In this paper, I argue that the debate on Composition as Identity—the thesis that any composite object is identical to its parts—is deadlocked because both the defenders and the detractors of the claim have so far failed to take its philosophical core at face value and have, as a result, defended and criticized respectively something that is not Composition as Identity. After establishing how Composition as Identity should properly be understood and proposing for it a new interpretation centered around the (...) novel notion of metaphysical information, I set forth a strategy to defend it that crucially rests on the indefinite extensibility of the domain of quantification. I eventually suggest that “Composition as Analysis” is a name that better reflects the content and theoretical proposal of the thesis that Composition as Identity is supposed to be. (shrink)
A indagação que motiva o diálogo Protágoras sobre a possibilidade ou não de se ensinar a virtude, perpassa também diversos outros diálogos platônicos. Na verdade, virtude e conhecimento são temas centrais para se pensar o ânthropos, a pólis, a ética, o ser e a razão, no contexto do corpus platônico. Em As Leis, última obra escrita pelo fundador da Academia, a relação conhecimento/virtude volta a ganhar destaque no processo de reelaboração de um novo projeto para salvar o homem e a (...) cidade de suas mazelas. A arte/ciência da justa medida indicada no Protágoras (357 b) será a chave para a viabilização do projeto legislativo, ético e político em As Leis. Será pela correta educação dos sentidos e da razão que se alcançará a virtude responsável pela condução da cidade livre, amiga de si e ponderada (Leis, 701 d). Por sua vez, a educação virtuosa é fruto do conhecimento assimilado pelos costumes, pelo aprendizado, pelo discernimento racional e pelo domínio das paixões, o que assegurará o devido equilíbrio mediante o amparo das leis e das instituições da pólis. Isto se pode constatar, especialmente, na leitura dos livros I, II,VI e VII de As Leis, embora tais questões estejam entrelaçadas no conjunto da obra. (shrink)
Philosophy as a way of life (PWOL) places investigations of value, meaning, and the good life at the center of philosophical investigation, especially of one’s own life. I argue PWOL is compatible with general introductory philosophy courses, further arguing that PWOL-based general introductions have several philosophical and pedagogical benefits. These include the ease with which high impact practices, situated skill development, and students’ ability to ‘think like a disciplinarian’ may be incorporated into such courses, relative to more traditional introductory courses, (...) as well as the demonstration of philosophy’s value to students by explicitly tying philosophical investigation to students own lives. (shrink)
The article starts by arguing that seeing the firm as a mere nexus of contracts or as an abstract entity where different stakeholder interests concur is insufficient for a “humanistic business ethos”, which entails a complete view of the human being. It seems more appropriate to understand the firm as a human community, a concept which can be found in several sources, including managerial literature, business ethics scholars, and Catholic Social Teaching. In addition, there are also philosophical grounds that support (...) the idea of business as a human community. Extending this concept, and drawing from some Phenomenological-Personalist philosophers, we propose that the firm should be seen as a particular “community of persons” oriented to providing goods and services efficiently and profitably. Being a “community of persons” emphasizes both individuals and the whole, and makes explicit the uniqueness, conscience, free will, dignity, and openness to human flourishing. This requires appropriate communication about and participation in matters which affect people’s life, and makes it essential to cooperate for the common good of the business firm and the society. (shrink)
Composition as identity, as I understand it, is a theory of the composite structure of reality. The theory’s underlying logic is irreducibly plural; its fundamental primitive is a generalized identity relation that takes either plural or singular arguments. Strong versions of the theory that incorporate a generalized version of the indiscernibility of identicals are incompatible with the framework of plural logic, and should be rejected. Weak versions of the theory that are based on the idea that composition is merely analogous (...) to identity are too weak to be interesting, lacking in metaphysical consequence. I defend a moderate version according to which composition is a kind of identity, and argue that the difference is metaphysically substantial, not merely terminological. I then consider whether the notion of generalized identity, though fundamental, can be elucidated in modal terms by reverse engineering Hume’s Dictum. Unfortunately, for realists about possible worlds, such as myself,... (shrink)
This paper provides a critical examination of three related attempts to defend Composition as Identity (CI), namely the thesis that if some things compose something, then they are it. First, it will be argued against Donald Baxter’s view of composition as ‘loose identity’ that by construing composition as strictly a many-many relation, the view trivializes CI, and cannot be an option for the advocate of CI who takes composition as a genuine many-one relation. Second, it is argued against Baxter’s modified (...) view of composition as ‘cross-count identity’ that the ‘are’ in ‘they are it’ cannot be viewed as expressing cross-count identity. Lastly, it is argued against Aaron Cotnoir’s view of composition as ‘general identity’ that it amounts to resorting back to Baxter’s old view of composition as a many-many relation. (shrink)
This paper explores the idea that popular narrative film can somehow contribute to our philosophical understanding. I identify a number of problems with this 'film as philosophy' thesis and argue that the capacity of film to contribute to philosophy is not as great as many authors think. Specifically, I argue that film can only offer genuinely distinctive insights into philosophical questions *about film* and explore Hitchcock's Rear Window as an example of this.
