«El humano puede ser feliz.» Con esa afirmación arranca la travesía a la que nos invitan estas páginas, una travesía que recorre los temas que desde el principio de los tiempos han inquietado al ser humano, que se detiene en los pilares de la filosofía occidental con una mirada atrevida, y cuyo destino final no es otro que una reflexión abierta sobre la felicidad, el dolor o la muerte y la posibilidad de mejorar nuestra existencia a través del conocimiento. Partiendo (...) de la idea de que la felicidad es ausencia de dolor y que sólo en una sociedad democrática es plausible el bienestar, Rogeli Armengol establece un apasionante diálogo con la tradición y el presente, con la historia y la ética, con las filosofías de Sócrates, Kant o Freud y con la literatura de Homero, Sófocles o Shakespeare. Un diálogo que a veces se convierte en discusión y que, si bien recoge la sabiduría de los grandes pensadores, no duda en cuestionarlos cuando es necesario. ¿Por qué Aristóteles defendió la esclavitud? ¿No ha erigido la filosofía occidental una ética errónea cuando no ha tenido en cuenta el dolor? A la vez que examina estas incógnitas, Armengol nos revela algunas de las claves para llevar una buena vida: «La persona feliz no es aquella que consigue y satisface sus aspiraciones, sino quien es capaz de soportar la frustración y corregir el camino emprendido». La conclusión a la que llegamos es que conocerse y respetarse a uno mismo posibilita el conocimiento y el respeto de los demás. Sólo si somos capaces de salir del laberinto de nuestros errores entenderemos que la felicidad se cifra en el presente de lo ya conseguido y en los logros cotidianos más que en el futuro de las aspiraciones. (shrink)
We argue that thoughts are structures of concepts, and that concepts should be individuated by their origins, rather than in terms of their semantic or epistemic properties. Many features of cognition turn on the vehicles of content, thoughts, rather than on the nature of the contents they express. Originalism makes concepts available to explain, with no threat of circularity, puzzling cases concerning thought. In this paper, we mention Hesperus/Phosphorus puzzles, the Evans-Perry example of the ship seen through different windows, and (...) Mates cases, and we believe that there are many additional applications. (shrink)
One debate in the experimental exploration of everyday judgments about free will is whether most people are compatibilists or incompatibilists. Some recent research suggests that many people who have incompatibilist intuitions are making a mistake; as such, they do not have genuine incompatibilist intuitions. Another worry is whether most people appropriately understand determinism or confuse it with similar, but different, notions such as fatalism. In five studies we demonstrate people distinguish determinism from fatalism. While people overall make this distinction, a (...) large percentage of people still judge that a person who is fated to perform an action is both free and morally responsible for that action. Those who thought that one freely performs and is morally responsible for a fated action had much stronger compatibilist judgments. These data suggest that a substantial percentage of people have “free will no matter what” intuitions. As a result, even though many people may appear to be compatibilist.. (shrink)
Con remisión a las obras de Michel Foucault y de Jacques Lacan, en el presente artículo se trazan los límites de la teoría de la performatividad de Judith Butler con respecto al sujeto de lo político y a su capacidad de acción tomando como referente fenomenológico la consulta que se llevara a cabo en Cataluña el 9 de noviembre de 2014. Dichos límites se hacen manifiestos mediante la distinción entre acción y acto políticos o entre subversión en tanto que transgresión (...) de la norma que da lugar a la reconfiguración del orden socio-simbólico e interrupción en tanto que transgresión de la norma que constituye un acontecimiento radicalmente otro de dicho orden. (shrink)
If I say “we are now living in England” or “grass is green in summer’ or ‘the cat is on the mat’ what I say will normally be true or false—the statements are true if they correctly report how things are, or correspond to the facts; and if they do not do these things, they are false. Such a statement will only fail to have a truth-value if its referring expressions fail to refer ; or if the statement lies on (...) the border between truth and falsity so that it is as true to say that the statement is true as to say that it is false. Are moral judgments normally true or false in the way in which the above statements are true or false? I will term the view that they are objectivism and the view that they are not subjectivism. The objectivist maintains that it is as much a fact about an action that it is right or wrong as that it causes pain or takes a long time to perform. The subjectivist maintains that saying than an action is right or wrong is not stating a fact about it but merely expressing approval of it or commending it or doing some such similar thing. I wish in this paper, first, to show that all arguments for subjectivism manifestly fail, and secondly to produce a strong argument for objectivism. But, to start with, some preliminaries. (shrink)
