The subject of this paper is objectivity from Kant's point of view: or better, my own perspective on Kant's perspective on objectivity. More precisely, I want to draw attention to some aspects of the latter, which I believe are too narrow and must be widened before we can benefit from a Kantian approach today.
Thinking about space is thinking about spatial things. The table is on the carpet; hence the carpet is under the table. The vase is in the box; hence the box is not in the vase. But what does it mean for an object to be somewhere? How are objects tied to the space they occupy? This book is concerned with these and other fundamental issues in the philosophy of spatial representation. Our starting point is an analysis of the interplay between (...) mereology (the study of part/whole relations), topology (the study of spatial continuity and compactness), and the theory of spatial location proper. This leads to a unified framework for spatial representation understood quite broadly as a theory of the representation of spatial entities. The framework is then tested against some classical metaphysical questions such as: Are parts essential to their wholes? Is spatial colocation a sufficient criterion of identity? What (if anything) distinguishes material objects from events and other spatial entities? The concluding chapters deal with applications to topics as diverse as the logical analysis of movement and the semantics of maps. (shrink)
In this article Roberto Balzani, the mayor of Forlì, remembers Roberto Ruffilli, 25 years after his murder. The remembrance reconstructs the steps of his academic career and of his political commitment. Ruffilli graduated at the Catholic University of Milan; his researches in contemporary history placed him in an original position if compared with the Italian studies of the time. The constant attention towards the history of administration and the transformations of the state is the basis on which Ruffilli (...) built his proposals concerning the reform of the insitutional and political system. Balzani concludes the article by affirming that the problems of today aren't any different, that is why Ruffilli's proposals still demonstrate their modernity. (shrink)
This paper discusses three relevant logics that obey Component Homogeneity - a principle that Goddard and Routley introduce in their project of a logic of significance. The paper establishes two main results. First, it establishes a general characterization result for two families of logic that obey Component Homogeneity - that is, we provide a set of necessary and sufficient conditions for their consequence relations. From this, we derive characterization results for S*fde, dS*fde, crossS*fde. Second, the paper establishes complete sequent calculi (...) for S*fde, dS*fde, crossS*fde. Among the other accomplishments of the paper, we generalize the semantics from Bochvar, Hallden, Deutsch and Daniels, we provide a general recipe to define containment logics, we explore the single-premise/single-conclusion fragment of S*fde, dS*fde, crossS*fdeand the connections between crossS*fde and the logic Eq of equality by Epstein. Also, we present S*fde as a relevant logic of meaninglessness that follows the main philosophical tenets of Goddard and Routley, and we briefly examine three further systems that are closely related to our main logics. Finally, we discuss Routley's criticism to containment logic in light of our results, and overview some open issues. (shrink)
Roberto Esposito is one of leading figures in a new generation of Italian philosophers. This book criticizes the notion of the person and develops an original account of the concept of the impersonal - what he calls the third person.
This high-level study discusses Newtonian principles and 19th-century views on electrodynamics and the aether. Additional topics include Einstein's electrodynamics of moving bodies, Minkowski spacetime, gravitational geometry, time and causality, and other subjects. Highlights include a rich exposition of the elements of the special and general theories of relativity.
