Straipsnyje nagrinėjama analitinės kalbos ir mokslo filosofijos raida Lietuvoje. Konstatuojama, kad analitinė filosofija Lietuvoje pradėta plėtoti XX amžiaus aštuntajame dešimtmetyje, kai Evaldas Nekrašas ir Rolandas Pavilionis paskelbė savo pirmųjų mokslo filosofijos ir kalbos filosofijos tyrinėjimų, kuriuose remiamasi analitine tradicija, rezultatus. Straipsnyje analizuojami jų ir kitų tyrėjų, kurie rėmėsi ta pačia tradicija, pirmiausia Algirdo Degučio ir Albino Plėšnio darbai. Analitinė filosofija buvo pirmoji nemarksistinės filosofijos kryptis, pradėta plėtoti pokarinėje Lietuvoje, todėl aštuntajame ir devintajame dešimtmečiuose ji atliko svarbų vaidmenį plečiant šalyje filosofinių (...) tyrinėjimų tematiką ir keičiant jų metodologinius pagrindus. Nors pastaruoju metu jos įtaka Lietuvos filosofijoje kiek sumažėjo, ji aiškiai juntama kai kuriuose pastarojo meto darbuose, kuriuose nagrinėjamos sąmonės filosofijos, priežastingumo, humanitarinių ir socialinių mokslų metodologijos problemos. Ji padarė nemažą poveikį ir pozityvizmo raidos bei politinės filosofijos problemų tyrimui. Pagrindiniai žodžiai: Lietuvos filosofija, analitinė filosofija, kalbos filosofija, mokslo filosofija, pozityvizmas. (shrink)
Jonas Olson presents a critical survey of moral error theory, the view that there are no moral facts and so all moral claims are false. Part I explores the historical context of the debate; Part II assesses J. L. Mackie's famous arguments; Part III defends error theory against challenges and considers its implications for our moral thinking.
Moral particularism is commonly presented as an alternative to ‘principle- or rule-based’ approaches to ethics, such as consequentialism or Kantianism. This paper argues that particularists' aversions to consequentialism stem not from a structural feature of consequentialism per se, but from substantial and structural axiological views traditionally associated with consequentialism. Given a particular approach to value, there need be no conflict between moral particularism and consequentialism. We consider and reject a number of challenges holding that there is after all such a (...) conflict. We end by suggesting that our proposed position appears quite appealing since it preserves attractive elements from particularism as well as consequentialism. (shrink)
Jonas Olson writes that "a plausible moral error theory must be an error theory about all irreducible normativity". I agree. But unlike Olson, I think we cannot believe this error theory. I first argue that Olson should say that reasons for belief are irreducibly normative. I then argue that if reasons for belief are irreducibly normative, we cannot believe an error theory about all irreducible normativity. I then explain why I think Olson's objections to this argument fail. I end (...) by showing that Olson cannot defend his view as a partly revisionary alternative to an error theory about all irreducible normativity. (shrink)
Eric Santner offers a radically new interpretation of Marx's labor theory of value as one concerned with the afterlife of political theology in secular modernity. What Marx characterized as the dual character of the labor embodied in the commodity, he argues, is the doctrine of the King's Two Bodies transferred from the political theology of sovereignty to the realm of political economy. This genealogy, leading from the fetishism of the royal body to the fetishism of the commodity, also suggests a (...) new understanding of the irrational core at the center of economic busyness today, its 24/7 pace. The frenetic negotiations of our busy-bodies continue and translate into the doxology of everyday life the liturgical labor that once sustained the sovereign's glory. Maintaining that an effective critique of capitalist political economy must engage this liturgical dimension, Santner proposes a counter-activity, which he calls "paradoxological." With commentaries by Bonnie Honig, Peter Gordon, and Hent de Vries, an introduction by Kevis Goodman, and a response from Santner, this important new book by a leading cultural theorist and scholar of German literature, cinema, and history will interest readers of political theory, literature and literary theory, and religious studies. (shrink)
Can art, religion, or philosophy afford ineffable insights? If so, what are they? The idea of ineffability has puzzled philosophers from Laozi to Wittgenstein. In Ineffability and its Metaphysics: The Unspeakable in Art, Religion and Philosophy, Silvia Jonas examines different ways of thinking about what ineffable insights might involve metaphysically, and shows which of these are in fact incoherent. Jonas discusses the concepts of ineffable properties and objects, ineffable propositions, ineffable content, and ineffable knowledge, examining the metaphysical pitfalls (...) involved in these concepts. Ultimately, she defends the idea that ineffable insights as found in aesthetic, religious, and philosophical contexts are best understood in terms of self-acquaintance, a particular kind of non-propositional knowledge. Ineffability as a philosophical topic is as old as the history of philosophy itself, but contributions to the exploration of ineffability have been sparse. The theory developed by Jonas makes the concept tangible and usable in many different philosophical contexts. (shrink)
