In his paper Bare Particulars, T. Sider claims that one of the most plausible candidates for bare particulars are spacetime points. The aim of this paper is to shed light on Sider’s reasoning and its consequences. There are three concepts of spacetime points that allow their identification with bare particulars. One of them, Moderate structural realism, is considered to be the most adequate due its appropriate approach to spacetime metric and moderate view of mereological simples. However, it pushes the Substratum (...) theory to dismiss primitive thisness as the only identity condition for bare particulars, but the paper argues that such elimination is a legitimate step. (shrink)
The article explores the striking coincidences in Heidegger's and Blanchot's account of the image as death mask. The analysis of the respective theories of the image brings forth two radically divergent conceptions of thinking as "laying patent" (Heidegger) and of thinking as "laying bare" (Blanchot).
In this article I develop a theory of political ontology, working to differentiate it from traditional political philosophy and Schmittian political theology. As with political theology, political ontology has its primary grounding not in disinterested contemplation from the standpoint of pure reason, but rather in a confrontation with an existential problem. Yet while for Schmitt this is the problem of how to live and think in obedience to God, the problem for political ontology is the question of being. Thus the (...) political ontologist agrees with the political theologian that the political cannot be thought without an awareness of an irreducible exigency – the fact that one thinks as situated in response to a certain moral or ethical demand – but it takes this demand to consist not in divine revelation, but rather in the fact that the human being is a being for which being is at issue. With this definition in mind I go on to read Giorgio Agamben in resolutely ontological terms, arguing that his concepts of bare life and the exception are largely unintelligible if understood ontically. Instead, these concepts are part of a critique that has as its primary target not the ontic political systems and material institutions of modern states but rather the (negative) metaphysical ground of those systems. Political ontology insists on the intertwining of ontology and politics, claiming that theirs is a relation of mutual determination. (shrink)
I defend a contextualist account of bare epistemic modal claims against recent objections. I argue that in uttering a sentence of the form ‘It might be that p,’ a speaker is performing two speech acts. First, she is (directly) asserting that in view of the knowledge possessed by some relevant group, it might be that p. The content of this first speech act is accounted for by the contextualist view. But the speaker's utterance also generates an indirect speech act that (...) consists in a weak suggestive that p. Since this second speech act is typically the main point of a bare epistemic modal utterance, our (negative or positive) responses to the utterance actually target this second speech act. I show how this two-speech-act account can explain the data recently adduced against contextualism. (shrink)
This paper aims to lay bare the underlying logical structure of early Buddhist moral thinking. It argues that moral vocabulary in the Pali Suttas varies depending on the kind of agent under discussion and that this variance reflects an understanding that the phenomenology of moral experience also differs on the same basis. An attempt is made to spell this out in terms of attachment. The overall picture of Buddhist ethics that emerges is that of an agent-based moral contextualism. This account (...) does not imply that the prescription for moral conduct differs according to class of agent, but rather that the correct description of moral experience does. Further it implies that the descriptions of the moral experiences of different classes of agent differ phenomenologically, rather than in terms of overt behavioral characteristics. While most of the discussion is centered on the distinction between ordinary persons and disciples in higher training, the paper concludes with a brief exploration of the problematic moral experience of the arahat. (shrink)
Apologies are strange. They are, in a certain sense, very small. An apology is just a gesture—a set of words, a physical posture, perhaps a gift. But an apology can also be very powerful—this power is implicit in the facts that it can be difficult to offer an apology and that, when we are wronged, we may want an apology very much. More, even we have been severely wronged, we are sometimes willing to forgive or pardon the wrongdoer, if we (...) receive a sincere apology. In this paper, I want to begin to figure out how a mere gesture can be so powerful. The philosophers who discuss apology generally do not go into much detail, and they discuss it almost exclusively in connection with forgiveness. 2 I, too, will discuss apology’s power to provide reason to forgive, but in order to provide the resources to examine another power. Some apologies, I will argue, fail to provide reason to forgive, but nevertheless do provide the recipient a reason to maintain a relationship with the wrongdoer, or to allow the wrongdoer to remain in her community. To be clear: the “powers” I am interested in are reason-giving powers, or powers to make certain beliefs, attitudes, or actions rational. Apologies also, no doubt, have a sort of bare causal power. The sight of a vicious, racist, cruel war criminal on his knees and in tears, sincerely begging forgiveness, may inspire in us pity or even compassion, in spite of what we believe we have reason to feel. “I can’t help but feel sorry for the bastard,” we may say, even while believing that.. (shrink)
This paper argues that there is an ethics of contemplation that is internal to Adorno's critique of modern functionalised and administered societies. It is argued here that 'contemplation' is Adorno's name for a praxis by which one is open to the other, and yet can let the other be. Adorno sees a kernel of experience in such contemplative practices, which, although increasingly being stripped bare by the modern world, is the basis for its possible critique.