In this paper, I present the thesis of Composition as Identity as I think it should be understood, and reply to some objections to it. My aim is not to argue that CAI is true, but to show how CAI can be true, and push the debate forward in the direction I think it must and should go in light of some new objections.
“No one can serve two masters.” This Bible quotation highlights an irreducible contradiction, which echoes numerous organizational settings. This article considers the under-explored ethical implications of paradoxical injunctions created by such a contradiction at the managerial level. Contradictory organizational constraints turn into paradoxant systems , where the organization structurally settles paradoxical injunctions which challenge managerial ethics in practice. We then ask what managerial responsibility means in such contexts and find that managers have then to reshape their practice as a situated (...) construction through constant mediation between different “masters” and bricolage (i.e., tinkering with concepts). An ethnographic case study of an anti-money laundering service in an investment bank illuminates this phenomenon from a practice perspective. The possibility to enact an actual ethical practice within the contradictory organization relies on a new role of the manager. This implies drawing on an approach of responsible management as an enactment of ethics in practice which is situated within the framework of a new conception of both the organization, as a structurally “paradoxant system,” and the manager as a mediator in charge of enacting coherence. (shrink)
In Philosophy Without Intuitions Herman Cappelen argues that unlike what is commonly thought, contemporary analytic philosophers do not typically rely on intuitions as evidence. If they do indeed rely on intuitions, that should be evident from their written works, either explicitly in the form of ‘intuition’ talk or by means of other indicators. However, Cappelen argues, while philosophers do engage in ‘intuition’ talk, that is not a good indicator that they rely on intuitions, as ‘intuition’ and its cognates have many (...) meanings that are irrelevant to this particular question. He identifies three other indicators and argues by appeal to case studies that these indicators are not present. I argue here that an account of intuitions as intellectual seemings draws attention to intuition features that Cappelen does not consider. These intuition features appear to be regularly present in the works of contemporary analytic philosophers. (shrink)
Philosophers disagree whether composition as identity entails mereological universalism. Bricker :264–294, 2016) has recently considered an argument which concludes that composition as identity supports universalism. The key step in this argument is the thesis that any objects are identical to some object, which Bricker justifies with the principle of the universality of identity. I will spell out this principle in more detail and argue that it has an unexpected consequence. If the universality of identity holds, then composition as identity not (...) only leads us to universalism, but also leads to the view that there are no mereological atoms. (shrink)
In this article, we critically reflect on the concept of biomimicry. On the basis of an analysis of the concept of biomimicry in the literature and its philosophical origin, we distinguish between a strong and a weaker concept of biomimicry. The strength of the strong concept of biomimicry is that nature is seen as a measure by which to judge the ethical rightness of our technological innovations, but its weakness is found in questionable presuppositions. These presuppositions are addressed by the (...) weaker concept of biomimicry, but at the price that it is no longer possible to distinguish between exploitative and ecological types of technological innovations. We compare both concepts of biomimicry by critically reflecting on four dimensions of the concept of biomimicry: mimesis, technology, nature, and ethics. (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)
