Aristotle ’s claim that we become virtuous by doing virtuous actions raises a familiar problem: How can we perform virtuous actions unless we are already virtuous? I reject deflationary accounts of the answer given in _Nicomachean Ethics_ 2.4 and argue instead that proper habituation involves doing virtuous actions with the right motive, i.e. for the sake of the noble, even though learners do not yet have virtuous dispositions. My interpretation confers continuity to habituation and explains in a non-mysterious way how (...) we become virtuous by doing virtuous actions in the right way. (shrink)
This book presents a novel interpretation of Aristotle's account of how shame instils virtue, and defends its philosophical import. Shame is shown to provide motivational continuity between the actions of the learners and the virtuous dispositions that they will eventually acquire.
Some presuppositions are easier to cancel than others in embedded contexts. This contrast has been used as evidence for distinguishing two fundamentally different kinds of presuppositions, ‘soft’ and ‘hard’. ‘Soft’ presuppositions are usually assumed to arise in a pragmatic way, while ‘hard’ presuppositions are thought to be genuine semantic presuppositions. This paper argues against such a distinction and proposes to derive the difference in cancellation from inherent differences in how presupposition triggers interact with the context: their focus sensitivity, anaphoricity, and (...) question–answer congruence properties. The paper also aims to derive the presuppositions of additive particles such as too, also, again, and of it-clefts. (shrink)
The central idea behind this paper is that presuppositions of soft triggers arise from the way our attention structures the informational content of a sentence. Some aspects of the information conveyed are such that we pay attention to them by default, even in the absence of contextual information. On the other hand, contextual cues or conversational goals can divert attention to types of information that we would not pay attention to by default. Either way, whatever we do not pay attention (...) to, be it by default, or in context, is what ends up presupposed by soft triggers. This paper attempts to predict what information in the sentence is likely to end up being the main point (i.e. what we pay attention to) and what information is independent from this, and therefore likely presupposed. It is proposed that this can be calculated by making reference to event times. The notion of aboutness used to calculate independence is based on that of Demolombe and Fariñas del Cerro (In: Holdobler S (ed) Intellectics and computational logic: papers in honor of Wolfgang Bibel, 2000). (shrink)
This paper examines a little studied type of perspective shift that I call protagonist projection, following Holton :625–628, 1997). PP is a way of describing the mental state of a protagonist that conveys, to some extent, her perspective. Similarly to its better known cousin free indirect discourse, the shift in perspective is achieved without an overt operator. Unlike FID, PP is not based on a presumed speech-act of a protagonist. Rather, it gives a linguistic form to pre-verbal perceptual content, sensations, (...) feelings or implicit beliefs. I propose to analyse PP in a bi-contextual framework, extending Eckardt’s approach to FID. Under the resulting analysis, FID and PP are two instances of a more general category of perspective shift. (shrink)
Are occurrent states of forgetting literal experiences of absences? I situate this question within the debate on mental time travel (MTT) to understand whether these states can be explained as literal experiences of absent episodic memories. To frame my argument, I combine Barkasi and Rosen’s literal approach to MTT with Farennikova’s literal approach to the perception of absences, showing that both are built on the idea that for an experience to be literal it must afford an unmediated contact with the (...) object that constitutes it. I test the idea that forgetting affords literal experiences of mnemonic absences by considering different views of absence perception and I evaluate whether the objections raised against Farennikova’s approach also apply to my exploratory idea. I show that, while the idea resists the objections that an advocate of a cognitive approach to mnemonic absences may raise, the same does not apply to those elaborated by advocates of a metacognitive approach. Even if conceiving of occurrent states of forgetting as literal experiences of mnemonic absences sounds appealing, this idea is misleading. Therefore, I suggest conceiving of occurrent states of forgetting as states with metacognitive features, which track the absence of episodic memories from awareness in an affectively mediated way. (shrink)
This paper proposes a new explanation for the oddness of presuppositional and negative islands, as well as the puzzling observation that these islands can be obviated by certain quantificational elements. The proposal rests on two independently motivated assumptions: (i) the idea that the domain of manners contains contraries and (ii) the notion that degree expressions range over intervals. It is argued that, given these natural assumptions, presuppositional and negative islands are predicted to lead to a presupposition failure in any context.