Preface The status of sovereignty as a highly ambiguous concept is well established. Pointing out or deploring, the ambiguity of the idea has itself become a recurring motif in the literature on sovereignty. As the legal theorist and international lawyer Alf Ross put it, “there is hardly any domain in which the obscurity and confusion is as great as here.” 1 The concept of sovereignty is often seen as a downright obstacle to fruitful conceptual analysis, carried over from its proper (...) setting in history to “plague and befog contemporary thought.” 2 . . . So contested is the concept that, rather than pursuing the contestation, many political theorists think we should give up so protean a notion. Granting that the debate on the relevance of sovereignty frustratingly oscillates between claims that it will either continue to exist or that it is about to disappear, forgetting it altogether, and thereby escaping this seemingly endless argument, can easily appear as the most urgent task for political theory . The following argument makes a case that the “urgent task” is not the abandonment of the concept of sovereignty, but an understanding of its essential philosophical nature as an integrated and evolving expression of practical reason. Sovereignty is neither ambiguous nor obscure once its fundamental presuppositions are laid bare and its many philosophical and historical manifestations shown to be the product, in actuality, of a single, dialectally dynamic but integrated set of metaphysical elements. This is the first of three arguments describing the evolution of international law as a manifestation of practical reason through an application of philosophical method to the source , locus , and scope of the concept of sovereignty. It moves from a dialectic balance favoring utility to a balance dominated by legal right to a dialectic of duty to humanity and nature. All three arguments are meant to be a contribution to the new field of International Legal Philosophy as defined by Phillip Allott. 4 This field combines a sensitivity to legal practice with an effort to understand the underlying philosophical determinants of empirical choice and behavior. One purpose of international legal philosophy is to “remove” from the minds of those who study the law what Diderot defined as “the sophism of the ephemeral,” and what Allott calls “the disempowering idea that what xii Preface happens to exist now is inevitable and permanent.” 5 A core imperative is to “reunderstand what it is to be a thinking being” 6 and to rediscover the dialectic between the private and the public as it determines, and is redetermined by, legal practice. This requires a “revolution in the human mind” 7 so that we may transcend the current dependence on positivist methods and empirical fact as an end-in-itself, and try to understand the underlying and more constant and essential ideas and inherent dialectics that constitute the substructure or “metaphysics” of international law. I will approach this “revolution” with the use of R. G. Collingwood’s philosophical method 8 and the philosophy of David Hume, applied to international law as an expression of practical reason. The goal of philosophical method is the construction of a comprehensive policy argument (CPA) for a public policy or legal issue. In addition to the conventional use of empirical models and their logic of investigation in the study of policy and law, CPA requires that an underlying philosophical logic of concepts be deciphered to identify the ideas within the issue, and their definition, overlap, and systematic interdependence. Philosophical method is a means with which to interpret and understand competing systematic and complete conceptual logics, existing at the core of an issue and pertinent to policy change. Philosophical method is therefore not meant to be a replacement for the empirical investigation of a policy or legal issue, or the use of scientific method in social studies. Rather, it is a complimentary and prerequisite method that seeks to transcend the limitations of positivism and present a more complete understanding of the philosophical presuppositions of positivist ideas like power, interest, or strategic rationality. Philosophical method is meant to be used with the facts of the policy or legal issue to match an illuminating logic of concepts with a pertinent logic of investigation . Within the CPA, the use of philosophical method and the metaphysics of a policy or legal issue is assumed to be critical to the full understanding of the overlapping concepts, dialectics, and scale of forms that determine, and are determined by, the empirical context of the policy or legal topic. Specifically, instead of utilizing bits and pieces of various theoretical arguments to address narrowly focused empirical questions, as positivism prescribes, I will address the evolution of international law as practical reason in three phases. Each will