Experiences—visual, emotional, or otherwise—play a role in providing us with justification to believe claims about the world. Some accounts of how experiences provide justification emphasize the role of the experiences’ distinctive phenomenology, i.e. ‘what it is like’ to have the experience. Other accounts emphasize the justificatory role to the experiences’ etiology. A number of authors have used cases of cognitively penetrated visual experience to raise an epistemic challenge for theories of perceptual justification that emphasize the justificatory role of phenomenology rather (...) than etiology. Proponents of the challenge argue that cognitively penetrated visual experiences can fail to provide the usual justification because they have improper etiologies. However, extant arguments for the challenge’s key claims are subject to formidable objections. In this paper, I present the challenge’s key claims, raise objections to previous attempts to establish them, and then offer a novel argument in support of the challenge. My argument relies on an analogy between cognitively penetrated visual and emotional experiences. I argue that some emotional experiences fail to provide the relevant justification because of their improper etiologies and conclude that analogous cognitively penetrated visual experiences fail to provide the relevant justification because of their etiologies, as well. (shrink)
My aim in this essay is largely defensive. I aim to discuss some problems for moral error theory and to offer plausible solutions. A full positive defense of moral error theory would require substantial investigations of rival metaethical views, but that is beyond the scope of this essay. I will, however, try to motivate moral error theory and to clarify its commitments. Moral error theorists typically accept two claims – one conceptual and one ontological – about moral facts. The conceptual (...) claim is that moral facts are or entail facts about categorical reasons (and correspondingly that moral claims are or entail claims about categorical reasons); the ontological claim is that there are no categorical reasons – and consequently no moral facts – in reality. I accept this version of moral error theory and I try to unpack what it amounts to in Section 2.1 In the course of doing so I consider two preliminary objections: that moral error theory is (probably) false because its implications are intuitively unacceptable (what I call the Moorean objection) and that the general motivation for moral error theory is self-undermining in that it rests on a hidden appeal to norms. The above characterization seems to entail the standard formulation of moral error theory, according to which first-order moral claims are uniformly false. Critics have argued that the standard formulation is incoherent since – by the law of excluded middle – the negation of a false claim is true. Hence if ‘Torture is wrong’ is false, ‘Torture is not wrong’ is true. Contrary to what moral error theorists contend, then, moral error theory seems to carry first-order moral implications that by the theory’s own lights are uniformly false. In Section 3 I suggest a formulation that is consistent with the standard formulation of moral error theory, free of first-order moral implications, and subject to no logical difficulties. In Section 4 I consider and rebut Stephen Finlay’s recent attack on moral error theory. According to Finlay the conceptual claim is false because all moral claims – and indeed all normative claims – are, or should be understood as, relativized to some moral standard or system of ends. Moral error theorists thus attribute to ordinary speakers an error that simply isn’t there. I argue that Finlay’s view has some very implausible implications and that it does not avoid commitment to various forms of error theory. This becomes especially clear when we focus on fundamental moral claims. In Section 5 I consider the worry that error theorists’ rejection of categorical reasons proves too much; in particular, the worry that error theorists’ qualms about categorical reasons apply equally to claims about hypothetical reasons, that is, claims to the effect that there is reason to take the means to one’s ends. In my view error theorists such as Mackie and Joyce have failed to pay due consideration to this problem. What the challenge establishes, I submit, is that error theorists cannot just take for granted that hypothetical reasons are metaphysically unproblematic; they must offer an account of hypothetical reasons that shows that they are. I argue that the only plausible account available to error theorists is one according to which claims about hypothetical reasons reduce to non-normative claims about relations between means and ends. (shrink)
The debate on the ethical aspects of moral bioenhancement focuses on the desirability of using biomedical as opposed to traditional means to achieve moral betterment. The aim of this paper is to systematically review the ethical reasons presented in the literature for and against moral bioenhancement.