The purpose of this essay is to address the problem of the relationship between translation and art by relying on F. Hölderlin’s and W. Benjamin’s theories of trans- lation. These theories, which at first appear to be opposed, are actually very close since they discuss both art and translation as marked by a linguistic and theoretical renunciation. In the first section, I demonstrate in what sense this relationship is fundamental for an aesthetic consideration of translation. The second section discusses the (...) two main reasons for the divergence between art and translation, focusing especially on the philosophical limitations of Hölderlin’s theory as indicated in Benjamin’s The task of the translator. In the third section, I deal with the commonalities of the two theories, which are both marked by the notion of lin- guistic failure. I argue that Benjamin’s juvenile essay On language as such can be approached from a confrontation with Hölderlin’s lyric Patmos. In the fourth and last section, I conclude that the concept of the linguistic renunciation can mark both Hölderlin’s and Benjamin’s theories of translation. I finally argue that renun- ciation can be attributed to both art and translation, which are therefore inti- mately related critical activities. (shrink)
In this paper we introduce two issues relevantly related to the cognitive phenomenology debate, which, to our minds, have not been yet properly addressed: the relation between access and phenomenal consciousness in cognition and the relation between conscious thought and inner speech. In the first case, we ask for an explanation of how we have access to thought contents, and in the second case, an explanation of why is inner speech so pervasive in our conscious thinking. We discuss the prospects (...) of explanation for both sides of the debate and argue that cognitive phenomenology defenders are in an overall advantageous position. We also propose an account of inner speech that differs from other influential explanations in some interesting respects. (shrink)
In this volume, we have chosen to highlight the importance of education to human rights by reprinting two articles written by Paulo Freire in 1970 for the _Harvard Educational Review_. These articles contain many of Freire's original ideas on human rights and education—issues that are central to his work. Freire was a pioneer in promoting the universal right to education and literacy as part of a commitment to people's struggle against oppression. As Jerome Bruner recognized after Freire's death in May (...) 1997, Freire left as a legacy his commitment to basic human rights: "He was a brave man as well as a far-sighted one. He made us aware of our mindless cruelties, and now the challenge to all of us is to do something about those cruelties.". (shrink)
There is currently a consensus among comparative psychologists that nonhuman animals are capable of some forms of mindreading. Several philosophers and psychologists have criticized this consensus, however, arguing that there is a “logical problem” with the experimental approach used to test for mindreading in nonhuman animals. I argue that the logical problem is no more than a version of the general skeptical problem known as the theoretician’s dilemma. As such, it is not a problem that comparative psychologists must solve before (...) providing evidence for mindreading. (shrink)
ABSTRACTFinance may suffer from institutional deformations that subordinate its distinctive goods to the pursuit of external goods, but this should encourage attempts to reform the institutionalization of finance rather than to reject its potential for virtuous business activity. This article argues that finance should be regarded as a domain-relative practice. Alongside management, its moral status thereby varies with the purposes it serves. Hence, when practitioners working in finance facilitate projects that create common goods, it allows them to develop virtues. This (...) argument applies MacIntyre’s widely acknowledged account of the relationship between practices and the development of virtues while questioning some of his claims about finance. It also takes issue with extant accounts of particular financial functions that have failed to identify the distinctive goods of financial practice. (shrink)
The purpose of this essay is to address the problem of the relationship between translation and art by relying on F. Hölderlin’s and W. Benjamin’s theories of translation. These theories, which at first appear to be opposed, are actually very close since they discuss both art and translation as marked by a linguistic and theoretical renunciation. In the first section, I demonstrate in what sense this relationship is fundamental for an aesthetic consideration of translation. The second section discusses the two (...) main reasons for the divergence between art and translation, focusing especially on the philosophical limitations of Hölderlin’s theory as indicated in Benjamin’s The task of the translator. In the third section, I deal with the commonalities of the two theories, which are both marked by the notion of linguistic failure. I argue that Benjamin’s juvenile essay On language as such can be approached from a confrontation with Hölderlin’s lyric Patmos. In the fourth and last section, I conclude that the concept of the linguistic renunciation can mark both Hölderlin’s and Benjamin’s theories of translation. I finally argue that renunciation can be attributed to both art and translation, which are therefore intimately related critical activities. (shrink)
This article presents two ways of contributing to the debate on cognitive phenomenology. First, it is argued that cognitive attitudes have a specific phenomenal character or attitudinal cognitive phenomenology and, second, an element in cognitive experiences is described, i.e., the horizon of possibilities, which arguably gives us more evidence for cognitive phenomenology views.