According to a widespread view in metaphysics and philosophy of science (the “Dependence Thesis”), all explanations involve relations of ontic dependence between the items appearing in the explanandum and the items appearing in the explanans. I argue that a family of mathematical cases, which I call “viewing-as explanations”, are incompatible with the Dependence Thesis. These cases, I claim, feature genuine explanations that aren’t supported by ontic dependence relations. Hence the thesis isn’t true in general. The first part of the paper (...) defends this claim and discusses its significance. I argue, for example, that many mathematical explanations are apparently compatible with Dependence, so the existence of counterexamples is interesting and non-obvious. The second part of the paper considers whether viewing-as explanations occur in the empirical sciences, focusing on the case of so-called fictional models (such as Bohr’s model of the atom). It’s sometimes suggested that fictional models can be explanatory even though they fail to represent actual worldly dependence relations. Whether or not such models explain, I suggest, depends on whether we think scientific explanations necessarily give information relevant to intervention and control. (shrink)
In recent decades, English has become the uncontestable lingua franca of philosophy of science and of most other areas of philosophy and of the humanities. To have a lingua franca produces enormous benefits for the entire scientific community. The price for those benefits, however, is paid almost exclusively by non-native speakers of English. Section 1 identifies three asymmetries that individual NoNES researchers encounter: ‘publication asymmetry’, ‘resources asymmetry’, and ‘team asymmetry’. Section 2 deals with ‘globalized parochialism asymmetry’: thanks to English being (...) a lingua franca, a special perspective, mostly US and British, is being globalized and is replacing European topics and approaches. This has serious consequences for history of philosophy as well as for philosophical theory: thinkers of the past tend to be dealt with on the global level at best only if and insofar they are translated into English. Similarly, the theoretical agenda of globalized philosophy of scien... (shrink)
On Hume’s account of motivation, beliefs and desires are very different kinds of propositional attitudes. Beliefs are cognitive attitudes, desires emotive ones. An agent’s belief in a proposition captures the weight he or she assigns to this proposition in his or her cognitive representation of the world. An agent’s desire for a proposition captures the degree to which he or she prefers its truth, motivating him or her to act accordingly. Although beliefs and desires are sometimes entangled, they play very (...) different roles in rational agency. In two classic papers (Lewis 1988, 1996), David Lewis discusses several challenges to this Humean picture, but ultimately rejects them. We think that his discussion of a central anti-Humean alternative – the desire-as-belief thesis – is in need of refinnement. On this thesis, the desire for proposition p is given by the belief that p is desirable. Lewis claims that ‘[e]xcept in trivial cases, [this thesis] collapses into contradiction’(Lewis 1996, p. 308). The problem, he argues, is that the thesis is inconsistent with the purportedly plausible requirement that one’s desire for a proposition should not change upon learning that the proposition is true; call this the invariance requirement. In this paper, we revisit Lewis’s argument. We show that, if one carefully distinguishes between non-evaluative and evaluative propositions, the desire-asbelief thesis can be rendered consistent with the invariance requirement. Lewis’s conclusion holds only under certain conditions: the desire-as-belief thesis conflicts with the invariance requirement if and only if there are certain correlations between non-evaluative and evaluative propositions. But when there are such correlations, we suggest, the invariance requirement loses its plausibility. Thus Lewis’s argument against the desire-as-belief thesis appears to be valid only in cases in which it is unsound. (shrink)
Since the birth of computing as an academic discipline, the disciplinary identity of computing has been debated fiercely. The most heated question has concerned the scientific status of computing. Some consider computing to be a natural science and some consider it to be an experimental science. Others argue that computing is bad science, whereas some say that computing is not a science at all. This survey article presents viewpoints for and against computing as a science. Those viewpoints are analyzed against (...) basic positions in the philosophy of science. The article aims at giving the reader an overview, background, and a historical and theoretical frame of reference for understanding and interpreting some central questions in the debates about the disciplinary identity of computer science. The article argues that much of the discussion about the scientific nature of computing is misguided due to a deep conceptual uncertainty about science in general as well as computing in particular. (shrink)