Jonas Olson defends a moral error theory in (2014). I will first argue that Olson is not justified in believing the error theory as opposed to moral nonnaturalism in his own opinion. I will then argue that Olson is not justified in believing the error theory as opposed to moral contextualism either (although the latter is not a matter of his own opinion).
According to T.M. Scanlon's buck-passing account of value, to be valuable is not to possess intrinsic value as a simple and unanalysable property, but rather to have other properties that provide reasons to take up an attitude in favour of their owner or against it. The 'wrong kind of reasons' objection to this view is that we may have reasons to respond for or against something without this having any bearing on its value. The challenge is to explain why such (...) reasons are of the wrong kind. This is what I set out to do, after illustrating the objection more thoroughly. (shrink)
Does Kant hold that we can have intuitions independently of concepts? A striking passage from § 13 of the Critique of Pure Reason appears to say so explicitly. However, it also conjures up a scenario where the categories are inapplicable to objects of intuition, a scenario presumably shown impossible by the following Transcendental Deduction. The seemingly non-conceptualist claim concerning intuition have therefore been read, by conceptualist interpreters of Kant, as similarly counterpossible. I argue that the passage in question best supports (...) an underappreciated middle position where intuition requires a pre-conceptual use of the understanding. Such pre-conceptual use of the understanding faces both textual and systematic objections. I show that these objections can be rebutted. (shrink)
This paper questions the adequacy of the explicit cancellability test for conversational implicature as it is commonly understood. The standard way of understanding this test relies on two assumptions: first, that that one can test whether a certain content is conversationally implicated, by checking whether that content is cancellable, and second, that a cancellation is successful only if it results in a felicitous utterance. While I accept the first of these assumptions, I reject the second one. I argue that a (...) cancellation can succeed even if it results in an infelicitous utterance, and that unless we take this possibility into account we run the risk of misdiagnosing philosophically significant cases. (shrink)
This paper concerns how extant theorists of predictive coding conceptualize and explain possible instances of cognitive penetration. §I offers brief clarification of the predictive coding framework and relevant mechanisms, and a brief characterization of cognitive penetration and some challenges that come with defining it. §II develops more precise ways that the predictive coding framework can explain, and of course thereby allow for, genuine top-down causal effects on perceptual experience, of the kind discussed in the context of cognitive penetration. §III develops (...) these insights further with an eye towards tracking one extant criterion for cognitive penetration, namely, that the relevant cognitive effects on perception must be sufficiently direct. Throughout these discussions, we extend the analyses of the predictive coding models, as we know them. So one open question that surfaces is how much of the extended analyses are genuinely just part of the predictive coding models, or something that must be added to them in order to generate these additional explanatory benefits. In §IV, we analyze and criticize a claim made by some theorists of predictive coding, namely, that (interesting) instances of cognitive penetration tend to occur in perceptual circumstances involving substantial noise or uncertainty. It is here that our analysis is most critical. We argue that, when applied, the claim fails to explain (or perhaps even be consistent with) a large range of important and uncontroversially interesting possible cases of cognitive penetration. We conclude with a general speculation about how the recent work on the predictive mind may influence the current dialectic concerning top-down effects on perception. (shrink)
Although Goethe s Morphology drew little notice from natural scientists, his way of conceptualizing the innumerable forms that occur in nature as organic variations of a few basic archetypes was received with immediate interest by scholars in the humanities. This volume compiles studies on Droysen, Dilthey, Simmel, and Wittgenstein, who relied on Goethe s Morphology trying to master a modern age experienced as increasingly confusing.".