Contents: List of Contributors VII; Roberto Poli: Foreword IX-X; Roberto Poli: The Brentano puzzle: an introduction 1; Dallas Willard: Who needs Brentano? The wasteland of philosophy without its past 15; Claire Ortiz Hill: Introduction to Paul Linke's 'Gottlob Frege as philosopher' 45; Paul F. Linke: Gottlob Frege as philosopher 49; John Blackmore: Franz Brentano and the University of Vienna Philosophical Society 1888-1938 73; Alf Zimmer: On agents and objects: some remarks on Brentanian perception 93; Liliana Albertazzi: Perceptual saliences (...) and nuclei of meaning 113; Jan Srzednicki: Brentano and the thinkable 139; Claire Ortiz Hill: From empirical psychology to phenomenology. Edmund Husserl on the 'Brentano puzzle' 151; Serena Cattaruzza: Brentano and Boltzmann: the Schubladenexperiment 169; Karl Schuhmann: Johannes Daubert's theory of judgement 179; Evelyn Dölling: On Alexius Meinong's theory of signs 199; Robin Rollinger: Linguistic expressions and acts of meaning: comments on Marty's philosophy of language 215-225. (shrink)
A magisterial study of the philosophy of physics that both introduces the subject to the non-specialist and contains many original and important contributions for professionals in the area. Modern physics was born as a part of philosophy and has retained to this day a properly philosophical concern for the clarity and coherence of ideas. Any introduction to the philosophy of physics must therefore focus on the conceptual development of physics itself. This book pursues that development from Galileo and Newton through (...) Maxwell and Boltzmann to Einstein and the founders of quantum mechanics. There is also discussion of important philosophers of physics in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries and of twentieth-century debates. In the interest of appealing to the broadest possible readership the author avoids technicalities and explains both the physics and philosophical terms. (shrink)
Introduction -- Inquiry as the logic of practical reasoning -- From reasoning to judgment -- Expressive inquiry -- The public sphere -- Pragmatism, pluralism, and the fact of relativism -- A pragmatic theory of objectivity -- Why justification matters? -- Pragmatism as an epistemology of practice.
According to ‘Strong Composition as Identity’, if an entity is composed of a plurality of entities, it is identical to them. As it has been argued in the literature, SCAI appears to give rise to some serious problems which seem to suggest that SCAI-theorists should take their plural quantifier to be governed by some ‘weak’ plural comprehension principle and, thus, ‘exclude’ some kinds of pluralities from their plural ontology. The aim of this paper is to argue that, contrary to what (...) may appear at first sight, the assumption of a weak plural comprehension principle is perfectly compatible with plural logic and the common uses of plural quantification. As I aim to show, SCAI-theorists can simply claim that their theory must be understood as formulated by means of the most ‘joint-carving’ plural quantifier, thus leaving open the possibility of other, less joint-carving, ‘unrestricted’ plural quantifiers. In the final part of the paper I will also suggest that SCAI-theorists should not only allow for singular quantification over pluralities of entities, but also for plural quantification over ‘super-pluralities’ of entities. (shrink)
Fine (2005, 2006) has presented a ‘trilemma’ concerning the tense-realist idea that reality is constituted by tensed facts. According to Fine, there are only three ways out of the trilemma, consisting in what he takes to be the three main families of tense-realism: ‘presentism’, ‘(external) relativism’, and ‘fragmentalism’. Importantly, although Fine characterises tense-realism as the thesis that reality is constituted (at least in part) by tensed facts, he explicitly claims that tense realists are not committed to their fundamental existence. Recently, (...) Correia and Rosenkranz (2011, 2012) have claimed that Fine’s tripartite map of tense realism is incomplete as it misses a fourth position they call ‘dynamic absolutism’. In this paper, I will argue that dynamic absolutists are committed to the irreducible existence of tensed facts and that, for this reason, they face a similar trilemma concerning the notion of fact-content. I will thus conclude that a generalised version of Fine’s trilemma, concerning both fact-constitution and fact-content, is indeed inescapable. (shrink)
This article argues for the elimination of the concept of life worth living from philosophical vocabulary on three complementary grounds. First, the basic components of this concept suffer from multiple ambiguities, which hamper attempts to ground informative evaluative and classificatory judgments about the worth of life. Second, the criteria proposed to track the extension of the concept of life worth living rest on unsupported axiological assumptions and fail to identify precise and plausible referents for this concept. And third, the concept (...) of life worth living is not shown to serve any major evaluative or classificatory purpose besides those served by already available axiological concepts. By eliminating the concept of life worth living, philosophers will free themselves of the task of addressing ill-posed axiological questions and ground reflection about the worth of life on more rigorous conceptual foundations. (shrink)
The possibility of changing the past by means of time-travel appears to depend on the possibility of distinguishing the past as it is ‘before’ and ‘after’ the time-travel. So far, all the metaphysical models that have been proposed to account for the possibility of past-changing time-travels operate this distinction by conceiving of time as multi-dimensional, and thus by significantly inflating our metaphysics of time. The aim of this article is to argue that there is an intuitive sense in which past-changing (...) time-travels are metaphysically possible also in one-dimensional time. (shrink)
An invaluable introduction to the breadth and rigor of Esposito's thought, the book will also welcome readers already familiar with Esposito's characteristic skill in overturning and breaking open the language of politics.
