The subject of this paper is objectivity from Kant's point of view: or better, my own perspective on Kant's perspective on objectivity. More precisely, I want to draw attention to some aspects of the latter, which I believe are too narrow and must be widened before we can benefit from a Kantian approach today.
In this article Roberto Balzani, the mayor of Forlì, remembers Roberto Ruffilli, 25 years after his murder. The remembrance reconstructs the steps of his academic career and of his political commitment. Ruffilli graduated at the Catholic University of Milan; his researches in contemporary history placed him in an original position if compared with the Italian studies of the time. The constant attention towards the history of administration and the transformations of the state is the basis on which Ruffilli (...) built his proposals concerning the reform of the insitutional and political system. Balzani concludes the article by affirming that the problems of today aren't any different, that is why Ruffilli's proposals still demonstrate their modernity. (shrink)
This paper presents a semantical analysis of the Weak Kleene Logics Kw3 and PWK from the tradition of Bochvar and Halldén. These are three-valued logics in which a formula takes the third value if at least one of its components does. The paper establishes two main results: a characterisation result for the relation of logical con- sequence in PWK – that is, we individuate necessary and sufficient conditions for a set.
This article aims to review the standard objections to dualism and to argue that will either fail to convince someone committed to dualism or are flawed on independent grounds. I begin by presenting the taxonomy of metaphysical positions on concrete particulars as they relate to the dispute between materialists and dualists, and in particular substance dualism is defined. In the first section, several kinds of substance dualism are distinguished and the relevant varieties of this kind of dualism are selected. The (...) remaining sections are analyses of the standard objections to substance dualism : It is uninformative, has troubles accounting for soul individuation, causal pairing and interaction, violates laws of physics, is made implausible by the development of neuroscience and it postulates entities beyond necessity. I conclude that none of these objections is successful. (shrink)
In this paper I address two important objections to the theory called ‘ Composition as Identity’ : the ‘wall-bricks-and-atoms problem’, and the claim that CAI entails mereological nihilism. I aim to argue that the best version of CAI capable of addressing both problems is the theory I will call ‘Atomic Composition as Identity’ which consists in taking the plural quantifier to range only over proper pluralities of mereological atoms and every non-atomic entity to be identical to the plurality of atoms (...) it fuses. I will proceed in three main steps. First, I will defend Sider’s Composition as identity. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 211–221, 2014) idea of weakening the comprehension principle for pluralities and I will show that :219–235, 2016a) it can ward off both the WaBrA problem and the threat of mereological nihilism. Second, I will argue that CAI-theorists should uphold an ‘atomic comprehension principle’ which, jointly with CAI, entails that there are only proper pluralities of mereological atoms. Finally, I will present a novel reading of the ‘one of’ relation that not only avoids the problems presented by Yi Composition as identity. Oxford University Press, Oxford, pp 169–191, 2014) and Calosi :429–443, 2016b, Am Philos Q 55:281–292, 2018) but can also help ACAI-theorists to make sense of the idea that a composite entity is both one and many. (shrink)
Decision Theory and Rationality offers a challenging new interpretation of a key theoretical tool in the human and social sciences. This accessible book argues, contrary to orthodoxy in politics, economics, and management science, that decision theory cannot provide a theory of rationality.
According to ‘Strong Composition as Identity’, if an entity is composed of a plurality of entities, it is identical to them. As it has been argued in the literature, SCAI appears to give rise to some serious problems which seem to suggest that SCAI-theorists should take their plural quantifier to be governed by some ‘weak’ plural comprehension principle and, thus, ‘exclude’ some kinds of pluralities from their plural ontology. The aim of this paper is to argue that, contrary to what (...) may appear at first sight, the assumption of a weak plural comprehension principle is perfectly compatible with plural logic and the common uses of plural quantification. As I aim to show, SCAI-theorists can simply claim that their theory must be understood as formulated by means of the most ‘joint-carving’ plural quantifier, thus leaving open the possibility of other, less joint-carving, ‘unrestricted’ plural quantifiers. In the final part of the paper I will also suggest that SCAI-theorists should not only allow for singular quantification over pluralities of entities, but also for plural quantification over ‘super-pluralities’ of entities. (shrink)
Roughly speaking, classical statistical physics is the branch of theoretical physics that aims to account for the thermal behaviour of macroscopic bodies in terms of a classical mechanical model of their microscopic constituents, with the help of probabilistic assumptions. In the last century and a half, a fair number of approaches have been developed to meet this aim. This study of their foundations assesses their coherence and analyzes the motivations for their basic assumptions, and the interpretations of their central concepts. (...) The most outstanding foundational problems are the explanation of time-asymmetry in thermal behaviour, the relative autonomy of thermal phenomena from their microscopic underpinning, and the meaning of probability. A more or less historic survey is given of the work of Maxwell, Boltzmann and Gibbs in statistical physics, and the problems and objections to which their work gave rise. Next, we review some modern approaches to (i) equilibrium statistical mechanics, such as ergodic theory and the theory of the thermodynamic limit; and to (ii) non-equilibrium statistical mechanics as provided by Lanford's work on the Boltzmann equation, the so-called Bogolyubov-Born-Green-Kirkwood-Yvon approach, and stochastic approaches such as `coarse-graining' and the `open systems' approach. In all cases, we focus on the subtle interplay between probabilistic assumptions, dynamical assumptions, initial conditions and other ingredients used in these approaches. (shrink)
Roberto Esposito is one of leading figures in a new generation of Italian philosophers. This book criticizes the notion of the person and develops an original account of the concept of the impersonal - what he calls the third person.
