacGuffin . He then pushes the point: it is crucial to the enterprise that the object of inqu .. (shrink)
In the winter of 1807, while Berlin was occupied by French troops, the philosopher Johann Gottlieb Fichte presented fourteen public lectures that have long been studied as a major statement of modern nationalism. Yet Fichte's _Addresses to the German Nation_ have also been interpreted by many as a vision of a cosmopolitan alternative to nationalism. This new edition of the _Addresses_ is designed to make Fichte's arguments more accessible to English-speaking readers. The clear, readable, and reliable translation is accompanied (...) by a chronology of the events surrounding Fichte's life, suggestions for further reading, and an index. The groundbreaking introductory essay situates Fichte's theory of the nation state in the history of modern political thought. It provides historians, political theorists, and other students of nationalism with a fresh perspective for considering the interface between cosmopolitanism and republicanism, patriotism and nationalism. (shrink)
Episodic memory has been analyzed in a number of different ways in both philosophy and psychology, and most controversy has centered on its self-referential,autonoeticcharacter. Here, we offer a comprehensive characterization of episodic memory in representational terms and propose a novel functional account on this basis. We argue that episodic memory should be understood as a distinctive epistemic attitude taken toward an event simulation. In this view, episodic memory has a metarepresentational format and should not be equated with beliefs about the (...) past. Instead, empirical findings suggest that the contents of human episodic memory are often constructed in the service of the explicit justification of such beliefs. Existing accounts of episodic memory function that have focused on explaining its constructive character through its role in future-oriented mental time travel do justice neither to its capacity to ground veridical beliefs about the past nor to its representational format. We provide an account of the metarepresentational structure of episodic memory in terms of its role in communicative interaction. The generative nature of recollection allows us to represent and communicate the reasons why we hold certain beliefs about the past. In this process, autonoesis corresponds to the capacity to determine when and how to assert epistemic authority in making claims about the past. A domain where such claims are indispensable are human social engagements. Such engagements commonly require the justification of entitlements and obligations, which is often possible only by explicit reference to specific past events. (shrink)
Johann Gottfried von Herder (1744-1803) is one of the most important German philosophers of the eighteenth century, who had enormous influence on later thinkers such as Hegel, Schleiermacher and Nietzsche. His wide-ranging ideas were formative in the development of linguistics, hermeneutics, anthropology and bible scholarship, and even today they retain their vitality and relevance to an extraordinary degree. This volume presents a new translation of Herder's most important and characteristic philosophical writings (some of which have never before been translated) (...) in his areas of central interest, including philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, philosophy of history and political philosophy, as well as his general philosophical program. An introduction sets the writings in their historical context and examines their philosophical achievement. (shrink)