"A pleasure to read. Gracefully written by a scholar well grounded in the relevant philosophical, historical, and technical background. . . . a helpfully clarifying review and analysis of some issues of importance to recent philosophy of science and a source of some illuminating insights."--Burke Townsend, Philosophy of Science.
In this paper, I propose a new nonconceptual reading of the B-Deduction. As Hanna correctly remarks :399–415, 2011: 405), the word “cognition” has in both editions of the first Critique a wide sense, meaning nonconceptual cognition, and a narrow meaning, in Kant’s own words “an objective perception”. To be sure, Kant assumes the first meaning to account for why the Deduction is unavoidable. And if we take this meaning as a premise of the B-Deduction, then there is a gap in (...) the argument since the categories are certainly not conditions for non-conceptual cognition. Still, I believe it is not this wide meaning but rather the narrow one that figures in any premise of the B-Deduction. Thus, in the reading that I am proposing, categories are not conditions for representing something, or even conditions for representing something objectively. Instead, they are conditions for the recognition that what we represent through the senses exists mind-independently. In the first step of the B-Deduction, this cognition in the narrow sense takes the form of the propositional thinking that the nonconceptually represented object of the sensible intuition exists objectively. In contrast, in the second step of the B-Deduction, this cognition in the narrow sense takes the form of the apprehension of what our human senses represent nonconceptually as existing objectively. (shrink)
Several authors have recently advocated a so-called new case for paternalism, according to which empirical findings from distinct decision sciences provide compelling reasons in favour of paternalistic interference. In their view, the available behavioural and neuro-psychological findings enable paternalists to address traditional anti-paternalistic objections and reliably enhance the well-being of their target agents. In this paper, I combine insights from decision-making research, moral philosophy and evidence-based policy evaluation to assess the merits of this case. In particular, I articulate and defend (...) three complementary arguments that, I claim, challenge even the best available calls for such case. In doing so, I identify the main justificatory challenges faced by the new paternalists and explicate the implications of these challenges for the ongoing philosophical debate about the justifiability of paternalistic interference. (shrink)
In recent years, several authors have debated about the justifiability of so-called scientific imperialism. To date, however, widespread disagreements remain regarding both the identification and the normative evaluation of scientific imperialism. In this paper, I aim to remedy this situation by making some conceptual distinctions concerning scientific imperialism and by providing a detailed assessment of the most prominent objections to it. I shall argue that these objections provide a valuable basis for opposing some instances of scientific imperialism, but do not (...) yield cogent reasons to think that scientific imperialism in general is objectionable or unjustified. I then highlight three wide-ranging implications of this result for the ongoing philosophical debate about the justifiability of scientific imperialism. (shrink)
I reject the widely held view that Duhem's 1906 book La Théorie physique is a statement of instrumentalistic conventionalism, motivated by the scientific crisis at the end of the nineteenth century. By considering Duhem's historical context I show that his epistemological views were already formed before the crisis occured; that he consistently supported general thermodynamics against the new atomism; and that he rejected the epistemological views of the latter's philosophical supporters. In particular I show that Duhem rejected Poincaré's account of (...) scientific language, Le Roy's view that laws are definitions, and the conventionalist's use of simplicity as the criterion of theory choice. Duhem regarded most theory choices as decidable on empirical grounds, but made historical context the main determining factor in scientific change. (shrink)