In what ways and how far does virtue shield someone against suffering evils? In other words, how do non-moral evils affect the lives of virtuous people and to what extent can someone endure evils while staying happy? The central purpose of this chapter is to answer these questions by exploring what Aristotle has to say about the effects of evils in human well-being in general and his treatment of extreme misfortunes.
The article addresses the problem of disability in the context of reproductive decisions based on genetic information. It poses the question of whether selective procreation should be considered as a moral obligation of prospective parents. To answer this question, a number of different ethical approaches to the problem are presented and critically analysed: the utilitarian; Julian Savulescu's principle of procreative beneficence; the rights-based. The main thesis of the article is that these approaches fail to provide any appealing principles on which (...) reproductive decisions should be based. They constitute failures of imagination which may result in counter-intuitive moral judgments about both life with disability and genetic selection. A full appreciation of the ethical significance of recognition in procreative decisions leads to a more nuanced and morally satisfying view than other leading alternatives presented in the article. (shrink)
This paper explores the relation of thought and the stream of consciousness in the light of an ontological argument raised against cognitive phenomenology views. I argue that the ontological argument relies on a notion of ‘processive character’ that does not stand up to scrutiny and therefore it is insufficient for the argument to go through. I then analyse two more views on what ‘processive character’ means and argue that the process-part account best captures the intuition behind the argument. Following this (...) view, I reconstruct the ontological argument and argue that it succeeds in establishing that some mental episodes like judging, understanding and occurrent states of thought do not enter into the stream but fails to exclude episodes like entertaining. Contrary to what it might seem, this conclusion fits well with cognitive phenomenology views, given that, as I show, there is a way for non-processive mental episodes to be fundamentally related to processive ones, such that they cannot be excl.. (shrink)
L'etica, secondo Wittgenstein, ha a che fare con la mostrazione di un modo di vivere, inteso vuoi come disposizione complessiva del soggetto, vuoi come "habitus". In questo libro, Marta Cassina ripercorre le forme di questa mostrazione nell'opera del filosofo, argomentando, in primo luogo, che il modo di vivere indicato nel "Tractatus" come il contrassegno indicibile della vita giusta e felice debba essere compreso, man mano che il pensiero di Wittgenstein matura, come un "fare" e un uso condiviso della vita; (...) che questo uso, inoltre, possa essere letto nelle sue implicazioni teoretiche e nella maniera della sua genesi attraverso le "lenti" della credenza religiosa e della grammatica del voto di fede. (shrink)
Cancer research is experiencing ‘paradigm instability’, since there are two rival theories of carcinogenesis which confront themselves, namely the somatic mutation theory and the tissue organization field theory. Despite this theoretical uncertainty, a huge quantity of data is available thanks to the improvement of genome sequencing techniques. Some authors think that the development of new statistical tools will be able to overcome the lack of a shared theoretical perspective on cancer by amalgamating as many data as possible. We think instead (...) that a deeper understanding of cancer can be achieved by means of more theoretical work, rather than by merely accumulating more data. To support our thesis, we introduce the analytic view of theory development, which rests on the concept of plausibility, and make clear in what sense plausibility and probability are distinct concepts. Then, the concept of plausibility is used to point out the ineliminable role played by the epistemic subject in the development of statistical tools and in the process of theory assessment. We then move to address a central issue in cancer research, namely the relevance of computational tools developed by bioinformaticists to detect driver mutations in the debate between the two main rival theories of carcinogenesis. Finally, we briefly extend our considerations on the role that plausibility plays in evidence amalgamation from cancer research to the more general issue of the divergences between frequentists and Bayesians in the philosophy of medicine and statistics. We argue that taking into account plausibility-based considerations can lead to clarify some epistemological shortcomings that afflict both these perspectives. (shrink)