_ Source: _Volume 13, Issue 4, pp 397 - 402 Moral error theorists and moral realists agree about several disputed metaethical issues. They typically agree that ordinary moral judgments are beliefs and that ordinary moral utterances purport to refer to moral facts. But they disagree on the crucial ontological question of whether there are any moral facts. Moral error theorists hold that there are not and that, as a consequence, ordinary moral beliefs are systematically mistaken and ordinary moral judgments uniformly (...) untrue. Perhaps because of its kinship with moral realism, moral error theory is often considered the most notorious of moral scepticisms. While the view has been widely discussed, it has had relatively few defenders. _Moral Error Theory: History, Critique, Defence_ examines the view from a historical as well as a contemporary perspective, and purports to respond to some of its most prominent challenges. This précis is a brief summary of the book’s content. (shrink)
The first decade of event-related potential (ERP) research had established that the most consistent correlates of the onset of visual consciousness are the early visual awareness negativity (VAN), a posterior negative component in the N2 time range, and the late positivity (LP), an anterior positive component in the P3 time range. Two earlier extensive reviews ten years ago had concluded that VAN is the earliest and most reliable correlate of visual phenomenal consciousness, whereas LP probably reflects later processes associated with (...) reflective/access consciousness. This article provides an update to those earlier reviews. ERP and MEG studies that have appeared since 2010 and directly compared ERPs between aware and unaware conditions are reviewed, and important new developments in the field are discussed. The result corroborates VAN as the earliest and most consistent signature of visual phenomenal consciousness, and casts further doubt on LP as an ERP correlate of phenomenal consciousness. (shrink)
The article deals with present day challenges related to the employ of technology in order to reduce the exposition of the human being to the risks and vulnerability of his or her existential condition. According to certain transhumanist and posthumanist thinkers, as well as some supporters of human enhancement, essential features of the human being, such as vulnerability and mortality, ought to be thoroughly overcome. The aim of this article is twofold: on the one hand, we wish to carry out (...) an enquiry into the ontological and ethical thinking of Hans Jonas, who was among the first to address these very issues with great critical insight; on the other hand, we endeavour to highlight the relevance of Jonas’ reflections to current challenges related to bioscience and biotechnological progress. In this regard, we believe that the transcendent and metaphysical relevance of the «image of man» introduced by Jonas is of paramount importance to understand his criticism against those attempts to ameliorate the human being by endangering his or her essence. (shrink)
Let intentionalism be the view that what proposition is expressed in context by a sentence containing indexicals depends on the speaker’s intentions. It has recently been argued that intentionalism makes communicative success mysterious and that there are counterexamples to the intentionalist view in the form of cases of mismatch between the intended interpretation and the intuitively correct interpretation. In this paper, I argue that these objections can be met, once we acknowledge that we may distinguish what determines the correct interpretation (...) from the evidence that is available to the audience, as well as from the standards by which we judge whether or not a given interpretation is reasonable. With these distinctions in place, we see that intentionalism does not render communicative success mysterious, and that cases of mismatch between the intended interpretation and the intuitively correct one can easily be accommodated. The distinction is also useful in treating the Humpty Dumpty problem for intentionalism, since it turns out that this can be treated as an extreme special case of mismatch. (shrink)
According to the communication desideratum (CD), a notion of semantic content must be adequately related to communication. In the recent debate on indexical reference, (CD) has been invoked in arguments against the view that intentions determine the semantic content of indexicals and demonstratives (intentionalism). In this paper, I argue that the interpretations of (CD) that these arguments rely on are questionable, and suggest an alternative interpretation, which is compatible with (strong) intentionalism. Moreover, I suggest an approach that combines elements of (...) intentionalism with other subjectivist approaches, and discuss the role of intuitions in developing and evaluating theories of indexical reference. (shrink)