Confirmation of a hypothesis by evidence can be measured by one of the so far known incremental measures of confirmation. As we show, incremental measures can be formally defined as the measures of confirmation satisfying a certain small set of basic conditions. Moreover, several kinds of incremental measure may be characterized on the basis of appropriate structural properties. In particular, we focus on the so-called Matthew properties: we introduce a family of six Matthew properties including the reverse Matthew effect; we (...) further prove that incremental measures endowed with reverse Matthew effect are possible; finally, we shortly consider the problem of the plausibility of Matthew properties. (shrink)
In this article, Roberto Esposito lays out the genealogical pathways linking the three major concepts around which his most recent work has wound its way: community, immunity, and biopolitics. Although immunity is necessary to the preservation of our life, when driven beyond a certain threshold it forces life into a sort of cage where not only our freedom gets lost but also the very meaning of our existence – that opening of existence outside itself that takes the name of (...) communitas. A hermeneutics informed by immunity can allow the category of community to regain a new political significance, without ending up in a substantialist metaphysics. This task is dictated by the urgent need for an affirmative biopolitics – a horizon of meaning – in which life would no longer be the object but somehow the subject of politics. But what sort of shape would this take? Where would we trace its symptoms? And with what objectives? A preliminary answer focuses on breaking the vise grip between public and private that threatens to crush the common, by seeking instead to expand the space of the common, in the fight, for example, against the planned privatization of water and the battle over energy sources. (shrink)
The aim of this article is to analyse the relation between the second law of thermodynamics and the so-called arrow of time. For this purpose, a number of different aspects in this arrow of time are distinguished, in particular those of time-reversal (non-)invariance and of (ir)reversibility. Next I review versions of the second law in the work of Carnot, Clausius, Kelvin, Planck, Gibbs, Caratheodory and Lieb and Yngvason, and investigate their connection with these aspects of the arrow of time. It (...) is shown that this connection varies a great deal along with these formulations of the second law. According to the famous formulation by Planck, the second law expresses the irreversibility of natural processes. But in many other formulations irreversibility or even time-reversal non-invariance plays no role. I therefore argue for the view that the second law has nothing to do with the arrow of time. (shrink)
As the worlds of economics, politics, culture, and communications face a growing wave of globalization that will likely continue, ethical challenges for journalists have also gone global. I propose a clear division between ethics codes for media owners, the public, and professional journalists and present a set of considerations and specific rules applicable only to the last group. In this article I advocate a universal code of journalistic ethics but point out problems and warn against dangers that have made the (...) application of such codes difficult in the past. A universal code should consider the voluntary nature of such an endeavor, the cultural and economic differences in various journalistic traditions, and the problem of producing solutions acceptable to all involved. (shrink)
The target article by Locke & Bogin (L&B) focuses on the evolution of language as a communicative tool. They neglect, however, that from infancy onwards humans have the ability to go beyond successful behaviour and to reflect upon language (and other domains of knowledge) as a problem space in its own right. This ability is not found in other species and may well be what makes humans unique.