This paper aims to differentiate between lying and irony, typically addressed independently by philosophers and linguists, as well as to discuss the cases when deception co-occurs with, and capitalises on, irony or metaphor. It is argued that the focal distinction can be made with reference to Grice’s first maxim of Quality, whose floutings lead to overt untruthfulness, and whose violations result in covert untruthfulness. Both types of untruthfulness are divided into explicit and implicit subtypes depending on the level of meaning (...) on which they are manifest. Further, it is shown that deception may be based on irony or metaphor, which either promote deceptive implicatures or are deployed covertly. Finally, some argumentation is provided in favour of why these cases of deceiving can be conceptualised as lying. (shrink)
According to Husserl’s phenomenology, the intentional horizon is a general structure of experience. However, its characterisation beyond perceptual experience has not been explored yet. This paper aims, first, to fill this gap by arguing that there is a viable notion of cognitive horizon that presents features that are analogous to features of the perceptual horizon. Secondly, it proposes to characterise a specific structure of the cognitive horizon—that which presents possibilities for action—as a cognitive affordance. Cognitive affordances present cognitive elements as (...) opportunities for mental action (i.e., a problem affording trying to solve it, a thought affording calculating, an idea affording reflection). Thirdly, it argues that postulating cognitive affordances helps to unfold a rational dimension of thinking by conceiving of them as motivating reasons for action, something that in turn provides an argument for the experienced character of cognitive affordances. (shrink)
This introduction presents a state of the art of philosophical research on cognitive phenomenology and its relation to the nature of conscious thinking more generally. We firstly introduce the question of cognitive phenomenology, the motivation for the debate, and situate the discussion within the fields of philosophy, cognitive psychology and consciousness studies. Secondly, we review the main research on the question, which we argue has so far situated the cognitive phenomenology debate around the following topics and arguments: phenomenal contrast, epistemic (...) arguments and challenges, introspection, ontology and temporal character, intentionality, inner speech, agency, holistic perspective, categorical perception, value, and phenomenological description. Thirdly, we suggest future developments by pointing to four questions that can be explored in relation to the cognitive phenomenology discussion: the self and self-awareness, attention, emotions and general the... (shrink)
Husserl’s phenomenology was particularly influential for a number of French philosophers and their theories. Two of the most prominent French thinkers, Jean-Paul Sartre and Maurice Merleau-Ponty, turned to the instruments offered by phenomenology in their attempts to understand the notions of the body, consciousness, imagination, human being, world and many others. Both philosophers also provided their definitions of perception, but they understood this notion in very different ways. The paper describes selected aspects of Husserl’s phenomenology that were adopted by Sartre (...) and Merleau-Ponty and depicts the presumptions of their respective theories of perception, as well as the differences between them. The main thesis presented here is that theories as different as those proposed by Sartre and Merleau-Ponty may, and indeed do, lead to the same conclusion, i.e. that perception represents a different form of cognition. Despite the differences between these theories, they can both be placed in the contemporary context of phenomenological research carried out by cognitive philosophers Dan Zahavi and Shaun Gallagher, as well as by the proponent of the enactive theory of perception, Alva Noë. (shrink)
A complete, illustrated survey of Etienne-Jules Marey's work that investigates the far reaching effects of her inventions on stream-of-consciousness literature, psychoanalysis, Bergsonian philosophy, and the art of cubists and futurists.
