Kris McDaniel argues that there are different ways in which things exist. For instance, past things don't exist in the same way as present things. Numbers don't exist in the same way as physical objects; nor do holes, which are real, but less real than what they are in. McDaniel's theory of being illuminates a wide range of metaphysical topics.
In this paper, I formulate, elucidate, and defend a version of modal realism with overlap, the view that objects are literally present at more than one possible world. The version that I defend has several interesting features: it is committed to an ontological distinction between regions of spacetime and material objects; it is committed to compositional pluralism, which is the doctrine that there is more than one fundamental part-whole relation; and it is the modal analogue of endurantism, which is the (...) doctrine that objects persist through time by being wholly present at each moment they are located. (shrink)
Testemunhos na primeira pessoa dados por quem aceitou recordar os factos, os dramas e os sucessos do tempo de mudança e transformação vertiginosa que constituiu o período de vida do Padre Manuel Antunes, professor que marcou indelevelmente várias gerações.
Johannes von Kries’s Spielraum-theory is regarded as one of the most important philosophical contributions of the nineteenth century to an objective interpretation of probability. This paper aims at a critical and contextual analysis of von Kries’s approach: It is contextual insofar as it reconstructs the Spielraum-theory in the historical setting that formed his scientific and philosophical outlook. It is critical insofar as it unfolds systematic tensions and inconsistencies which are rooted in this context, especially in the grave change of mechanism (...) which took place in the late nineteenth century. In this regard, the paper focuses on von Kries’s understanding of natural laws and nomological knowledge in relation to his concept of objective probability. While the formal approach of the Spielraum-theory—as far as developed by von Kries—seems sound, his epistemological claims with respect to nomological knowledge sustain classical mechanism and are hence difficult to substantiate from the point of view of modern science. (shrink)
It is widely agreed upon that aesthetic properties, such as grace, balance, and elegance, are perceived. I argue that aesthetic properties are experientially attributed to some non‐perceptible objects. For example, a mathematical proof can be experienced as elegant. In order to give a unified explanation of the experiential attribution of aesthetic properties to both perceptible and non‐perceptible objects, one has to reject the idea that aesthetic properties are perceived. I propose an alternative view: the affective account. I argue that the (...) standard case of experiential aesthetic property attribution is affective experience. (shrink)
I argue that extended simples are possible. The argument given here parallels an argument given elsewhere for the claim that the shape properties of material objects are extrinsic, not intrinsic as is commonly supposed. In the final section of the paper, I show that if the shape properties of material objects are extrinsic, the most popular argument against extended simples fails.
This paper has the aim of making Johannes von Kries’s masterpiece, Die Principien der Wahrscheinlichkeitsrechnung of 1886, a little more accessible to the modern reader in three modest ways: first, it discusses the historical background to the book ; next, it summarizes the basic elements of von Kries’s approach ; and finally, it examines the so-called “principle of cogent reason” with which von Kries’s name is often identified in the English literature.
A conception of probability that can be traced back to Johannes von Kries is introduced: the “Spielraum” or range conception. Its close connection to the so-called method of arbitrary functions is highlighted. Possible interpretations of it are discussed, and likewise its scope and its relation to certain current interpretations of probability. Taken together, these approaches form a class of interpretations of probability in its own right, but also with its own problems. These, too, are introduced, discussed, and proposals in response (...) to them are surveyed, some of which also go back to von Kries. (shrink)
Recently, I’ve championed the doctrine that fundamentally different sorts of things exist in fundamentally different ways.1 On this view, what it is for an entity to be can differ across ontological categories.2 Although historically this doctrine was very popular, and several important challenges to this doctrine have been dealt with, I suspect that contemporary metaphysicians will continue to treat this view with suspicion until it is made clearer when one is warranted in positing different modes of existence.3 I address this (...) concern here. The question of when to posit ways of being is closely related to a more general question: when should one think that some philosophically interesting expression is analogous? Accordingly, my strategy here is as follows. First, I briefly explain my interpretation of ontological pluralism, the doctrine that there are ways of being.4 Second, I introduce the notion of an analogous term, and show how, on most ways of implementing ontological pluralism, “existence” is analogous. Third, I discuss two sufficient conditions for when one is warranted in claiming that a philosophically interesting term is analogous. Fourth, I present a series of ontological schemes, each of which satisfies at least one of the sufficient conditions. The upshot is this: if you are attracted to one of these ontologies, you have reason to believe in ways of being. The careful reader will have noted the apparent modesty of my conclusion. Unfortunately, I do not believe that one could ever be rationally required to believe in ways of being. Still, in general a metaphysic is a live option to the extent that it is shown to be rationally permissible to believe. Since the apparent consensus among contemporary analytic metaphysicians is that believing that things can exist in different ways is silly or confused, establishing the rational permissibility of belief in ways of being is a non-trivial task. Let us begin. (shrink)