According to Kant, it is impermissible to treat humanity as a mere means. If we accept Kant's equation of humanity with rational agency, and are literalists about ascriptions of agency to collectives it appears to follow that we may not treat collectives as mere means. On most standard accounts of what it is to treat something as a means this conclusion seems highly implausible. I conclude that we are faced with a range of options. One would be to rethink the (...) equation of humanity with rationality. Another would be to abandon the prohibition on treating as a means. The last would be to abandon literalist construals of attribution of agency to collectives. (shrink)
Psychology considered as a natural science began as Aristotelian "physics" or "natural philosophy" of the soul, conceived as an animating power that included vital, sensory, and rational functions. C. Wolff restricted the term " psychology " to sensory, cognitive, and volitional functions and placed the science under metaphysics, coordinate with cosmology. Near the middle of the eighteenth century, Krueger, Godart, and Bonnet proposed approaching the mind with the techniques of the new natural science. At nearly the same time, Scottish thinkers (...) placed psychology within moral philosophy, but distinguished its "physical" laws from properly moral laws. British and French visual theorists developed mathematically precise theories of size and distance perception; they created instruments to test these theories and to measure visual phenomena such as the duration of visual impressions. By the end of the century there was a flourishing discipline of empirical psychology in Germany, with a professorship, textbooks, and journals. The practitioners of empirical psychology at this time typically were dualists who included mental phenomena within nature. Accordingly, psychology as a natural scientific disciplines was not invented in the 18th and 19th centuries, but *remade* from the extant empirical psychology. (shrink)
I argue that Composition as Identity blocks the plural version of Cantor's Theorem, and that therefore the plural version of Cantor's Theorem can no longer be uncritically appealed to. As an example, I show how this result blocks a recent argument by Hawthorne and Uzquiano.
There are many objections to statistical discrimination in general and racial profiling in particular. One objection appeals to the idea that people have a right to be treated as individuals. Statistical discrimination violates this right because, presumably, it involves treating people simply on the basis of statistical facts about groups to which they belong while ignoring non-statistical evidence about them. While there is something to this objection—there are objectionable ways of treating others that seem aptly described as failing to treat (...) them as individuals—it needs to be articulated carefully. First, most people accept that many forms of statistical discrimination are morally unproblematic, let alone morally justified all things considered. Second, even treating people on the basis of putative non-statistical evidence relies on generalizations. Once we construe treating someone as an individual in a way that respects this fact, it becomes apparent: (1) that statistical discrimination is compatible with treating people as individuals, and (2) that one may fail to treat people as individuals even without engaging in statistical discrimination. Finally, there are situations involving the expression of messages of inclusion where we think it is good, morally speaking, that we are not treated as individuals. (shrink)
Challenges the revised standard historiography on Wundt as a psychologist. Considers the concept of psychology as a natural science. Examines the relations between psychology and philosophy before and after 1900. Reflects on the notion of disciplinehood as it affects historical narratives.