The article reviews the successive symbolic dimensions that the figure of Sarah, Abraham’s wife, acquires, from its biblical origins in Genesis of LXX to the comments of the Fathers of the Church, focusing especially in the interpretations of Philo of Alexandria and Paul of Tarsus. Sarah symbolizes in Philo virtue–ἀρετή– and wisdom –σοφία– and, by means of a particular exegesis of Gn 18. 11, virginity in its pure state. Paul’s version of the story of Sarahand Hagar displaces the Jews from (...) the inheritance of the promise and places Christians on that pedestal, and Sarah as the mother of Christianity. (shrink)
This volume reviews examples and notions of robustness at several levels of biological organization. It tackles many philosophical and conceptual issues and casts an outlook on the future challenges of robustness studies in the context of a practice-oriented philosophy of science. The focus of discussion is on concrete case studies. These highlight the necessity of a level-dependent description of robust biological behaviors.Experts from the neurosciences, biochemistry, ecology, biology, and the history and the philosophy of life sciences provide a multiplex perspective (...) on the topic. Contributions span from protein folding, to cell-level robustness, to organismal and developmental robustness, to sensorimotor systems, up to the robustness of ecological systems.Several chapters detail neurobiological case-studies. The brain, the poster child of plasticity in biology, offers multiple examples of robustness. Neurobiology explores the importance of temporal organization and multiscalarity in making this robustness-with-plasticity possible. The discussion also includes structures well beyond the brain, such as muscles and the complex feedback loops involved in the peculiar robustness of music perception. Overall, the volume grounds general reflections upon concrete case studies, opening to all the life sciences but also to non-biological and bio-inspired fields such as post-modern engineering. It will appeal to researchers, students, as well as non-expert readers. (shrink)
This book provides a critical reflection on automated science and addresses the question whether the computational tools we developed in last decades are changing the way we humans do science. More concretely: Can machines replace scientists in crucial aspects of scientific practice? The contributors to this book rethink and refine some of the main concepts by which science is understood, drawing a fascinating picture of the developments we expect over the next decades of human-machine co-evolution. The volume covers examples from (...) various fields and areas, such as molecular biology, climate modeling, clinical medicine, and artificial intelligence. The explosion of technological tools and drivers for scientific research calls for a renewed understanding of the human character of science. This book aims precisely to contribute to such a renewed understanding of science. (shrink)
This philosophical-pragmatic paper discusses several forms of irony which rest on other figures of speech contingent on overt untruthfulness, namely the figures arising as a result of flouting the first maxim of Quality. It is argued that an ironic implicature may be piggybacked on another implicature, called “as if implicature”, originating from flouting the first maxim of Quality occasioned by metaphor. Metaphorical irony, which is subject to the irony-after-metaphor order of interpretation, exhibits a number of manifestations depending on the nature (...) and scope of irony, and the scope of the subordinate metaphor. On the other hand, rather than giving rise to an as if implicature distinct from the irony-based one, hyperbole and meiosis, which are inherently evaluative, most typically overlap with ironically evaluative expressions, promoting meiotic and hyperbolic irony, frequently considered by researchers to rely on flouting Quantity maxims. However, cases of independent use of hyperbole or meiosis in ironic environment are also possible. Such invite two levels of untruthfulness and two implicatures. (shrink)
Hélène Cixous is more than an influential theorist. She is also a groundbreaking author and playwright. Combining an idiosyncratic mix of autobiographical and fictional narrative with a host of philosophical and poetic observations, Cixous's writing matches the kaleidoscopic nature of her thought, offering new ways of conceptualizing sex, relationships, identity, and the self, among other topics. Yet, as Jacques Derrida once observed, a "profound misunderstanding" hangs over the accomplishments of Cixous, with many believing the intellectual excelled only at theoretical exploration. (...) Providing a truly liberal selection of her writings from throughout her career, Marta Segarra rediscovers Cixous's acts of invention for a new generation to enjoy. Divided into thematic concerns, these works fully capture Cixous's genius for merging fiction, theory, and the experience of living. They discuss dreaming in the feminine, Algeria and Germany, love and the other, the animal, Derrida, and the theater. They defy classification, locking literature, philosophy, and psychoanalysis into thrilling new patterns of engagement. Whether readers are familiar with Cixous or are approaching her thought for the first time, all will find fresh perspectives on gender, fiction, drama, philosophy, religion, and the postcolonial. (shrink)
Whereas intersectionality presents a fruitful framework for theoretical and empirical research, some of its fundamental features present great confusion. The term ‘intersectionality’ and its metaphor of the crossroads seem to reproduce what it aims to avoid: conceiving categories as separate. Despite the attempts for developing new metaphors that illustrate the mutual constitution relation among categories, gender, race or class keep being imagined as discrete units that intersect, mix or combine. Here we identify two main problems in metaphors: the lack of (...) differentiation between positions and effects and the problem of reification. We then present a new metaphor that overcomes these two problems: a basket of apples. We argue that considering social positions as the diverse properties of different apples avoids reification by considering categories as properties and not as objects themselves, and at the same time it allows us to think about the effects dimension from a plural and contextual approach. With this shift, we propose a reframing of the discussion in debates on intersectionality theory on the relation among categories, their in/separability and fragmentation. (shrink)