Trevor Teitel has recently argued that combining the assumption that modality reduces to essence with the assumption that possibly some objects contingently exist leads to problems if one wishes to uphold that the logic of metaphysical modality is S5. In this paper I will argue that there is a way for the essentialist to evade the problem described by Teitel. The proposed solution crucially involves the assumption that some propositions possibly fail to exist. I will show how this assumption affords (...) a motivated contingentist response to Teitel’s argument. (shrink)
Recognizing yourself in literature cannot only help you to get a clearer grasp of what you already think and feel. It can also deeply unsettle your vision of yourself. This article examines a hitherto neglected mechanism to this effect: learning by way of seeing yourself in others’ blindness. I show that In Search of Lost Time epitomizes this phenomenon. Confronting characters oblivious to their old age makes the protagonist realize that he, too, has aged without noticing it, and invites readers (...) to analogous insights. The paper contributes to the discussion on how you can learn from literature and adds a twist to Proust’s claim that the purpose of literature is that readers recognize themselves in it. (shrink)
Reality is hierarchically structured, or so proponents of the metaphysical posit of grounding argue. The less fundamental facts obtain in virtue of, or are grounded in, the more fundamental facts. But what exactly is it for one fact to be more fundamental than another? The aim of this paper is to provide a measure of relative fundamentality. I develop and defend an account of the metaphysical hierarchy that assigns to each fact a set of ordinals representing the levels on which (...) it occurs. The account allows one to compare any two facts with respect to their fundamentality and it uses immediate grounding as its sole primitive. In the first section, I will set the stage and point to some shortcomings of a rival account proposed by Karen Bennett. The second section will present my own proposal and the third section will discuss how it can be extended to non-foundationalist settings. The fourth section discusses potential objections. (shrink)
This paper seeks to challenge the long-standing interpretation of the ius vitae necisque as a formal legal right of Roman fathers. It offers a review and critique of the evidence upon which the claim of ancient origin is founded and highlights the consequent problems in comprehending late Republican and Imperial references to the killing of sons by fathers. An alternative and more satisfactory understanding is to be found in sociological thinking and it is argued that the comprehension of the ius (...) vitae necisque as a formal right is not only invalid but obscures the real significance of its promotion as a political phenomenon in the age of Augustus and the early emperors of Rome. (shrink)
Nonrelativistic quantum mechanics (QM) works perfectly well for all practical purposes. Once one admits, however, that a successful scientific theory is supposed not only to make predictions but also to tell us a story about the world in which we live, a philosophical problem emerges: in the specific case of QM, it is not possible to associate with the theory a unique scientific image of the world; there are several images. The fact that the theory may be compatible with distinct (...) ontologies, and that those ontologies may themselves be associated with a plurality of metaphysical approaches, gives rise to the problem of metaphysical underdetermination. This paper concludes that the available metametaphysical criteria fail to deliver objectivity in theory choice, and it puts forward its own criterion based on a tension between two methods of metaphysical inquiry: one that is closely related to science and another that is not. (shrink)
Ontic Structural Realism is a version of realism about science according to which by positing the existence of structures, understood as basic components of reality, one can resolve central difficulties faced by standard versions of scientific realism. Structures are invoked to respond to two important challenges: one posed by the pessimist meta-induction and the other by the underdetermination of metaphysics by physics, which arises in non-relativistic quantum mechanics. We argue that difficulties in the proper understanding of what a structure is (...) undermines the realist component of the view. Given the difficulties, either realism should be dropped or additional metaphysical components not fully endorsed by science should be incorporated. (shrink)
The so-called Wrong Kind of Reason (WKR) problem for Scanlon's account of value has been much discussed recently. In a recent issue of Utilitas Gerald Lang provides a highly useful critique of extant proposed solutions to the WKR problem and suggests a novel solution of his own. In this note I offer a critique of Lang's solution and respond to some criticisms Lang directs at a Brentano-style approach suggested by Sven Danielsson and me.