be approached through a single integrated logic of philosophical concepts from a particular philosopher (i.e., David Hume, G. W. F. Hegel, Immanuel Kant). This philosophically holistic approach to the law is based on the assumption that only through the use of a single integrated argument in legal analysis can sovereignty, or any concept, be understood as a truly systematic and logical whole. A complete philosophical paradigm has a dialectic integrity and systematic logic that can more adequately describe the evolving essence of a concept like sovereignty. This approach also has the advantage of generating a number of distinct holistic descriptions of the law through the application of different philosophical systems, one at a time, to its factual structure. 9 Positivism does not seek Preface xiii holism, and rejects the idea that “theory” has such a characteristic. The essential or comprehensive substructure of any idea is therefore ignored in a method that recommends the observation of empirical problems through the use of whatever hodgepodge of theoretical elements is seen fit to frame its superstructure. This failure to deal with metaphysics has retarded both an essential understanding of international law as a species of legal system, and any holistic and dialectical conceptualization of its inherent concepts, like sovereignty. A second positivist convention expects modern theorists to create new theory rather than to refine and apply that of existing philosophy. This predisposition is driven by the positivist goal of discovery that ignores refinement as a possible purpose of philosophical analysis. Collingwood argues that philosophy must take that set of ideas already known and utilize existing systematic philosophical arguments to refine them so that they evolve closer to their essence as concepts. Considering this imperative, the idea of sovereignty can be assumed to have had valid usage for hundreds of years, over which time, the concept has evolved to mean different things, each a refinement of the definition that preceded it. Transcending positivism means that the scholar’s search is not for “new” material, but to decipher the metaphysical essence of a concept as it has been made manifest over time and context. These manifestations are rooted, and refined from, the known terms of that concept’s inherent idea(s). Rather than depending exclusively on positivism and its conventions, my work utilizes, in addition to Collingwood, the intact philosophical systems of Hume, Hegel, and Kant to trace the refinement of international law as a product of human practical reason. These paradigms, or integrated systems of logical concepts, will be applied to legal practice individually, so that each CPA can be deciphered separately. This provides a set of integrated and logically intact paradigms for the evolutionary stages of practical reason in international law. Because each argument is applied systematically, a deeper understanding of the source, locus, and scope in the development of law in general, and international law in particular, is possible where it is not with the application of various disconnected components of many theories. Each CPA based on Hume, Hegel, or Kant can then be used to describe a distinct context that its logic of concepts best illuminates; specifically, the (1) genesis, (2) contemporary dilemmas, and (3) future of the international legal system. By widening the perspective of international lawyers and policymakers, they can more easily perceive the dialectic of ideas that has created, and is refined by, the legal practice in which they participate. We also move toward Allott’s goal of “human self-perfecting.” 10 And, in addition, by providing a more complete knowledge of the origins of legal practice and its evolution, we illuminate the practical possibilities for what we might “choose to be” 11 in the future. To achieve this, the essential metaphysical elements of state sovereignty and its inherent evolutionary scale of forms will be deciphered and described. This will transform what appears to be a multitude of definitions and xiv Preface practical realizations of the concept of sovereignty into a set of interdependent manifestations of a single substructure, made of a single set of dialectic elements. The interpretation of international law through practical reason sorts and integrates a diverse and discordant literature and defines state sovereignty as a single concept evolving on a scale of forms that allows it to exhibit diverse character traits, all arising from different combinations of common and essential metaphysical elements. This approach, compared to positivist methods and legal realism, allows one to transcend current agreement that sovereignty is, at best, a narrowly focused set of empirical characteristics or, at worst, “organized hypocrisy.” 