This essay updates Aaron Smuts', 2009 Philosophy Compass piece, “Art and Negative Affect” in light of recent work on the topic. The “paradox of painful art” is the general problem of how it is possible to enjoy or value experiences of art that involve painful emotions. It encompasses both the paradox of tragedy and the paradox of horror. Section 2 lays out a taxonomy of solutions to the paradox of painful art and argues that we should opt for a pluralistic (...) approach rather than seeking a unified solution. Section 3 surveys recent work on the topic, with an emphasis on views holding that it is possible for an experience of art to be pleasant partly in virtue of involving painful emotion. Section 4 suggests a range of phenomena that are not usually considered under the umbrella of the paradox of painful art but that offer promising directions for further research. (shrink)
I argue that a solution to the paradox of horror should accommodate the possibility of enjoying an aesthetic experience partly in virtue of its being painful. This possibility is typically thought to be ruled out by the very nature of pleasure and pain. I argue that this is not so for adverbial accounts of pleasure. Using Aristotle's theory of pleasure as an example of an adverbial account, I show that it is possible for to enjoy an aesthetic experience partly in (...) virtue of its being painful. (shrink)
What could ground normative restrictions concerning cultural appropriation which are not grounded by independent considerations such as property rights or harm? We propose that such restrictions can be grounded by considerations of intimacy. Consider the familiar phenomenon of interpersonal intimacy. Certain aspects of personal life and interpersonal relationships are afforded various protections in virtue of being intimate. We argue that an analogous phenomenon exists at the level of large groups. In many cases, members of a group engage in shared practices (...) that contribute to a sense of common identity, such as wearing certain hair or clothing styles or performing a certain style of music. Participation in such practices can generate relations of group intimacy, which can ground certain prerogatives in much the same way that interpersonal intimacy can. One such prerogative is making what we call an appropriation claim. An appropriation claim is a request from a group member that non-members refrain from appropriating a given element of the group’s culture. Ignoring appropriation claims can constitute a breach of intimacy. But, we argue, just as for the prerogatives of interpersonal intimacy, in many cases there is no prior fact of the matter about whether the appropriation of a given cultural practice constitutes a breach of intimacy. It depends on what the group decides together. (shrink)
In Nicomachean Ethics X.5, Aristotle gives a series of arguments for the claim that pleasures differ from one another in kind in accordance with the differences in kind among the activities they arise in connection with. I develop an interpretation of these arguments based on an interpretation of his theory of pleasure (which I have defended elsewhere) according to which pleasure is the perfection of perfect activity. In the course of developing this interpretation, I reconstruct Aristotle’s phenomenology of pleasure, arguing (...) that while he denies that all pleasures share any given phenomenal element, he does think that all pleasures have a common phenomenal structure. Finally, I argue that Aristotle’s view that pleasures differ in kind does not imply that they cannot be compared in pleasantness. (shrink)
Most commentators think that Plato's account of the varieties of false pleasure is disjointed and that various types of false pleasure he identifies are false in different ways. It really doesn't look that way to me: I think that the discussion is unified, and that Plato starts with less difficult cases to build up to a point about more important but less clear cases. In this paper, I do my best to show how this might work. I don't think I (...) will ever work on this again: the experience of writing this paper and dealing with frustrating refereeing practices has led me to pretty much switch to aesthetics. I'm much happier. But here are the fruits of my labor. I know there are a few details I got wrong (in particular a place or two where I should have scrutinized Frede's translation more closely), but I still think that I'm on the right track. I hope it's useful to someone. (shrink)
I argue that Aristotle took pleasure to be a certain aspect of perfect activities of awareness, namely, their very perfection. I also argue that this reading facilitates an attractive interpretation of his view that pleasures differ in kind along with the activities they arise in connection with.