Let us agree that everything that there is exists, and that to be, to be real, and to exist are one and the same. Does everything that there is exist to the same degree? Or do some things exist more than others? Are there gradations of being? I argue that some entities exist more than others. Moreover, many of the notions in play in contemporary metaphysical discourse, such as fundamentality, perfect naturalness, and grounding ought to be cashed out in terms (...) of degree of existence. (shrink)
In the light of several ongoing antitrust investigations in the E.U. and the U.S., the following research paper analyzes whether ‘big tech’ – same as the big banks – need special regulatory attention and if so, how an updated form of regulatory policy for the digital era could look like. It does so by utilizing – and reviving – the normative and business -ethical ideals of German ‘neoliberalism’, also known as ordoliberalism. Especially, Walter Eucken’s work has the potential to inform (...) and enrich the current debate concerning the regulation of big tech. The main goal of the paper is to outline a potentially new regulatory framework – one that combines Eucken’s ordoliberalism with the competition policy of the European Union. (shrink)
Peter van Inwagen presented a powerful argument against the Principle of Sufficient Reason, which I henceforth abbreviate as ‘PSR’. For decades, the consensus was that this argument successfully refuted PSR. However, now a growing consensus holds that van Inwagen’s argument is fatally flawed, at least when ‘sufficient reason’ is understood in terms of ground, for on this understanding, an ineliminable premiss of van Inwagen’s argument is demonstrably false and cannot be repaired. I will argue that this growing consensus is mistaken (...) and that a powerful argument relevantly similar to van Inwagen’s should still concern us, even when we understand ‘sufficient reason’ in terms of ground. (shrink)
We argue that desire is an attitude that relates a person not to one proposition but rather to two, the first of which we call the object of the desire and the second of which we call the condition of the desire. This view of desire is initially motivated by puzzles about conditional desires. It is not at all obvious how best to draw the distinction between conditional and unconditional desires. In this paper we examine extant attempts to analyse conditional (...) desire. From the failures of those attempts, we draw a moral that leads us to the correct account of conditional desires. We then extend the account of conditional desires to an account of all desires. We attempt to explain the distinction between intrinsic and extrinsic desire in light of our account of desire. We show how to use our account to solve Wollheim’s paradox of democracy and to save modus ponens. Finally, we extend the account of desire to related phenomena, such as conditional promises, intentions, and commands. (shrink)
I am attracted to ontological pluralism, the doctrine that some things exist in a different way than other things.1 For the ontological pluralist, there is more to learn about an object’s existential status than merely whether it is or is not: there is still the question of how that entity exists. By contrast, according to the ontological monist, either something is or it isn’t, and that’s all there is say about a thing’s existential status. We appear to be to be (...) ontological committed to what I will call almost nothings. Examples of almost nothings include holes, cracks, and shadows; almost nothings thrive in the absence of ‘positive’ entities such as donuts, walls, and sunlight. Let’s focus on holes, since the literature on them is voluminous.2 We quantify over holes, and even count them: we say, for example, that there are some holes in the cheese, seven to be precise. We ascribe features to them and talk as though they stand in relations: that hole is three feet wide, much wider than that tire over there. Holes apparently persist through time, as evidenced by the fact that my sweater has the same hole in it as the last time you saw me wear it. We even talk as though holes are causally efficacious: my ankle was badly sprained because I stepped in that hole in the sidewalk.3 It seems then that we believe in holes. If our beliefs are true, holes must enjoy some kind of reality. This puts the ontological monist in an uncomfortable position. According to her, everything that there is enjoys the same kind of reality, which is the kind of reality enjoyed by full-fledged concrete entities such as ourselves. She is committed to the unpleasant claim that holes are just as real as concretia, a claim that is apt to be met with incredulous stares by those not acquainted with contemporary metaphysics. Roy Sorensen (2008, p. 19) notes the tension almost nothings generate for ontological monists: ‘… it feels paradoxical to say that absences exist—but no better to say that absences do not exist’.. (shrink)