12 This method also encourages the scholar and practitioner to understand the predispositions and pitfalls of the concept of sovereignty, as well as its potential future paths, more effectively. The use of philosophical method to create policy paradigms out of preexisting philosophical systems and apply these to international law will be called Philosophical-Policy & Legal Design . This approach allows the use of preexisting and complete philosophical arguments that provide an adequate logic of concepts to chart the evolution of the idea of sovereignty along its scale of forms. An examination of the source of practical reason in human social convention with the employment of a philosophical-policy drawn from Hume’s logic of concepts about human nature will demonstrate this new approach. Why Hume? Because, up to now, without an adequate substructure we have arguments, like Brunne é’ s and Troope’s, 13 that may correctly identify international law as an “interactional” system, but cannot present any argument as to why it is, where this empirical reality comes from, or what its implications are for the future. Comparatively, Hume provides a logic of philosophical concepts that answers these concerns. First, he fulfills the requirements for a fuller understanding of the origin and evolution of law from social convention and the dependence of social convention on the human imperative for society. Second, he offers a more adequate delineation of the overlapping concepts of the law in terms of the ideas and institutions that deal with norms and justice (e.g., principle, process, practice, rule, power, interest). Third, he provides a fundamental understanding of the essential dialectics at the core of a conceptualization of the law with both unconscious and conscious human participation (i.e., passion. (shrink)
This book provides an elegant account of the nature of the individual, without reducing it to a cluster of universals or claiming that it is a bare particular that must be acknowledged but never articulated.
There are two opposed theories which attempt to account for the processes of problem solution involved in learning and intelligence. The former is neural in its basis and postulates the existence of a bare connection as a bonding or linkage of two experiences. The second theory, that of gestalt, implies that learning or apprehension involves a relationship of the parts of the experience to each other as well as to the whole. While these psychological schools are exclusive of and opposed (...) to each other, yet they are merely extremes of what actually exists. There is a minimum level of learning in which associationism is operative and a maximum intellectual level at which explicit relationships predominate. An examination of experimental results will show this to be the case. The results of conditioned reflex experiments in both animals and man appear to show that there is present nothing beyond arbitrary linkage or bonding between the parts of the situation involved. On the other hand, one finds a certain degree of implicit meaning involved in perceptual situations—the level of animal achievement—as well as a certain measure of transfer of meaning. Explicit meanings may be related by means of word symbols involving the principle of the concept through the medium of speech, and this is only arrived at by human beings. We may regard these higher levels as “emergents” from the level of bonding or linkage. (shrink)
At early ages, Buber, Scholem, and Rosenzweig encountered Nietzsche’s work. Nietzsche’s philosophy was reduced to short catchwords or barely mentionedin their later writings. His views on Jews and Judaism seemed to have mattered little, and he first and foremost aided their rebellious breaks with both traditionaland enlightened concepts of God. Nietzsche’s proclamation of God’s death thus served them to articulate their own unease with religious traditions. Yet in manyways the confrontation with Nietzsche was both attenuated and accentuated by the concept (...) of Erlebnis and elevation of aesthetical categories. Ironically, Nietzsche’s challenge to Jewish thought was less in his alleged anti-religious stance, than in the celebration of an unmitigated experience, which was incompatible with any attempt of forging a new critical Jewish philosophy. (shrink)
Martin Smith has recently proposed, in this journal, a novel and intriguing approach to puzzles and paradoxes in evidence law arising from the evidential standard of the Preponderance of the Evidence. According to Smith, the relation of normic support provides us with an elegant solution to those puzzles. In this paper I develop a counterexample to Smith’s approach and argue that normic support can neither account for our reluctance to base affirmative verdicts on bare statistical evidence nor resolve the (...) pertinent paradoxes. Normic support is, as a consequence, not a successful epistemic anti-luck condition. (shrink)