In late January of 1987, the State Treasurer of Pennsylvania, R. Budd Dwyer, shot himself to death in front of a dozen reporters and camera crews during a news conference in his office. Much was subsequently made in the popular press, and within the profession, about the difficult ethical decision television journalists were faced with in determining how much of the very graphic suicide tape to air. A review of the literature in this area suggests, however, that journalists have established (...) a set of relatively detailed conventions for dealing with events involving graphic depictions of death. Analysis of the Dwyer tape and interviews conducted with Pennsylvania television news directors show that eighteen of the twenty stations in the state that carry news used basically the same type and amount of footage in their evening newscasts. One decided to use no tape. One showed the moment of death. When the story broke around noon, two additional stations showed the moment of suicide, but they revised their story for the evening program. In addition, the wide majority of news directors interviewed said they had little difficulty in deciding how to edit the tape. The processing of the Dwyer story suggests that any ethical dilemmas faced by journalists during decision making were put aside for later consideration. The material was edited quickly and according to similar patterns, or conventions, around the state. The study suggests greater attention be given to the definition and interaction of personal professional values, in the ethical sense, and norms of news processing, in the sociological sense. (shrink)
If there is room for a substantial conception of the will in contemporary theorizing about human agency, it is most likely to be found in the vicinity of the phenomenon of normativity. Rational agency is distinctively responsive to the agent's acknowledgment of reasons, in the basic sense of considerations that speak for and against the alternatives for action that are available. Furthermore, it is natural to suppose that this kind of responsiveness to reasons is possible only for creatures who possess (...) certain unusual volitional powers, beyond the bare susceptibility to beliefs and desires necessary for the kind of rudimentary agency of which the higher animals are arguably capable. (shrink)
Abstract In this article, which is the first of two to examine the ideas of R. S. Peters on moral education, consideration is given to his justificatory arguments found in Ethics and Education. Here he employs presupposition arguments to show to what anyone engaging in moral discourse is committed. The result is a group of procedural principles which are recommended to be employed in moral education. This article is an attempt to examine the presupposition arguments Peters employs, to comment on (...) the procedural principles he believes are presupposed, and to consider the strength of the presupposition argument. My conclusion is that Peters's arguments fail to establish the conclusion he arrives at, and that any gains from the form of argument he uses are hollow. (shrink)
… the supreme end, the happiness of all mankind. The law concerning punishment is a Categorical Imperative; and woe to him who rummages around in the winding paths of a theory of happiness, looking for some advantage to be gained by releasing the criminal from punishment or by reducing the amount of it.
On what grounds will the rational man become a Christian? It is often assumed by many, especially non-Christians, that he will become a Christian if and only if he judges that the evidence available to him shows that it is more likely than not that the Christian theological system is true, that, in mathematical terms, on the evidence available to him, the probability of its truth is greater than half. It is the purpose of this paper to investigate whether or (...) not this is a necessary and sufficient condition for the rational man to adopt Christianity. (shrink)
I had a strange dream, or half-waking vision, not long ago. I found myself at the top of a mountain in the mist, feeling very pleased with myself, not just for having climbed the mountain, but for having achieved my life's ambition, to find a way of answering moral questions rationally. But as I was preening myself on this achievement, the mist began to clear, and I saw that I was surrounded on the mountain top by the graves of all (...) those other philosophers, great and small, who had had the same ambition, and thought they had achieved it. And I have come to see, reflecting on my dream, that, ever since, the hard-working philosophical worms have been nibbling away at their systems and showing that the achievement was an illusion. True, their skeletons, indigestible to worms, remained, and were surprisingly similar to one another. But I was led to think again about what one can, and what one cannot, achieve in this direction. (shrink)
It is commonly supposed that the philosophy of education is not a reputable area of concern for a philosopher. I have never heard a coherent, sustained and successful case made for this view. Only vague remarks about ‘autonomy’ and narrowly protectionist views of philosophy are ventured. So I shall not discuss the matter further. I shall simply be content to side with Plato, Aristotle, Comenius, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Mill and Dewey, who thought that educational issues fell within the province of (...) philosophy. Kant was so concerned with education that he interrupted his work on the Critique of Pure Reason in order to support Basedow's experimental school, the Philanthropin, and the educational reforms which it intended to institute. Kant says ‘… the greatest and most difficult problem to which man can devote himself is the problem of education.’ But if those who hold that the philosophy of education is unimportant, or even disreputable, have come to that view after examining a good deal of what is currently being said in this field, then their adverse reaction is not hard to understand, because a good deal of contemporary work here is clearly inadequate. I hope to show that the contemporary perspective is too narrow, and to advocate a return to a more traditional view of the philosophy of education in the hope that the subject may once again be given the importance which was formerly attributed to it. (shrink)
In this article we show that it is possible to completely classify the degrees of r.e. bases of r.e. vector spaces in terms of weak truth table degrees. The ideas extend to classify the degrees of complements and splittings. Several ramifications of the classification are discussed, together with an analysis of the structure of the degrees of pairs of r.e. summands of r.e. spaces.