I distinguish two ways of explaining our capacity for ‘transparent’ knowledge of our own present beliefs, perceptions, and intentions: an inferential and a reflective approach. Alex Byrne (2011) has defended an inferential approach, but I argue that this approach faces a basic difficulty, and that a reflective approach avoids the difficulty. I conclude with a brief sketch and defence of a reflective approach to our transparent self-knowledge, and I show how this approach is connected with the thesis that we must (...) distinguish between a kind of self-knowledge that is of oneself as agent and another kind that is of oneself as patient. (shrink)
It is argued that instrumentalizing the value of art does an injustice to artistic appreciation and provides a hostage to fortune. Whilst aestheticism offers an intellectual bulwark against such an approach, it focuses on what is distinctive of art at the expense of broader artistic values. It is argued that artistic appreciation and creativity involve not just skills but excellences of character. The nature of particular artistic or appreciative virtues and vices are briefly explored, such as snobbery, aestheticism and creativity, (...) in order to motivate a virtue theoretic approach. Artistic virtues are intrinsically valuable excellences of character that enable us to create or appreciate all sorts of things from everyday recipes to the finest achievements of humankind. Such an approach offers a new way to resist the age old temptation to instrumentalize the values of art. (shrink)
In recent years, many non-consequentialists such as Frances Kamm and Thomas Scanlon have been puzzling over what has come to be known as the Number Problem, which is how to show that the greater number in a rescue situation should be saved without aggregating the claims of the many, a typical kind of consequentialist move that seems to violate the separateness of persons. In this article, I argue that these non-consequentialists may be making the task more difficult than necessary, because (...) allowing aggregation does not prevent one from being a non-consequentialist. I shall explain how a non-consequentialist can still respect the separateness of persons while allowing for aggregation. (shrink)
Matthew Soteriou provides an original philosophical account of sensory and cognitive aspects of consciousness. He explores distinctions of temporal character in our mental lives--especially in relation to the exercise of agency--and illuminates the more general issue of the place and role of mental action in the metaphysics of mind.
From Plato through Aquinas to Kant and beyond beauty has traditionally been considered the paradigmatic aesthetic quality. Thus, quite naturally following Socrates' strategy in The Meno, we are tempted to generalize from our analysis of the nature and value of beauty, a particular aesthetic value, to an account of aesthetic value generally. When we look at that which is beautiful, the object gives rise to a certain kind of pleasure within us. Thus aesthetic value is characterized in terms of that (...) which affords us pleasure. Of course, the relation cannot be merely instrumental. Many activities may lead to consequent pleasures that we would not consider to be aesthetic in any way. For example, playing tennis, going swimming or finishing a book. (shrink)
Experiences of Depression is a philosophical exploration of what it is like to be depressed. In this important new book, Matthew Ratcliffe develops a detailed account of depression experiences by drawing on work in phenomenology, philosophy of mind and psychology, and several other disciplines.
Emotions and bodily feelings -- Existential feelings -- The phenomenology of touch -- Body and world -- Feeling and belief in the Capgras delusion -- Feelings of deadness and depersonalization -- Existential feeling in schizophrenia -- What William James really said -- Stance, feeling, and belief -- Pathologies of existential feeling.
At what age should children acquire adult rights? To what extent are parents morally permitted to shape the beliefs of their children? How should childbearing rights and resources be distributed? Matthew Clayton provides a controversial set of answers to these and related issues in this pivotal new work.
At the end of Matters of Exchange, Harold Cook's major revisionist account of the early modern scientific revolution, he locates the political and economic writings of Bernard Mandeville within the practices and values of contemporaneous Dutch observational medicine. Like Mandeville, Cook describes the potency of early modern capitalism and its attendant value system in generating industry and knowledge; like Mandeville, Cook finds coercive systems of moral regulation to be mistaken in their estimation of human capacities; and like Mandeville, Cook does (...) not shy away from the violence that often made the worldwide commerce in matters of fact possible. “Every Part was full of Vice,” famously rhymed Mandeville, “Yet the whole Mass a Paradise.” The practices and values of science, this book suggests, stemmed from the vices of the merchant and the consumer, not the sprezzatura of the baroque courtier, the asceticism of the Christian gentleman, the speculation of the university philosopher, or the dour appraisal of the theologian. Interest, not claims to disinterest, made modern science and its attendant values possible. Scrupulous attention to goods from around the world and right at home created the conditions for natural knowledge. (shrink)
Philosophers have long been interested in a series of interrelated questions about natural kinds. What are they? What role do they play in science and metaphysics? How do they contribute to our epistemic projects? What categories count as natural kinds? And so on. Owing, perhaps, to different starting points and emphases, we now have at hand a variety of conceptions of natural kinds—some apparently better suited than others to accommodate a particular sort of inquiry. Even if coherent, this situation isn’t (...) ideal. My goal in this article is to begin to articulate a more general account of ‘natural kind phenomena’. While I do not claim that this account should satisfy everyone—it is built around a certain conception of the epistemic role of kinds and has an obvious pragmatic flavour—I believe that it has the resources to go further than extant alternatives, in particular the homeostatic property cluster view of kinds. (shrink)
In this major new work, Matthew Kramer seeks to establish two main conclusions. On the one hand, moral requirements are strongly objective. On the other hand, the objectivity of ethics is itself an ethical matter that rests primarily on ethical considerations. Moral realism - the doctrine that morality is indeed objective - is a moral doctrine. Major new volume in our new series _New Directions in Ethics_ Takes on the big picture - defending the objectivity of ethics whilst rejecting (...) the grounds of much of the existing debate between realists and anti-realists Cuts across both ethical theory and metaethics Distinguished by the quality of the scholarship and its ambitious range. (shrink)
Matthew Stuart offers a fresh interpretation of John Locke's Essay Concerning Human Understanding, arguing for the work's profound contribution to metaphysics. He presents new readings of Locke's accounts of personal identity and the primary/secondary quality distinction, and explores Locke's case against materialism and his philosophy of action.