This paper aims at renovating the prospects for social philosophy through a confrontation between pragmatism and critical theory. In particular, it contends that the resources of pragmatism for advancing a project of emancipatory social philosophy have so far been neglected. After contrasting the two major traditions in social philosophy—the analytical and the critical—I proceed to outline the main traits of a pragmatist social philosophy. By inscribing pragmatism within the tradition of social philosophy, my aim is to promote a new understanding (...) of pragmatism as one of the central Euro-American traditions in social and political philosophy, deserving to be on an equal footing with critical theory and political liberalism. And, furthermore, one whose critical and radical force may be of great help in the wake of the dismissal of the metaphysical certainties upon which the critical program of social philosophy had once set its hopes of social emancipation. (shrink)
ABSTRACTThe ability of providing an adequate supervenience base for tensed truths may seem to be one of the main theoretical advantages of both the growing-block and the moving-spotlight theory of time over presentism. However, in this paper I will argue that some propositions appear to be as problematic for growing-block theorists as past-directed propositions are for presentists, namely propositions stating that nothing will be the case in the future. Furthermore, I will show that the moving-spotlight theory can adequately address all (...) the main supervenience challenges that can be levelled against A-theories of time. I will, thus, conclude that, at least as far as the supervenience principle is concerned, the moving-spotlight theory should be preferred over both presentism and the growing-block theory. (shrink)
Rejected options -- The perennial philosophy and its enemy -- Pragmatism reclaimed -- The core conception: constraint, incompleteness, resistance, reinvention -- Time and experience: antinomies of the impersonal -- The reality of time: the transformation of transformation -- Self-consciousness: humanity imagines -- What then should we do? -- Society: the perpetual invention of the future -- Politics: democracy as anti-fate -- A moment of reform: the reinvention of social democracy -- Religion: the self awakened -- Philosophy: beyond superscience and self-help.
In this article I examine the main conceptions of public reason in contemporary political philosophy in order to set the frame for appreciating the novelty of the pragmatist understanding of public reason as based upon the notion of consequences and upon a theory of rationality as inquiry. The approach is inspired by Dewey but is free from any concern with history of philosophy. The aim is to propose a different understanding of the nature of public reason aimed at overcoming the (...) limitations of the existing approaches. Public reason is presented as the proper basis for discussing contested issues in the broad frame of deep democracy. (shrink)
An important problem in inductive probability theory is the design of exchangeable analogical methods, i.e., of exchangeable inductive methods that take into account certain considerations of analogy by similarity for predictive inferences. Here a precise reformulation of the problem of predictive analogy is given and a new family of exchangeable analogical methods is introduced.Firstly, it is proved that the exchangeable analogical method introduced by Skyrms (1993) does not satisfy the best known general principles of predictive analogy. Secondly, Skyrms's approach — (...) consisting of the usage of particular hyper-Carnapian methods, i.e., mixtures of Carnapian inductive methods — is adopted in the design of a new family of exchangeable analogical methods. Lastly, it is proved that such methods satisfy an interesting general principle of predictive analogy. (shrink)
A critical survey of the main philosophical theories about events and event talk, organized in three main sections: (i) Events and Other Categories (Events vs. Objects; Events vs. Facts; Events vs. Properties; Events vs. Times); (ii) Types of Events (Activities, Accomplishments, Achievements, and States; Static and Dynamic Events; Actions and Bodily Movements; Mental and Physical Events; Negative Events); (iii) Existence, Identity, and Indeterminacy.