This article reconsiders Sartre's seminal 1945 talk, “Existentialism is a Humanism,” and the stakes of the humanism debate in France by looking at the immediate political context that has been overlooked in previous discussions of the text. It analyses the political discussion of the term “humanism” during the French national elections of 1945 and the rumbling debate over Sartre's philosophy that culminated in his presentation to the Club Maintenant, just one week after France went to the polls. A consideration of (...) this context helps explain both the rise, and later the decline, of existentialism in France, when, in the changing political climate, humanism lost its centrality, setting the stage for new antihumanist criticisms of Sartre's work. (shrink)
There are predicates and subjects. It is thus tempting to think that there are properties on the one hand, and things that have them on the other. I have no quarrel with this thought; it is a fine place to begin a theory of properties and property-having. But in this paper, I argue that one such theory—bare particularism—is false. I pose a dilemma. Either bare particulars instantiate the properties of their host substances or they do not. If they do not, (...) then bare particularism is both unmotivated and false. If they do, then the view faces a problematic—and, I shall argue, false—crowding consequence. (shrink)
Abstract The work of Martin Buber oscillates between talk in which transcendence is experienced and talk in which transcendence is merely postulated. In order to show and mend this incoherence in Buber's thought, this essay attends to the rhetoric of verification ( Bewährung ), primarily but not solely in I and Thou (1923), both in order to show how it is a symptom of this incoherence, and also to show a broad pragmatic strain in Buber's thought. Given this pragmatic (...) strain, the essay argues that a weak notion of Buberian verification, in which taking a dialogic stance with reference to others evinces the right to talk of the real possibility of transcendence (a You-world, or God as the “eternal You“), is all that is necessary to combat despair. Strong notions of encounter are unnecessary, and also sink Buber in a morass of theodicy, in which he interprets historical misfortune and destruction as evidence of history's meaning. (shrink)
Giorgio Agamben emerged in the twenty-first century as one of the most important theorists in the continental tradition. Until recently, 'continental' philosophy has been tied either to the German tradition of phenomenology or to French post-structuralist concerns with the conditions of language and textuality. Agamben draws upon and departs from both these lines of thought by directing his entire corpus to the problem of life political life, human life, animal life and the life of art. Influenced by the work of (...)Martin Heidegger, Walter Benjamin and the broader tradition of critical Marxism, Agamben's work poses the profound question for our time just how exceptional are human beings. This beautifully written book provides a systematic, engaging overview of Agamben's writings on theology, aesthetics, political theory and sovereignty. Covering the full range of Agamben's work to date Claire Colebrook and Jason Maxwell explain Agamben's theology and philosophy by referring the concepts to some of today's most urgent political and ethical problems. They focus on the audacious way in which Agamben re-conceptualizes life itself. Assessing the significance of the concepts key to his work such as bio-politics, sovereignty, the ‘state of exception’ and ‘bare life’, they demonstrate his wide-ranging influence across the humanities. They also explore the critical reactions to Agamben's thinking and his reception in philosophical and theoretical circles. This book will be essential reading for students in anthropology, politics, philosophy and related disciplines and anyone interested in finding out more about one of the influential thinkers writing today. (shrink)
Years ago, before Arnoldian poetic touchstones had become quite as unpopular as they are now, I and my fellow college undergraduates found a touchstone of sorts in a poem by Edna St. Vincent Millay. The cherished line read:Plato alone looked upon beauty bare.For us, this line became the touchstone, not of poetic sublimity but of being poetic, which is to say of attaining a consummate inane pretentiousness in poetic diction and intellectual attitude alike. Millay, we thought, had done it once (...) and for all.Today, of course, nobody has any use for touchstones, and if we erstwhile undergraduates were to reread Millay we might well come away feeling ashamed of our former arrogance, juvenile conceit, and no doubt sexism. Still, Millay’s line has a memorably vacuous, oracular ring to it. That is the ring I keep hearing in Gerald Bruns’s “Stanley Cavell’s Shakespeare” . “Cavell … alone perhaps with Martin Heidegger, has a sense of what is at stake in this quarrel [between philosophy and