John N. Williams (1994) and Matthew Weiner (2005) invoke predictions in order to undermine the normative relevance of knowledge for assertions; in particular, Weiner argues, predictions are important counterexamples to the Knowledge Account of Assertion (KAA). I argue here that they are not true counterexamples at all, a point that can be agreed upon even by those who reject KAA.
It is through touch that we are able to interact directly with the world; it is our primary conduit of both pleasure and pain. Touch may be our most immediate and powerful sense—“the first sense" because of the central role it plays in experience. In this book, Matthew Fulkerson proposes that human touch, despite its functional diversity, is a single, unified sensory modality. Fulkerson offers a philosophical account of touch, reflecting the interests, methods, and approach that define contemporary philosophy; (...) but his argument is informed throughout by the insights and constraints of empirical work on touch. Human touch is a multidimensional object of investigation, Fulkerson writes, best served by using a variety of methods and approaches. -/- To defend his view of the unity of touch, Fulkerson describes and argues for a novel, unifying role for exploratory action in touch. He goes on to fill in the details of this unified, exploratory form of perception, offering philosophical accounts of tool use and distal touch, the representational structure of tangible properties, the spatial content of touch, and the role of pleasure in tactual experience. -/- Fulkerson’s argument for the unique role played by exploratory action departs notably from traditional vision-centric philosophical approaches to perception, challenging the received view that action plays the same role in all sensory modalities. The robust philosophical account of touch he offers in The First Sense has significant implications for our general understanding of perception and perceptual experience. (shrink)
The knowledge account of assertion holds that it is improper to assert that p unless the speaker knows that p. This paper argues against the knowledge account of assertion; there is no general norm that the speaker must know what she asserts. I argue that there are cases in which it can be entirely proper to assert something that you do not know. In addition, it is possible to explain the cases that motivate the knowledge account by postulating a general (...) norm that assertions would be true, combined with conversational norms that govern all speech acts. A theory on which proper assertions must be true explains the data better than a theory on which proper assertions must be known to be true. (shrink)
The word 'ought' is one of the core normative terms, but it is also a modal word. In this book Matthew Chrisman develops a careful account of the semantics of 'ought' as a modal operator, and uses this to motivate a novel inferentialist account of why ought-sentences have the meaning that they have. This is a metanormative account that agrees with traditional descriptivist theories in metaethics that specifying the truth-conditions of normative sentences is a central part of the explanation (...) of their meaning. But Chrisman argues that this leaves important metasemantic questions about what it is in virtue of which ought-sentences have the meanings that they have unanswered. His appeal to inferentialism aims to provide a viable anti-descriptivist but also anti-expressivist answer to these questions. (shrink)
In Real Hallucinations, Matthew Ratcliffe offers a philosophical examination of the structure of human experience, its vulnerability to disruption, and how it is shaped by relations with other people. He focuses on the seemingly simple question of how we manage to distinguish among our experiences of perceiving, remembering, imagining, and thinking. To answer this question, he first develops a detailed analysis of auditory verbal hallucinations (usually defined as hearing a voice in the absence of a speaker) and thought insertion (...) (somehow experiencing one's own thoughts as someone else's). He shows how thought insertion and many of those experiences labeled as "hallucinations" consist of disturbances in a person's senseof being in one type of intentional state rather than another. Ratcliffe goes on to argue that such experiences occur against a backdrop of less pronounced but wider-ranging alterations in the structure of intentionality. In so doing, he considers forms of experience associated with trauma, schizophrenia, and profound grief. The overall position arrived at is that experience has an essentially temporal structure, involving patterns of anticipation and fulfillment that are specific to types of intentional states and serve to distinguish them phenomenologically. Disturbances of this structure can lead to various kinds of anomalous experience. Importantly, anticipation-fulfillment patterns are sustained, regulated, and disrupted by interpersonal experience and interaction. It follows that the integrity of human experience, including the most basic sense of self, is inseparable from how we relate to other people and to the social world as a whole. (shrink)
I argue that wrongdoers may be open to moral blame even if they lacked the capacity to respond to the moral considerations that counted against their behavior. My initial argument turns on the suggestion that even an agent who cannot respond to specific moral considerations may still guide her behavior by her judgments about reasons. I argue that this explanation of a wrongdoer’s behavior can qualify her for blame even if her capacity for moral understanding is impaired. A second argument (...) is based on the observation that even when a blameworthy wrongdoer could have responded to moral considerations, this is often not relevant to her blameworthiness. Finally, I argue against the view that because blame communicates moral demands, only agents who can be reached by such communication are properly blamed. I contend that a person victimized by a wrongdoer with an impaired capacity for moral understanding may protest her victimization in a way that counts as a form of moral blame even though it does not primarily express a moral demand or attempt to initiate moral dialogue. (shrink)
Why do we spend so much of our time passing on amusing anecdotes, making wisecracks,watching The Simpsons? In Inside Jokes, Matthew Hurley, DanielDennett, and Reginald Adams offer an evolutionary and cognitive perspective.