Over the last few decades there has been a strong narrative turn within the humanities and social sciences in general and educational studies in particular. Especially Jerome Bruner’s theory of narrative as a specific ‘mode of knowing’ was very important for this growing body of work. To understand how the narrative mode works Bruner proposes to study narratives ‘at their far reach’—as an art form—and on several occasions he refers to the dramatistic pentad as an important method for ‘unpacking’ narratives. (...) The pentad proposed by Bruner to study narratives was developed by the American philosopher and rhetorician Kenneth Burke and is embedded in his general linguistic theory of dramatism. From an educational perspective Bruner’s reference to the work of Burke has not been elaborated upon thus far. In this paper we aim to take Bruner’s suggestion at hand and explore how his educational theory of narrative as a mode of knowing can indeed be enriched by Kenneth Burke’s theory and method of dramatism. We claim that specifically the rhetorical framework that is developed by dramatism offers an important perspective about perspectives for education in a context that is increasingly confronted with a plurality of interpretive frameworks. (shrink)
Friends of states of affairs and structural universals appeal to a relation, structure-making, that is allegedly a kind of composition relation: structure-making ?builds? facts out of particulars and universals, and ?builds? structural universals out of unstructured universals. D. M. Armstrong, an eminent champion of structures, endorses two interesting theses concerning composition. First, that structure-making is a composition relation. Second, that it is not the only (fundamental) composition relation: Armstrong also believes in a mode of composition that he calls mereological, and (...) which he takes to be the only kind of composition recognized by his philosophical adversaries, such as David Lewis. Armstrong, accordingly, is a kind of pluralist about compositional relations: there is more than one way to make wholes from parts. In this paper, I critically evaluate Armstrong's compositional pluralism. (shrink)
The problem of qualitative heterogeneity is to explain how an extended simple can enjoy qualitative variation across its spatial or temporal axes, given that it lacks both spatial and temporal parts. I discuss how friends of extended simples should address the problem of qualitative heterogeneity. I present a series of arguments designed to show that rather than appealing to fundamental distributional properties one should appeal to tiny and short-lived tropes. Along the way, issues relevant to debates about material composition, persistence (...) over time and existence monism are discussed.  . (shrink)
The paper presents a renewed Habermasian view on transnational multi-stakeholder initiatives and assesses the institutional characteristics of the Equator Principles Association from a deliberative democracy perspective. Habermas’ work has been widely adopted in the academic literature on the political responsibilities of corporations, and also in assessing the democratic qualities of MSIs. Commentators, however, have noted that Habermas’ approach relies very much on ‘nation-state democracy’ and may not be applicable to democracy in MSIs—in which nation-states are virtually absent. We argue that (...) Habermas’ detailed conceptualization of the institutionalization of deliberative democracy can be applied to transnational MSIs if these initiatives can be said to have their own ‘dèmoi’ that can be represented in associational decision-making. Therefore, we develop a definition of the dèmos of an MSI based on the notion of collective agency. Subsequently, we explain how Habermas’ approach to democracy can be applied to MSIs and show that it has more to offer than hitherto has been uncovered. Our illustrative analysis of the EPA confirms the criticisms regarding this MSI which have recently been articulated by researchers and practitioners, but also yields new findings and possible avenues for the further development of the EPA: That is, although our assessment suggests that the EPA in its current state is still far from being a democratic MSI, the possibility of a sensible analysis of its democratic character indicates that transnational MSIs can, in principle, help to fill governance gaps in a democratic way. (shrink)
I argue that a solution to puzzles concerning the relationship ofobjects and their properties – a version of the `bundle' theory ofparticulars according to which ordinary objects are mereologicalfusions of monadic and relational tropes – is also a solution topuzzles of material constitution involving the allegedco-location of material objects. Additionally, two argumentsthat have played a prominent role in shaping the current debate,Mark Heller's argument for Four Dimensionalism and Peter vanInwagen's argument against Mereological Universalism, are shownto be unsound given this version (...) of the bundle theory. (shrink)