poetry]” . “Exposure to reality is what happens in Hamlet, although it occurs nowhere so powerfully as in Lear” . “This was the later Heidegger’s idea: poetry … puts everything out of the question” . “The face, like the world , requires me to forego knowing” . “Proving the existence of the human proved to be a separate problem that did not get clearly formulated until Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein and E. T. A. Hoffmann’s ‘The Sandman’” . Philosophers and cultural historians may make what they will of these vatic disclosures, but it may strike those who study Shakespeare that Bruns is recycling lugubrious clichés about Hamlet and Lear while simultaneously upping the philosophical ante for them. This, however, is roughly the procedure that Bruns wants to pass off as Cavell’s. Jonathan Crewe, professor of English at Dartmouth College, is the author of Trials of Authorship: Anterior Forms and Poetic Reconstruction from Wyatt to Shakespeare. (shrink)
This discussion examines how Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence questions what remains of being human and the assemblage of humanity when the human and the machine collide and elide their limit of differentiation. It will be shown how the film's predilection for technology in its narrative content and technological rationalism in its wider conceptual embedding reconstructs humanity but rejects the metaphysical valuation of humanity through notions of dignity, taboo, respect, affect, and so forth. By connecting this twin problematic of (...) ontological difference and metaphysical poverty to the ontological philosophy of Martin Heidegger and psychoanalytic philosophy of Slavoj Žižek, this paper aims to unearth and lay bare the paradoxes inherent in the view of technology and society deployed by Innocence and how the film is able to, in the presence of these explicitly ontological paradoxes, put the question of what constitutes a human Subject into crisis by coding it as a symptom. (shrink)
There is no adequate understanding of contemporary Jewish and Christian theology without reference to Martin Buber. Buber wrote numerous books during his lifetime (1878-1965) and is best known for I and Thouand Good and Evil. Buber has influenced important Protestant theologians like Karl Barth, Emil Brunner, Paul Tillich, and Reinhold Niebuhr. His appeal is vast--not only is he renowned for his translations of the Hebrew Bible but also for his interpretation of Hasidism, his role in Zionism, and his writings (...) in psychotherapy and political philosophy. In addition to a general introduction, each chapter is individually introduced, illuminating the historical and philosophical context of the readings. Footnotes explain difficult concepts, providing the reader with necessary references, plus a selective bibliography and subject index. (shrink)
Bare particularism is a constituent ontology according to which substances—concrete, particular objects like people, tables, and tomatoes—are complex entities constituted by their properties and their bare particulars. Yet, aside from this description, much about bare particularism is fundamentally unclear. In this paper, I attempt to clarify this muddle by elucidating the key metaphysical commitments underpinning any plausible formulation of the position. So the aim here is primarily catechismal rather than evangelical—I don’t intend to convert anyone to bare particularism, but, by (...) looking at a series of questions, to instead specify what, if one is a bare particularist, one is committed to. Along the way, I address three major objections: a classic objection about whether bare particulars have properties, a new objection raised by Bailey, and an understanding objection that questions some of the position’s resources. (shrink)
My general aim in this paper is to shed light on the controversial concept of a bare particular. I do so by arguing that bare particulars are best understood in terms of the individuative work they do within the framework of a realist constituent ontology. I argue that outside such a framework, it is not clear that the notion of a bare particular is either motivated or coherent. This is suggested by reflection on standard objections to bare particulars. However, within (...) the framework of a realist constituent ontology, bare particulars provide for a coherent theory of individuation—one with a potentially significant theoretical price tag, but one that also has advantages over rival theories. (shrink)