Roberto Esposito has extended the deconstructive theory of the gift into political philosophy, theorizing the gift as the transcendental form of political obligation. In Esposito's philosophy of communitas, the munus consists of the single obligation to give, a logic of donors without receivers, yet it simultaneously establishes relations of reciprocity, mutuality, debt and gratitude. I argue that that indebtedness and reciprocity are not logically possible in a gift system where donors are bound by the single obligation to give, as (...) the donor has no other and the gift no recipient. These inconsistencies may be addressed by distinguishing two forms of gift in communitas: the impersonal gift characterized solely by the obligation to give to the gods/communitas and the reciprocal gift characterized by the obligations to give, receive and return the gift. Esposito's philosophy of communitas would additionally be strengthened by conceptualizing symbolic practices, specifically collective representations, as intrinsic to the munus. As impersonal gift, the munus is a symbolic practice through which the members of communitas represent to themselves their being-in-common. The munus operates as a vertical relation of expenditure made possible by the collective representation of the political we. The reciprocal gift, in contrast, constitutes differentiated social ties and networks: the being-in-difference of communal life. The distinction between the impersonal and the reciprocal gift gives rise to a minimal division between the political and the communal within the transcendental structure of communitas. (shrink)
In this paper, I propose a new nonconceptual reading of the B-Deduction. As Hanna correctly remarks :399–415, 2011: 405), the word “cognition” has in both editions of the first Critique a wide sense, meaning nonconceptual cognition, and a narrow meaning, in Kant’s own words “an objective perception”. To be sure, Kant assumes the first meaning to account for why the Deduction is unavoidable. And if we take this meaning as a premise of the B-Deduction, then there is a gap in (...) the argument since the categories are certainly not conditions for non-conceptual cognition. Still, I believe it is not this wide meaning but rather the narrow one that figures in any premise of the B-Deduction. Thus, in the reading that I am proposing, categories are not conditions for representing something, or even conditions for representing something objectively. Instead, they are conditions for the recognition that what we represent through the senses exists mind-independently. In the first step of the B-Deduction, this cognition in the narrow sense takes the form of the propositional thinking that the nonconceptually represented object of the sensible intuition exists objectively. In contrast, in the second step of the B-Deduction, this cognition in the narrow sense takes the form of the apprehension of what our human senses represent nonconceptually as existing objectively. (shrink)
This article underlines and draws attention to critical insights Esposito makes regarding the prospects of rethinking community in a globalized world. Alongside Agamben and Nancy, Esposito challenges the property prejudice found in mainstream models of community. In identity politics, collective identity is converted into a form of communal property. Borders, sovereign territories, and exclusive rights are fiercely defended in the name of communal property. Esposito responds to this problem by developing what I call a “deontological communal contract” where being and (...) ethics are prioritized over having and economics. I examine this new perspective on community in relation to mainstream models found in contemporary and classical social theory. (shrink)
This paper outlines a framework of the temporal interpretation in Chinese with a special focus on complement and relative clauses. It argues that not only does Chinese have no morphological tenses but there is no need to resort to covert semantic features under a tense node in order to interpret time in Chinese. Instead, it utilises various factors such as the information provided by default aspect, the tense-aspect particles, and pragmatic reasoning to determine the temporal interpretation of sentences. It is (...) shown that aspectual markers in Chinese play the same role that tense plays in a tense language. This result implies that the Chinese phrase structure has AspP above VP but no TP is above AspP. (shrink)
Although argumentation plays an essential role in our lives, there is no integrated area of research on the psychology of argumentation. Instead research on argumentation is conducted in a number of separate research communities that are spread across disciplines and have only limited interaction. With a view to bridging these different strands, we first distinguish between three meanings of the word ?argument?: argument as a reason, argument as a structured sequence of reasons and claims, and argument as a social exchange. (...) All three meanings are integral to a complete understanding of human reasoning and cognition. Cognitive psychological research on argumentation has focused mostly on the first and second of these meanings, so we present perspectives on argumentation from outside of cognitive psychology, which focus on the second and third. Specifically, we give anoverview of the methods, goals, and disciplinary backgrounds of research on the production, the analysis, and the evaluation of arguments. Finally, inintroducing the experimental studies included in this special issue, which were conducted by researchers from a range of theoretical backgrounds, weunderline the breadth of argumentation research as well as stress opportunities for mutual awareness and integration. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThe ability of providing an adequate supervenience base for tensed truths may seem to be one of the main theoretical advantages of both the growing-block and the moving-spotlight theory of time over presentism. However, in this paper I will argue that some propositions appear to be as problematic for growing-block theorists as past-directed propositions are for presentists, namely propositions stating that nothing will be the case in the future. Furthermore, I will show that the moving-spotlight theory can adequately address all (...) the main supervenience challenges that can be levelled against A-theories of time. I will, thus, conclude that, at least as far as the supervenience principle is concerned, the moving-spotlight theory should be preferred over both presentism and the growing-block theory. (shrink)