The idea of philosophy as a kind of therapy, though by no means standard, has been present in metaphilosophical reflection since antiquity. Diverse versions of it were also discussed and applied by more recent authors such as Wittgenstein, Hadot and Foucault. In order to develop an explicit, general and systematic model of therapeutic philosophy a relatively broad and well-structured account provided by Martha Nussbaum is subjected to analysis. The results obtained, subsequently, form a basis for a new model constructed around (...) the set of notions intrinsically connected with any, philosophical, psychological, or medical, form of therapy. The conceptual framework of: disease and its symptoms, the health ideal, the process of treatment with its techniques, therapeutic theory, physician, patient, and the physician-patient relationship is constructed and investigated in the context of its possible metaphilosophical use. An illustrative application of this scheme to philosophical therapy developed by Stoicism is, then, discussed. Finally, the issue of the therapeutic metaphilosophy's scope as well as the problem of therapeutic philosophy's specificity and integrity are briefly indicated. (shrink)
The general composition question asks “what are the necessary and jointly sufficient conditions any xs and any y must satisfy in order for it to be true that those xs compose that y?” Although this question has received little attention, there is an interesting and theoretically fruitful answer. Namely, strong composition as identity (SCAI): necessarily, for any xs and any y, those xs compose y iff those xs are identical to y. SCAI is theoretically fruitful because if it is true, (...) then there is an answer to one of the most difficult and intractable questions of mereology (The Simple Question). In this paper, I introduce the identity account of simplicity and argue that if SCAI is true then this identity account of simplicity is as well. I consider an objection to the identity account of simplicity. Ultimately, I find this objection unsuccessful. (shrink)
Strong Composition as Identity is the thesis that necessarily, for any xs and any y, those xs compose y iff those xs are non-distributively identical to y. Some have argued against this view as follows: if some many things are non-distributively identical to one thing, then what’s true of the many must be true of the one. But since the many are many in number whereas the one is not, the many cannot be identical to the one. Hence is mistaken. (...) Although I am sympathetic to this objection, in this paper, I present two responses on behalf of the theorist. I also show that once the defender of accepts one of these two responses, that defender will be able to answer The Special Composition Question. (shrink)
In “Desire as Belief” and “Desire as Belief II,” David Lewis ( 1988 , 1996 ) considers the anti-Humean position that beliefs about the good require corresponding desires, which is his way of understanding the idea that beliefs about the good are capable of motivating behavior. He translates this anti-Humean claim into decision theoretic terms and demonstrates that it leads to absurdity and contradiction. As Ruth Weintraub ( 2007 ) has shown, Lewis’ argument goes awry at the outset. His decision (...) theoretic formulation of anti-Humeanism is one that no sensible anti-Humean would endorse. My aim is to demonstrate that Lewis’ infelicitous rendering of anti-Humeanism really does undermine the force of his arguments. To accomplish this, I begin by developing a more adequate decision theoretic rendering of the anti-Humean position. After showing that my formulation of anti-Humeanism constitutes a plausible interpretation of the anti-Humean thesis, I go on to demonstrate that if we adopt this more accurate rendition of anti-Humeanism, the view is no longer susceptible to arguments like the ones Lewis has devised. I thereby provide a more robust response to Lewis’ arguments than has yet been offered, and in the process I develop a formulation of anti-Humeanism that creates the possibility for future decision theoretic arguments that, unlike Lewis’, speak directly to the plausibility of anti-Humeanism. (shrink)
A semantic analysis of mass nouns is given in terms of a logic of classes as many. In previous work it was shown that plural reference and predication for count nouns can be interpreted within this logic of classes as many in terms of the subclasses of the classes that are the extensions of those count nouns. A brief review of that account of plurals is given here and it is then shown how the same kind of interpretation can also (...) be given for mass nouns. (shrink)
Robot enthusiasts envision robots will become a “race unto themselves” as they cohabit with the humankind one day. Profound questions arise surrounding one of the major areas of research in the contemporary world—that concerning artificial intelligence. Fascination and anxiety that androids impose upon us hinges on how we come to conceive of the “Cultural Other.” Applying the notion of the “other” in multicultural research process, we will explore how the “Other” has been used to illustrate values and theories about robots, (...) as a mirror for the self. In this paper, we focus on the social, cultural, and religious implications of humans’ attitudes toward relationships between humans with robots. Six major views on humanoid robots are proposed: (1) robots as the “Frightening Other,” (2) robots as the “Subhuman Other,” (3) robots as the “Human Substitute,” (4) robots as the “Sentient Other,” (5) robots as the “Divine Other,” and (6) robots as the “Co-evolutionary Path to Immortality.” The likely and preferable scenario is the last one, which is compatible with an optimistic posthuman world in our evolutionary future. We imagine whether humans will meet the challenge of loving all living and non-living beings (including mechanical entities) might be the key to the co-evolution of both species and the ultimate happiness. (shrink)
Psychology considered as a natural science began as Aristotelian "physics" or "natural philosophy" of the soul. C. Wolff placed psychology under metaphysics, coordinate with cosmology. Scottish thinkers placed it within moral philosophy, but distinguished its "physical" laws from properly moral laws (for guiding conduct). Several Germans sought to establish an autonomous empirical psychology as a branch of natural science. British and French visual theorists developed mathematically precise theories of size and distance perception; they created instruments to test these theories and (...) to measure visual phenomena such as the duration of visual impressions. These investigators typically were dualists who included mental phenomena within nature. (shrink)
This paper examines Shaftesbury’s reflections on the nature of philosophy in his Askêmata notebooks, which draw heavily on the Roman Stoics Epictetus and Marcus Aurelius. In what follows, I introduce the notebooks, outline Shaftesbury’s account of philosophy therein, compare it with his discussions of the nature of philosophy in his published works, and conclude by suggesting that Pierre Hadot’s conception of ‘philosophy as a way of life’ offers a helpful framework for thinking about Shaftesbury’s account of philosophy.