One often hears a complaint about “bare particulars”. This complaint has bugged me for years. I know it bugs others too, but no one seems to have vented in print, so that is what I propose to do. (I hope also to say a few constructive things along the way.) The complaint is aimed at the substratum theory, which says that particulars are, in a certain sense, separate from their universals. If universals and particulars are separate, connected to each other (...) only by a relation of instantiation, then, it is said, the nature of these particulars becomes mysterious. In themselves, they do not have any properties at all. They are nothing but a pincushion into which universals may be poked. They are Locke’s “I know not what” (1689, II, xxiii, §2); they are Plato’s receptacles (Timaeus 48c–53c); they are “bare particulars”.1 Against substratum theory there is the bundle theory, according to which particulars are just bundles of universals. The substratum and bundle theories agree on much. They agree that both universals and particulars exist. And they agree that a particular in some sense has universals. (I use phrases like ‘particular P has universal U ’ and ‘particular P ’s universals’ neutrally as between the substratum and bundle theories.) But the bundle theory says that a particular is exhaustively composed of (i.e., is a mereological fusion of) its universals. The substratum theory, on the other hand, denies this. Take a particular, and mereologically subtract away its universals. Is anything left? According to the bundle theory, no. But according to the substratum theory, something is indeed left. Call this remaining something a thin particular. The thin particular does not contain the universals as parts; it instantiates them. (shrink)
What is the Bare Particular Theory? Is it committed, like the Bundle Theory, to a constituent ontology: according to which a substance’s qualities—and according to the Bare Particular Theory, its substratum also—are proper parts of the substance? I argue that Bare Particularists need not, should not, and—if a recent objection to ‘the Bare Particular Theory’ succeeds—cannot endorse a constituent ontology. There is nothing, I show, in the motivations for Bare Particularism or the principles that distinguish Bare Particularism from rival views (...) that entails a constituent ontology. I outline a version of Bare Particularism that in rejecting a constituent ontology avoids the New Objection. I argue against Theodore Sider that this really is a distinct theory to the version of Bare Particularism that endorses a constituent ontology, and not a mere terminological variant. I show that this, the best version of the Bare Particular Theory, is also defensible against the old objections. (shrink)
Bare particulars have received a fair amount of bad press. Many find such entities to be obviously incoherent and dismiss them without much consideration. Proponents of bare particulars, on their part, have not done enough to clearly motivate and characterize bare particulars, thus leaving them open to misinterpretations. With this paper, I try to remedy this situation. I put forward a much-needed positive case for bare particulars through the four problems that they can be seen to solve—The Problem of Individuation, (...) The Problem of Change, The Problem of Having a Property, and The Problem of Subtraction. I then distinguish and characterize three possible types of bare particulars—genuinely bare, constitutively bare, and thinly clothed—and consider how each of these cope with some classical and recent objections to bare particulars. I argue that the most troubling objections do not come from familiar quarters, but from examining how well such entities address all four of the ontological problems outlined. I ultimately conclude that the best contenders among the three types of bare particulars are the constitutively bare variety, but argue that, if they are to earn their keep, they must either share or turn over their individuating role to the ordinary particulars that they constitute. (shrink)
One of the traditional desiderata for a metaphysical theory of laws of nature is that it be able to explain natural regularities. Some philosophers have postulated governing laws to fill this explanatory role. Recently, however, many have attempted to explain natural regularities without appealing to governing laws. Suppose that some fundamental properties are bare dispositions. In virtue of their dispositional nature, these properties must be (or are likely to be) distributed in regular patterns. Thus it would appear that an ontology (...) including bare dispositions can dispense with governing laws of nature. I believe that there is a problem with this line of reasoning. In this essay, I’ll argue that governing laws are indispensable for the explanation of a special sort of natural regularity: those holding among categorical properties (or, as I’ll call them, categorical regularities). This has the potential to be a serious objection to the denial of governing laws, since there may be good reasons to believe that observed regularities are categorical regularities. (shrink)
Raymond Martin and John Barresi trace the development of Western ideas about personal identity and reveal the larger intellectual trends, controversies, and ideas that have revolutionized the way we think about ourselves.