This paper argues that some of the misunderstandings surrounding the meaning and function of the concept of human dignity in bioethics arise from a lack of distinction between two different roles that this notion plays: one as an overarching policy principle, and the other as a moral standard of patient care. While the former is a very general concept which fulfils a foundational and a guiding role of the normative framework governing biomedical issues, the latter reflects a much more concrete (...) and context-specific understanding of the patient as a “person”. The importance of dignity as a policy principle will be described by appealing to the distinction between principles and rules as developed by some legal philosophers. The value of dignity as a standard of patient care will be illustrated with the help of concrete examples and by drawing on the taxonomies of dignity proposed by Jonathan Mann and other scholars. The overall scope of the article is to highlight this double and complementary role of human dignity in bioethics. (shrink)
To a greater extent than in other technical domains, research and progress in Artificial Intelligence has always been entwined with the fictional. Its language echoes strongly with other forms of cultural narratives, such as fairytales, myth and religion. In this essay we present varied examples that illustrate how these analogies have guided not only readings of the AI enterprise by commentators outside the community but also inspired AI researchers themselves. Owing to their influence, we pay particular attention to the similarities (...) between religious language and the way in which the potential advent of greater than human intelligence is presented contemporarily. We then move on to the role that fiction, science fiction most of all, has historically played and is still playing in the discussion of AI by influencing researchers and the public, shifting the weights of different scenarios in our collectively perceived probability space. We sum up by arguing that the lore surrounding AI research, ancient and modern, points to the ancestral and shared human motivations that drive researchers in their pursuit and fascinate humanity at large. These points of narrative entanglement where AI meets the wider culture should serve to amplify the call to engage ourselves with the discussion of the potential destination of this technology. (shrink)
In this article, Roberto Esposito lays out the genealogical pathways linking the three major concepts around which his most recent work has wound its way: community, immunity, and biopolitics. Although immunity is necessary to the preservation of our life, when driven beyond a certain threshold it forces life into a sort of cage where not only our freedom gets lost but also the very meaning of our existence – that opening of existence outside itself that takes the name of (...) communitas. A hermeneutics informed by immunity can allow the category of community to regain a new political significance, without ending up in a substantialist metaphysics. This task is dictated by the urgent need for an affirmative biopolitics – a horizon of meaning – in which life would no longer be the object but somehow the subject of politics. But what sort of shape would this take? Where would we trace its symptoms? And with what objectives? A preliminary answer focuses on breaking the vise grip between public and private that threatens to crush the common, by seeking instead to expand the space of the common, in the fight, for example, against the planned privatization of water and the battle over energy sources. (shrink)
Nicolai Hartmann was one of the most prolific and original, yet sober, clear and rigorous, 20th century German philosophers. Hartmann was brought up as a Neo-Kantian, but soon turned his back on Kantianism to become one of the most important proponents of ontological realism. He developed what he calls the “new ontology”, on which relies a systematic opus dealing with all the main areas of philosophy. His work had major influences both in philosophy and in various scientific disciplines. The contributions (...) collected in this volume from an international group of Hartmann scholars and philosophers explore subjects such as Hartmann's philosophical development from Neo-Kantianism to ontological realism, the difference between the way he and Heidegger overcame Neo-Kantianism, his Platonism concerning eternal objects and his interpretation of Plato, his Aristotelianism, his theoretical relation to Wolff's ontology and Meinong's theory of objects, his treatment and use of the aporematic method, his metaphysics, his ethics and theory of values, his philosophy of mind, his philosophy of mathematics, as well as the influence he had on 20th century philosophical anthropology and biology. (shrink)
This unique textbook states and proves all the major theorems of many-valued propositional logic and provides the reader with the most recent developments and trends, including applications to adaptive error-correcting binary search. The book is suitable for self-study, making the basic tools of many-valued logic accessible to students and scientists with a basic mathematical knowledge who are interested in the mathematical treatment of uncertain information. Stressing the interplay between algebra and logic, the book contains material never before published, such as (...) a simple proof of the completeness theorem and of the equivalence between Chang's MV algebras and Abelian lattice-ordered groups with unit - a necessary prerequisite for the incorporation of a genuine addition operation into fuzzy logic. Readers interested in fuzzy control are provided with a rich deductive system in which one can define fuzzy partitions, just as Boolean partitions can be defined and computed in classical logic. Detailed bibliographic remarks at the end of each chapter and an extensive bibliography lead the reader on to further specialised topics. (shrink)
Hallucinatory pictures are yet to be found picture-like artifacts that induce a hallucination of their content that cannot be intuitively explained by a look at the structure of the pictorial vehicle. Different accounts of depiction make different predictions about the possibility that such artifacts be considered as pictures. Some cases are presented that point towards the intuitive acceptability of hallucinatory pictures.
This article addresses the theoretical difficulty of justifying the use of penal coercion in circumstances of marked, unjustified social inequality. The intuitive belief behind the text is that in such a context—that of an indecent State—justifying penal coercion becomes very problematic, particularly when directed against the most disfavored members of society.
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