The paper argues that the English verb ‘to see’ can denote three different kinds of conscious states of seeing, involving visual experiences, visual seeming states and introspective seeming states, respectively. The case for the claim that there are three kinds of seeing comes from synesthesia and visual imagery. Synesthesia is a relatively rare neurological condition in which stimulation in one sensory or cognitive stream involuntarily leads to associated experiences in a second unstimulated stream. Visual synesthesia is often considered a case (...) of illusory visual experience. This, however, turns out to be a questionable characterization, as there is evidence suggesting that the brain must cognitively process the stimulus in order for the associated synesthetic experience to arise. Furthermore, some very vivid, visual forms of synesthesia do not involve additional processing in the visual cortex. Visual synesthetic experience is likely to be a non-veridical state of seeming rather than an illusory visual experience. Visual seeming states are cognitive states distinct from visual experiences in terms of their representational richness and their neural correlates. Visual seeming states that are non-deviantly causally related to the states of affair they represent constitute a type of non-experiental seeing. Introspective seeming states that are non-deviantly causally related to underlying visual images constitute a second type of non-experiental seeing. The English verb ‘to see’ can denote all three types of seeing, which is to say that ‘to see’ is polysemous. (shrink)
Davidson suggests that metaphor is a pragmatic (not a semantic) phenomenon; on his view, metaphor is a perlocutionary effect prompts its audience to see one thing as another. Davidson rightly attacks speaker-intentionalism as the source of metaphorical meaning, but settles for an account that depends on audience intentions. A better approach would undermine intentionalism per se, replacing it with a social practice analysis based on patterns of extending the metaphor. This paper shows why Davidson’s perceptual model fails to stave off (...) semantic analysis, and argues that the professed virtues of Davidson's position are more readily found in an account that focuses on the nature of metaphorical interpretation. (shrink)
Abstract: Brentano’s conception of scientific philosophy had a strong influence on his students and on the intellectual atmosphere of Vienna in the late nineteenth century. The aim of this article is to expose Brentano’s conception and to contrast his views with that of two traditions he is said to have considerably influenced: phenomenology and analytic philosophy. I will shed light on the question of how and to what extent Brentano’s conception of philosophy as a rigorous science has had an impact (...) on these two traditions. The discussion will show that both took their liberties in the interpretation of the thesis, a move that allowed them to liberate themselves from Brentano’s inheritance and to fully develop their own philosophical positions. (shrink)
Martin Heidegger devotes extensive discussion to medieval philosophers, particularly to their treatment of Truth and Being. On both these topics, Heidegger accuses them of forgetting the question of Being and of being responsible for subjugating truth to the modern crusade for certainty: ‘truth is denied its own mode of being’ and is subordinated ‘to an intellect that judges correctly’. Though there are some studies that discuss Heidegger’s debt to and criticism of medieval thought, particularly that of Thomas Aquinas, there is (...) no constructive reply to his assertions. As a result, Heidegger’s critique had an unprecedented effect on the credibility of medieval philosophy, whereby great portions of the philosophical community dismiss it altogether as an illegitimate Onto‐Theology. It is the aim of this study to offer a constructive reply that will fundamentally grapple with these allegations. By constructive reply we mean not only a reply that avoids the problems Heidegger raises regarding existence, essence and truth, but more importantly, one that uses Heidegger’s criticism in order to present a more insightful account of these notions. -/- The present study is composed of two parts where the second serves as a sort of addendum. The first part, the core of this study, is an attempt to develop an understanding of the distinction between essence and existence that, on the one hand, accords with Heidegger’s criticism while on the other hand advances our understanding of how we think and understand reality. After presenting Heidegger’s depiction of Aquinas’s distinction between essence and existence (esse) as a real distinction, the study will present several views propounded by scholars of Aquinas regarding the status of this distinction. It will be argued that it is not clear whether the distinction is real, formal or conceptual, and that different types of distinction are applied in different places, particularly in regard to the phantasm that Aquinas considers essential to the human act of thinking. -/- The second part diverges from the first part and focuses on Heidegger’s criticism of Aquinas’s conception of truth as adequation, i.e., what it is that grounds the possibility of truth as adequation. This divergence is necessary in order to present a full metaphysical response to Heidegger’s criticism. Since the aim of the present study is to argue that Aquinas’s philosophical system can contend with Heidegger’s criticism, a partial reply would greatly diminish its effectiveness. (shrink)