This paper aims to advance our understanding of Heidegger's politics as it is laid bare within the 'Schwarze Hefte'. Yet my interest is not in Heidegger's first order political views, but rather in his conception of the political sphere per se. Beginning from a close analysis of the earliest volume of the notebooks, Gesamtausgabe Bd.94, I suggest that the dominant characterisation of the political space within Heidegger's text is as a threat-to philosophy and to ontology. Underlying that characterisation, however, it (...) is simultaneously possible to identify another pattern, one on which the political is itself gradually suppressed or occluded by the ontological. This tacit occlusion has, I suggest, a number of deeply problematic consequences. I close by indicating how the argument might be extended to the question of a Heideggerian ethics. (shrink)
The theorems of the simplest and strongest sensible quantified modal logic include the Barcan Formula and its converse. Both formulas face strong intuitive objections. This paper develops a theory of possibilia to meet those objections.
Francesco Guala has developed some novel and radical ideas on the problem of external validity, a topic that has not received much attention in the experimental economics literature. In this paper I argue that his views on external validity are not justified and the conclusions which he draws from these views, if widely adopted, could substantially undermine the experimental economics enterprise. In rejecting the justification of these views, the paper reaffirms the importance of experiments in economics.
Bare particulars tend to get a bad rap. But often, the arguments lodged against bare particulars seem to miss important aspects of the theoretical context of bare particulars. In particular, these arguments fail to situate bare particulars within a constituent ontology with substrates, and thus fail to appreciate an important consequence of that context: the need for two types of exemplification. In this paper, I do three things. First, I motivate and describe the need, given bare particulars, for two types (...) of exemplification, and explore more generally how constituent ontologies with substrates ought to think about exemplification. Second, I show how Andrew Bailey’s (2012) new argument against bare particulars fails when that need is charitably considered. Third, I highlight where bare particular theory ought to be pressed, which turns out to be precisely its account of exemplification. (shrink)
Many philosophers hold that all dispositions must have independent causal bases. I challenge this view, hence defending the possibility of bare dispositions. In part 1, I explain more fully what I mean by "disposition," "causal basis," and "bare disposition." In part 2, I consider the claim that the concept of a disposition entails that dispositions are not bare. In part 3, I consider arguments, due to Prior, Pargetter, and Jackson, that dispositions necessarily have distinct causal bases. In part 4, I (...) consider arguments by Smith and Stoljar that there can't be bare dispositions because they would make for unwelcome "barely true" counterfactuals. In the end, I find no reason to deny the possibility of bare dispositions. (shrink)
Bare plural generic sentences pervade ordinary talk. And yet it is extremely controversial what semantics to assign to such sentences. In this paper, I achieve two tasks. First, I develop a novel classification of the various standard uses to which bare plurals may be put. This “variety data” is important—it gives rise to much of the difficulty in systematically theorizing about bare plurals. Second, I develop a novel account of bare plurals, the radical account. On this account, all bare plurals (...) fail to express propositions. The content of a bare plural has to be pragmatically “completed” by a speaker in order for her to make an assertion. At least the content of a quantifier expression has to be supplied. But sometimes, the content of a sentential operator or modal verb is also supplied. The radical account straightforwardly explains the variety data: Speakers’ communicative intentions vary wildly across different contexts. (shrink)
In this article I examine an as yet unexplored aspect of J.P. Moreland’s defense of so-called bare particularism — the ontological theory according to which ordinary concrete particulars (e.g., Socrates) contain bare particulars as individuating constituents and property ‘hubs.’ I begin with the observation that if there is a constituency relation obtaining between Socrates and his bare particular, it must be an internal relation, in which case the natures of the relata will necessitate the relation. I then distinguish various ways (...) in which a bare particular might be thought to have a nature and show that on none of these is it possible for a bare particular to be a constituent of a complex particular. Thus, Moreland’s attempt to resurrect bare particulars as ontologically indispensable entities is not wholly without difficulties. (shrink)
The studies of the Czech phenomenologist Jan Patočka has been flourishing recently. Martin Ritter’s book Into the World: The Movement of Patočka’s Phenomenology offers an important contribution to the debate and a long-awaited critical presentation of Patočka’s asubjective phenomenology as well as creative re-reading of Patočka's central doctrine of the movements of existence.
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