In this paper I argue that if one subscribes to dispositionalism — the view that natural properties are irreducibly dispositional in character — then one ought to favour a Platonic view of properties. That is, dispositionalists ought to view properties as transcendent universals. I argue for this on the grounds that only with transcendent universals in play can two central dispositionalist platitudes be accounted for in a satisfactory way. Given that dispositionalism is becoming an increasingly influential view in the metaphysics (...) of science, my argument, if successful, suggests that Platonism will see something of a revival in contemporary metaphysics. This new kind of Platonism is shown to have some striking metaphysical and epistemological consequences. (shrink)
Mind Ecologies: Body, Brain, and World: Book Abstract from Columbian University Press -/- Matthew Crippen and Jay Schulkin -/- Pragmatism, a pluralistic philosophy with kinships to phenomenology, Gestalt psychology and embodied cognitive science, is resurging across disciplines. It has growing relevance to literary studies, the arts, and religious scholarship, along with branches of political theory, not to mention our understanding of science. But philosophies and sciences of mind have lagged behind this pragmatic turn, for the most part retaining a (...) central-nervous-system orientation, which pragmatists rejected as far too narrow. -/- Matthew Crippen, a biologically orientated philosopher of mind, and Jay Schulkin, a pioneer in neuroscience, offer an innovative interdisciplinary theory of mind. They argue that pragmatism in combination with phenomenology is not only able to give an unusually persuasive rendering of how we think, feel, experience, and act in the world but also the account most consistent with evidence from cognitive science and neurobiology. Crippen and Schulkin contend that cognition, emotion, and perception are incomplete without action, and in action they fuse together. Not only are we embodied subjects whose thoughts, emotions, and capacities comprise one integrated system; we are living ecologies inseparable from our surroundings, our cultures, and our world. Ranging from social coordination to the role of gut bacteria and visceral organs in mental activity, and touching upon fields such as robotics, artificial intelligence, and plant cognition, Crippen and Schulkin stress the role of aesthetics, emotions, interests, and moods in the ongoing enactment of experience. Synthesizing philosophy, neurobiology, psychology, and the history of science, Mind Ecologies offers a broad and deep exploration of evidence for the embodied, embedded, enacted, and extended nature of mind. (shrink)
Constitutivists hope to locate the foundations of ethics in the nature of action. They hope to find norms that are constitutive of agency. Recently David Enoch has argued that even if there are such norms, they cannot provide the last word when it comes to normativity, since they cannot tell us whether we have reason to be agents rather than shmagents. I argue that the force of the shmagency objection has been considerably overestimated, because philosophers on both sides of the (...) debate have failed to grasp the true source of the authority of agency’s constitutive norm. Some constitutivists believe that this authority is rooted in the inescapability of agency. Yet agency is not, in fact, inescapable. What actually grounds the authority of agency’s constitutive norm is the fact that there is no standpoint outside of agency from which we can intelligibly ask normative questions. (shrink)
Preservationism states that memory preserves the justification of the beliefs it preserves. More precisely: if S formed a justified belief that p at t1 and retains in memory a belief that p until t2, then S's belief that p is prima facie justified via memory at t2. Preservationism is an unchallenged orthodoxy in the epistemology of memory. Advocates include Sven Bernecker, Tyler Burge, Alvin Goldman, Gilbert Harman, Michael Huemer, Matthew McGrath, and Thomas Senor. I develop three dilemmas for it, (...) in part by drawing on research in cognitive psychology. The dilemmas centre on preservationism's implications for certain cases involving either stored beliefs, forgotten evidence, or recollection failure. Each dilemma shows that preservationism either is false or lacks key support. (shrink)