This paper presents a report on the first Swiss Master Class in Corporate Social Responsibility, which was held between the 8th and 9th December 2006 at HEC Lausanne in Switzerland. The first section of the report introduces the topic of the master class – ‚Corporations as Political Actors – Facing the Postnational Challenge’ – as well as the concept of the master class. The second section gives an overview of papers written by nine young scholars that were selected to present (...) their research. The brief summary of each paper also includes a summary of comments from the masters, practitioners, and NGO representatives at the event. The third section brings in the perspectives of one master and one NGO representative on the discussed issues. The final section offers a brief wrap-up of the discussed topics and outlines ways to structure future conceptual and empirical research. (shrink)
In his absorbing book Art as Performance, David Davies argues that artworks should be identified, not with artistic products such as paintings or novels, but instead with the artistic actions or processes that produced such items. Such a view had an earlier incarnation in Currie’s widely criticized “action type hypothesis”, but Davies argues that it is instead action tokens rather than types with which artworks should be identified. This rich and complex work repays the closest study in spite of some (...) basic objections to be raised concerning Davies’s central concept of an action token. (shrink)
There has been a great deal of philosophical discussion about using people, using people intentionally, using people as a means to some end, and using people merely as a means to some end. In this paper, I defend the following claim about using people: NOT ALWAYS WRONG: using people—even merely as a means—is not always morally objectionable. Having defended that claim, I suggest that the following claim is also correct: NO ONE FEATURE: when it is morally objectionable to use people, (...) this is for many different kinds of reasons—there is no one wrong-making feature that every morally objectionable using has in common. After discussing these claims, I use them to present and motivate what I call the “precaution” theory of norms against using people. I conclude by considering a few cases from the criminal law context—cases that are naturally described as using people—to assess the moral appropriateness of this kind of use in these cases, and to demonstrate how the theory applies to the real world. (shrink)
In the first part of my paper I discuss eight arguments in favour of the theory-dependence of observation: realistic content, guidance function of theories, perception as cognitive construction, expectation-dependence of perception, theory-dependence of scientific data, continuity between observational and theoretical concepts, language-dependence, and meaning holism. I argue that although these arguments make correct points, they do not exclude the existence of observations that are weakly theory-neutral in the sense that they don’t depend on acquired background knowledge. In the second part (...) I suggest an experimental method, the method of ostensive learning experiments, by which the degree of theory- and language-independence of a concept can be tested. (shrink)
This article intends to argue that Zizek’s dialectics is far from a vulgar progressive sublation of all reality in Concept but a systematic acknowledgement of its radical impossibility. Firstly, the fundamental point of Zizek’s dialectics is not the notion of the sublation of all immediate-material reality but a “sublation of sublation”. The conclusive of moment of a dialectical circle is the immanent act of abrogation or releasing. Then, through the elementary triad structure of the Hegelian notion of reflection, the ultimate (...) secret of Zizek’s dialectical process consists in a “determinate reflection” or a necessary redoubling reflection. The two quintessential examples of this redoubling reflection are the paradoxical monarch and God’s reincarnation. Once his dialectic movement is elaborated, the esoteric definition of subject and subjectivity, as well as the mysterious Hegelian thesis “Substance as Subject” will become rather straightforward. (shrink)
The paper considers the philosophical component of the approach to the time as an emergent phenomenon absent at the fundamental level. The anthropic principle is shown as arising from the time emergence. Consciousness is shown as an epiphenomenon in such a model, although it is more fundamental than matter in this case. An answer to the question about the prime cause is suggested.