We present an account of processing capacity in the ACT-R theory. At the symbolic level, the number of chunks in the current goal provides a measure of relational complexity. At the subsymbolic level, limits on spreading activation, measured by the attentional parameter W, provide a theory of processing capacity, which has been applied to performance, learning, and individual differences data.
ABSTRACTSince 2007, when Mexico City decriminalized abortion during the first trimester, a debate has been taking place regarding abortion and the right to conscientious objection. Many people argue that, since the provision of abortions is now a statutory duty of healthcare personnel there can be no place for “conscientious objection.” Others claim that, even if such an objection were to be allowed, it should not be seen as a right, since talk about a right to CO may lead to a (...) slippery slope where we may end up recognizing a right to disobey the law. In this paper, I argue that there is a right to CO and that this may be justified through the notions of autonomy and integrity, which a liberal democracy should respect. However, it cannot be an absolute right, and in the case of abortion, it conflicts with women’s reproductive rights. Therefore, CO should be carefully regulated so that it does not obstruct the exercise o... (shrink)
My topic lies on conceptual terrain that is quite familiar to philosophers. For others, a bit of background may be in order. In light of what has filtered down from quantum mechanics, few philosophers today believe that the universe is causally deterministic. That is, to use Peter van Inwagen's succinct definition of “determinism,” few philosophers believe that “there is at any instant exactly one physically possible future.” Even so, partly for obvious historical reasons, philosophers continue to argue about whether free (...) will and moral responsibility are compatible with determinism. Compatibilists argue for compatibility, and incompatibilists argue against it. Some incompatibilists maintain that free will and moral responsibility are illusions. But most are libertarians, libertarianism being the conjunction of incompatibilism and the thesis that at least some human beings are possessed of free will and moral responsibility. (shrink)
In the past decade, a number of empirical researchers have suggested that laypeople have compatibilist intuitions. In a recent paper, Feltz and Millan have challenged this conclusion by claiming that most laypeople are only compatibilists in appearance and are in fact willing to attribute free will to people no matter what. As evidence for this claim, they have shown that an important proportion of laypeople still attribute free will to agents in fatalistic universes. In this paper, we first argue that (...) Feltz and Millan’s error-theory rests on a conceptual confusion: it is perfectly acceptable for a certain brand of compatibilist to judge free will and fatalism to be compatible, as long as fatalism does not prevent agents from being the source of their actions. We then present the results of two studies showing that laypeople’s intuitions are best understood as following a certain brand of source compatibilism rather than a “free-will-no-matter-what” strategy. (shrink)
In the 11th chapter of the second book of Samuel, we read how King David saw Bathsheba in the evening: ‘v.2. And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.’.