The debate surrounding ‘big tech’ and antitrust has dominated public policy discourses over the past few years in many parts of the world. Noteworthy is that several countries and regions, including China, the European Union, and the United States, have launched investigations into the allegedly anticompetitive and exclusionary business practices of companies such as Amazon, Apple, Facebook, and Google and their Chinese counterparts, Alibaba and Tencent. This paper builds on the renewed interest in the topic and discusses in detail – (...) and from an ordoliberal perspective – the key characteristics of the digital economy, the business conduct of tech platforms, and the corresponding antitrust concerns, as well as possible reform steps which could help to strengthen modern-day competition law and policy. (shrink)
This article gives a detailed analysis of Nussbaum’s ‘capabilities approach’ and her claim that it is a genuinely Aristotelian contemporary po-litical philosophy. The paper examines how Nussbaum bases her ‘capabilities approach’ on human nature and questions her assertion that both Aristotle’s account of human nature and her own approach are not metaphysical. In order to analyze the normative dimension of Nussbaum’s ‘capabilities approach’, this article focuses on Aristotle’s doctrine of distributive justice and equality. It shows how Nussbaum adopts and modifies (...) this doctrine in an egalitarian way and demonstrates that her reading and appropriation of it is problematic. With reference to contemporary literature on Aristotle’s Politics, the article criticizes how Nussbaum assimilates Aristotle’s political philosophy into modern values and notions, laying out six primary reasons supporting the thesis that Nussbaum’s ‘capabilities approach’ cannot be regarded as an Aristotelian one. (shrink)
Conceptual engineering means to provide a method to assess and improve our concepts working as cognitive devices. But conceptual engineering still lacks an account of what concepts are (as cognitive devices) and of what engineering is (in the case of cognition). And without such prior understanding of its subject matter, or so it is claimed here, conceptual engineering is bound to remain useless, merely operating as a piecemeal approach, with no overall grip on its target domain. The purpose of this (...) programmatic paper is to overcome this knowledge gap by providing some guidelines for developing the theories of concepts and of cognition that will ground the systematic unified framework needed to effectively implement conceptual engineering as a widely applicable method for the cognitive optimization of our conceptual devices. (shrink)
In our research and teaching we explore the value and the place of rhetoric in education. From a theoretical perspective we situate our work in different disciplines, inspired by major ‘turns’: linguistic, cultural, anthropological/ethnographic, interpretive, semiotic, narrative, literary, rhetorical etc. In this article we engage in the discussion about what all these turns might entail for education by elaborating on what it implies to read the world as a ‘text'—as is central in a semiotic approach—and by introducing new rhetoric in (...) general, and the work of the literary critic and rhetorician Kenneth Burke in particular, as a possible theoretical and methodological resource. We illustrate its application in the analysis of a fictional narrative. Our aim is to explore how an understanding of education as rhetoric can be integrated into the teacher education curriculum. (shrink)
My reading of Tuvel’s defense of transracialism focuses on her critiques of three main objections to a transracial identity. Tuvel attempts to show how her defense of transracialism stands in the face of these objections. However, I argue that her position is not sufficiently immune to them. In other words, my response delineates the ways in which all three objections remain, and effectively undermine her argument in favor of transracial identities. Additionally, through the question of white allyship, I ask about (...) the moral and political consequences of choosing to identify as transracial. I show that, without a clear account of what an existential choice of racial transitioning implies for allyship across race, Tuvel does not sufficiently establish the differences between the historical constitutions of racialized and sexualized identities. In failing to engage with these moral/political implications, Tuvel’s position does not address the complex relationship between individual agency and collective accountability. (shrink)
The rise of foundational dualism and the eclipse of the body -- "Body am I entirely, and nothing else": non-reductive materialism and the struggle against dualism -- Toward a materialist phenomenology of religion -- The phenomenology of embodiment and the study of religion -- Religious bodies as social artifacts -- Holding social constructionism in check: the recovery of the active, lived body -- A cultural neurophenomenology of religion: enter the embodied mind -- The eclipse of practice: textualism at large -- (...) "Ceci n'est pas un texte": from textualism to practice -- Expanding the conversation on emplaced religion -- Mobility, networks, and ecology. (shrink)
Heidegger distinguishes between things that are present-at-hand and things that are ready-to-hand. I argue that, in Heidegger, this distinction is between two sets of entities rather than between two ways of considering one and the same set of entities. I argue that Heidegger ascribes distinct temporal, essential, and phenomenological properties to these two different kinds of entities.