In this article I argue that the strong fascination that Wittgenstein has had for artists cannot be explained primarily by the content of his work, and in particular not by his sporadic observation on aesthetics, but rather by stylistic features of his work formal aspects of his writing. Edoardo Paolozzi’s testimony shows that artists often had a feeling of acquaintance or familiarity with the philosopher, which I think is due to stylistic features of his work, such as the colloquial tone (...) in which Wittgenstein shares his observation with the reader, but also the lack of long-winded arguments or explanations. In the concluding part I suggest that we can read Wittgenstein’s artworks of a specific kind: as philosophical works of art. (shrink)
I show that David Lewis’s principal principle is not preserved under Jeffrey conditionalization. Using this observation, I argue that Lewis’s reason for rejecting the desire as belief thesis and Adams’s thesis applies also to his own principal principle. 1 Introduction2 Adams’s Thesis, the Desire as Belief Thesis, and the Principal Principle3 Jeffrey Conditionalization4 The Principal Principles Not Preserved under Jeffrey Conditionalization5 Inadmissible Experiences.
This paper is an indirect critique of the practice of American liberal education. I show that the liberal, integrative model that American colleges and universities have adopted, with one key exception, is essentially an approach to education proposed some 2400 years ago by Stoic philosophers. To this end, I focus on a critical sketch of the Stoic model of education—chiefly through the works of Seneca, Epictetus, and Aurelius—that is distinguishable by these features: education as self‐knowing, the need of logic and (...) critical thinking for informed decision‐making, learning as preparation for life, and knowledge for integration in private, local, and global affairs. Such a critical sketch may not only help institutions instantiate their own similar aims more effectively, but also help them assess those aims with apposite normative force, which today they lack. (shrink)
One way to understand philosophy as a form of therapy is this: it involves a philosopher who is trying to cure himself. He has been drawn into a certain philosophical frame of mind—the ‘disease’—and has thus infected himself with this illness. Now he is sick and trying to employ philosophy to cure himself. So philosophy is both: the ailment and the cure. And the philosopher is all three: pathogenic agent, patient, and therapist.
The paper addresses the issue of human diagrammatic reasoning in the context of Euclidean geometry. It develops several philosophical categories which are useful for a description and an analysis of our experience while reasoning with diagrams. In particular, it draws the attention to the role of seeing-as; it analyzes its implications for proofs in Euclidean geometry and ventures the hypothesis that geometrical judgments are analytic and a priori, after all.
Is it possible to look at schools as spaces for encounters? Could schools contribute to a deliberative mode of communication in a manner better suited to our own time and to areas where different cultures meet? Inspired primarily by classical (Dewey) and modern (Habermas) pragmatists, I turn to Seyla Benhabib, posing the question whether she supports the proposition that schools can be sites for deliberative communication. I argue that a school that engages in deliberative communication, with its stress on mutual (...) communication between different moral perspectives, gives universalism a procedurally oriented meaning, serving as an arena for encounters that represents a weak public sphere. An interactive universalism of this kind attaches importance to developing an ability and willingness to reason on the basis of the views of others and to change perspectives. In that respect, the institutional arrangements of schools are potential parts of the political dimension of cosmopolitanism, as well as its moral dimension, in terms of the obligations and responsibilities we develop through our institutions and in our actions as human beings towards one another. (shrink)