This paper is concerned with certain ontological issues in the foundations of geographic representation. It sets out what these basic issues are, describes the tools needed to deal with them, and draws some implications for a general theory of spatial representation. Our approach has ramifications in the domains of mereology, topology, and the theory of location, and the question of the interaction of these three domains within a unified spatial representation theory is addressed. In the final part we also consider (...) the idea of non-standard geographies, which may be associated with geography under a classical conception in the same sense in which non-standard logics are associated with classical logic. (shrink)
ABSTRACTIn everyday situations, people regularly receive information from large groups of people and from single experts. Although lay opinions and expert opinions have been studied extensively in isolation, the present study examined the relationship between the two by asking how many laypeople are needed to counter an expert opinion. A Bayesian formalisation allowed the prescription of this quantity. Participants were subsequently asked to assess how many laypeople are needed in different situations. The results demonstrate that people are sensitive to the (...) relevant factors identified for determining how many lay opinions are required to counteract a single expert opinion. People's assessments were fairly good in line with Bayesian predictions. (shrink)
This paper gives an analysis of the Chinese distributivity marker dou 'all', which can occur not only with definite plural NPs but also with NPs whose determiner is a quantifier word such as mei 'every' or dabufen-de 'most'. Besides normal distributive predicates, it can also occur with certain types of collective predicates. The difficulties of giving a compositional interpretation to constructions of these kinds are discussed in detail. I show that we can solve those difficulties if we treat dou as (...) a generalized distributivity marker in the sense of Schwarzschild (1991, 1996), which distributes over the members of a plurality cover. Apart from the above topic, which is more narrowly a semantics topic, this paper also discusses some syntax-semantics interface issues related to the distribution of dou's associates. (shrink)
Theo AF Kuipers THE THREEFOLD EVALUATION OF THEORIES A SYNOPSIS OF FROM INSTRUMENTALISM TO CONSTRUCTIVE REALISM. ON SOME RELATIONS BETWEEN CONFIRMATION, EMPIRICAL PROGRESS, AND TRUTH APPROXIMATION (2000) ABSTRACT.
What is the relationship between persons and things? And how does the body transform this relationship? In this highly original new book, Roberto Esposito - one of Italy’s leading political philosophers - considers these questions and shows that starting from the body, rather than from the thing or the person, can help us to reconsider the status of both. Ever since its beginnings, our civilization has been based on a strict, unequivocal distinction between persons and things, founded on the (...) instrumental domination of persons over things. This opposition arose out of ancient Roman law and persisted throughout modernity, to take its place in our current global market, where it continues to generate growing contradictions. Although the distinction seems to appear clear and necessary to us, what we are continually witnessing in legal, economic, and technological practice is a reversal of perspectives: some categories of persons are becoming assimilated with things, while some types of things are taking on a personal profile. With his customary rigour, Roberto Esposito argues that there exists an escape route out of this paradox, constituted by a new point of view founded in the body. Neither a person nor a thing, the human body becomes the decisive element in rethinking the concepts and values that govern our philosophical, legal, and political lexicons. (shrink)
In order to protect patients against medical paternalism, patients have been granted the right to respect of their autonomy. This right is operationalized first and foremost through the phenomenon of informed consent. If the patient withholds consent, medical treatment, including life-saving treatment, may not be provided. However, there is one proviso: The patient must be competent to realize his autonomy and reach a decision about his own care that reflects that autonomy. Since one of the most important patient rights hinges (...) on the patient's competence, it is crucially important that patient decision making incompetence is clearly defined and can be diagnosed with the greatest possible degree of sensitivity and, even more important, specificity. Unfortunately, the reality is quite different. There is little consensus in the scientific literature and even less among clinicians and in the law as to what competence exactly means, let alone how it can be diagnosed reliably. And yet, patients are deemed incompetent on a daily basis, losing the right to respect of their autonomy. In this article, we set out to fill that hiatus by beginning at the very beginning, the literal meaning of the term competence. We suggest a generic definition of competence and derive four necessary conditions of competence. We then transpose this definition to the health care context and discuss patient decision making competence. (shrink)
Are verbal reports of disgust in moral situations specific indicators of the concept of disgust, or are they used metaphorically to refer to anger? In this experiment, participants read scenarios describing a violation of a norm either about the use of the body (bodily moral) or about harm and rights (socio-moral). They then expressed disgust and anger on verbal scales, and through facial expression endorsement measures. The use of disgust words in the socio-moral condition was largely predicted by anger words (...) and only secondarily by disgust faces, whereas in the bodily moral condition the use of disgust words was predicted to a similar extent by disgust faces and anger words. Angry faces, however, never predicted disgust words independently of anger words. These results support a middle-ground position in which disgust words concerning socio-moral violations are not entirely a metaphor for anger, but bear some relationship to other representations of disgust. In the case of socio-moral violations, however, the use of disgust language is more strongly related to anger language, and less strongly to facial representations of disgust than in the case of bodily moral violations. (shrink)