This Companion provides a fresh and comprehensive account of this outstanding work, which remains among the most frequently read works of Greek philosophy, indeed of Classical antiquity in general. The sixteen essays, by authors who represent various academic disciplines, bring a spectrum of interpretive approaches to bear in order to aid the understanding of a wide-ranging audience, from first-time readers of the Republic who require guidance, to more experienced readers who wish to explore contemporary currents in the work’s interpretation. The (...) three initial chapters address aspects of the work as a whole. They are followed by essays that match closely the sequence in which topics are presented in the ten books of the Republic. Since the Republic returns frequently to the same topics by different routes, so do the authors of this volume, who provide the readers with divergent yet complementary perspectives by which to appreciate the Republic’s principal concerns. (shrink)
l. There is an antinomy in Hare's thought between Ought-Implies-Can and No-Indicatives-from-Imperatives. It cannot be resolved by drawing a distinction between implication and entailment. 2. Luther resolved this antinomy in the l6th century, but to understand his solution, we need to understand his problem. He thought the necessity of Divine foreknowledge removed contingency from human acts, thus making it impossible for sinners to do otherwise than sin. 3. Erasmus objected (on behalf of Free Will) that this violates Ought-Implies-Can which he (...) supported with Hare-style ordinary language arguments. 4. Luther a) pointed out the antinomy and b) resolved it by undermining the prescriptivist arguments for Ought-Implies-Can. 5. We can reinforce Luther's argument with an example due to David Lewis. 6. Whatever its merits as a moral principle, Ought-Implies-Can is not a logical truth and should not be included in deontic logics. Most deontic logics, and maybe the discipline itself, should therefore be abandoned. 7. Could it be that Ought-Conversationally-Implies-Can? Yes - in some contexts. But a) even if these contexts are central to the evolution of Ought, the implication is not built into the semantics of the word; b) nor is the parallel implication built into the semantics of orders; and c) in some cases Ought conversationally implies Can, only because Ought-Implies-Can is a background moral belief. d) Points a) and b) suggest a criticism of prescriptivism - that Oughts do not entail imperatives but that the relation is one of conversational implicature. 8. If Ought-Implies-Can is treated as a moral principle, Erasmus' argument for Free Will can be revived (given his Christian assumptions). But it does not 'prove' Pelagianism as Luther supposed. A semi-Pelagian alternative is available. (shrink)
I propose to begin with some fairly unexciting and uncontroversial remarks about possibility-statements, and then in their light to examine two problems philosophers have raised about certain statements of this kind which might be made in Christian theology where it touches on the doctrine of the Incarnation.
This article intends to describe the central themes of Millán-Puelles' thought. The fundamental intuitions of his youth remain over the course of his life and mark a line of creative and personal thinking between Phenomenology and classical philosophy, mainly Thomism. He elaborates a metaphysics of knowledge with a vigorous defence of spontaneous realism. His defence of the real leads him to grant special importance to the study of the unreal. Likewise, he is interested in practical problems, which in his view (...) are intimately linked with metaphysical ones. (shrink)
Claims about ‘the meaning of life’ have tended to be made and discussed in conjunction with bold metaphysical and theological affirmations. For life to have meaning, there must be a comprehensive divine plan to give it meaning, or there must be an intelligible cosmic process with a ‘telos’ that a man needs to know if his life is to be meaningfully orientated. Or, it is thought to be a condition of the meaningfulness of life, that values should be ultimately ‘conserved’ (...) in some way, that no evil should be unredeemable and irrational. And it may be claimed that if death were to end our experience, meaninglessness would triumph. (shrink)
Logic ought to guide our thinking. It is better, more rational, more intelligent to think logically than to think illogically. Illogical thought leads to bad judgment and error. In any case, if logic had no role to play as a guide to thought, why should we bother with it? The somewhat naïve opinions of the previous paragraph are subject to attack from many sides. It may be objected that an activity does not count as thinking at all unless it is (...) at least minimally logical, so logic is constitutive of thought rather than a guide to it. Or it may be objected that whereas logic describes a system of timeless relations between propositions, thinking is a dynamic process involving revisions, and so could not use a merely static guide. Or again the objection may be that there is no such thing as logic, only a whole variety of different logics, not all of which could possibly be good guides. (shrink)
Macroscopic irreversible processes emerge from fundamental physical laws of reversible character. The source of the local irreversibility seems to be not in the laws themselves but in the initial and boundary conditions of the equations that represent the laws. In this work we propose that the screening of currents by black hole event horizons determines, locally, a preferred direction for the flux of electromagnetic energy. We study the growth of black hole event horizons due to the cosmological expansion and accretion (...) of cosmic microwave background radiation, for different cosmological models. We propose generalized McVittie co-moving metrics and integrate the rate of accretion of cosmic microwave background radiation onto a supermassive black hole over cosmic time. We find that for flat, open, and closed Friedmann cosmological models, the ratio of the total area of the black hole event horizons with respect to the area of a radial co-moving space-like hypersurface always increases. Since accretion of cosmic radiation sets an absolute lower limit to the total matter accreted by black holes, this implies that the causal past and future are not mirror symmetric for any spacetime event. The asymmetry causes a net Poynting flux in the global future direction; the latter is in turn related to the ever increasing thermodynamic entropy. Thus, we expose a connection between four different “time arrows”: cosmological, electromagnetic, gravitational, and thermodynamic. (shrink)
An alleged moral right to informational privacy assumes that we should have control over information about ourselves. What is the philosophical justification for this control? I think that one prevalent answer to this question—an answer that has to do with the justification of negative rights generally—will not do.