What is the role of conscious experience in the epistemology of perceptual knowledge: how should we characterise what is going on in seeing that o is F in order to illuminate the contribution of seeing o to their status as cases of knowing that o is F? My proposal is that seeing o involves conscious acquaintance with o itself, the concrete worldly source of the truth that o is F, in a way that may make it evident to the subject (...) that o is an instance of ‘x is F’ as she understands this, and hence evident that o is F. Seeing that o is F is thus a way of its being evident that o is F and is therefore a way of knowing that o is F. (shrink)
In this article, I suggest that combining resources from philosophy and psychology can yield useful tools for philosophical counselling. More specifically, I argue for three theses: a) Iris Murdoch’s notion of just attention and Marshall Rosenberg’s method of non-violent communication are interestingly compatible; b) engaging in non-violent communication serves to support one’s endeavors to acquire the kind of clear vision Murdoch thinks doing well by others requires; and c) non-violent just communication would be beneficial to both counsellors and counselees and (...) thus a useful resource for philosophical counsellors. (shrink)
Experience, it is widely agreed, constrains our thinking and is also thoroughly theory-laden. But how can it constrain our thinking while depending on what it purports to constrain? To address this issue, I revisit and carefully analyze the account of observation provided by Norwood Russell Hanson, who introduced the term ‘theory-ladenness of observation’ in the first place. I show that Hanson’s account provides an original and coherent response to the initial question and argue that, if suitably developed, his account provides (...) a distinctive, powerful, and attractive alternative to relationalist and standard representationalist conceptions of experience. (shrink)
How are love and justice related? Iris Murdoch characterizes the former by drawing on the latter. Love, she maintains, is just attention, which in turn triggers acts of compassion. Arguably, for Murdoch, love is the most important moral activity. By engaging in love, she maintains, moral agents progress on their journey from appearances to reality. Through love, they overcome selfish leanings, acquire a clearer vision of the world and, importantly, other individuals, which in turn enables them to act increasingly well. (...) In this paper, I lay Murdoch’s account of love alongside of Aristotle’s notion of philia. Ultimately, I argue that both Murdochian love and Aristotelian philia are crucial for enabling moral progress. I proceed as follows: First, I introduce Murdoch’s view. I then propose a novel reading of an argument from Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics in order to explain what I shall call his necessity claim (NC): philia is necessary to a flourishing life. Along the way, I point out ways in which Murdoch’s and Aristotle’s accounts are mutually illuminating. (shrink)
Richard Rorty is well known as a propagandist of pragmatism and of a "post-philosophical" culture in which many traditional philosophical debates are dismissed as outrightly fruitless. The paper is mainly concerned with Rorty's dismissal of the realism-antirealism debate. The shift from argument to propaganda which is typical of much of Rorty's reasoning is critically investigated from different perspectives. In particular, it is argued that Rorty cannot convincingly establish a pragmatist position beyond realism and antirealism, and that pragmatism seems to be (...) inadequate with respect to scientific practice. Finally, the fruitfulness of the realism-antirealism debate is defended. (shrink)
This paper provides an introduction to the relevant debates revolving the three topics the connections between which are the being discussed in this volume--justice, autonomy, and love--outlining various conceptions and related questions. It also contains an overview of the contributions to the three sections of the volume: I) Justice Within Relationships of Love, II) Loving Partiality and Moral Impartiality, and III) The Political Dimension of Love and Justice.
How to conceptualize loving relationships so as to accommodate that just love is geared toward preserving and fostering individual autonomy? To develop an answer, this paper draws on the recent debate on the rational role of experience to motivate a view dubbed Murdochian presentationalism. Murdochian presentationalism takes seriously two presentationalist ideas: 1) individuals harboring different world views who respond to identical situations differently can be equally rational; 2) our views and concepts develop under the constant pressure of experience. It combines (...) these ideas with Murdoch’s tenet that coming to know others (and thus being able to do well by them) requires unselfish love, construed as just attention that involves a continuous refinement of our evaluative concepts and makes us better attuned to what is real. Complemented with a broadly Kantian notion of autonomy, the resulting view fits the bill. The paper ends on a sketch of what is dubbed the ideal lovers’ pledge and a comment on what metaphor the view arrived at suggests for thinking about loving relationships. (shrink)
Dieser Artikel enthält eine kritische Diskussion der von Peter Stemmer in seinem Buch "Normativität. Eine ontologische Untersuchung" vorgelegten Analyse von Normativität. Zentraler Kritikpunkt ist der Umstand, dass der für Stemmers Analyse zentrale Begriff des Wollens unanalysiert bleibt, sich dieses jedoch, so das hier vorgestellte Argument, entweder in einer Weise analysieren lassen wird, die, als Tendenz gedeutet, weniger zu leisten vermag als Stemmer für seine Analyse benötigt, oder, als intentionaler Zustand gedeutet, selbst bereits Normativität voraussetzt und somit für Stemmers reduktive Analyse (...) von Normativität nicht geeignet ist. Gegen Ende des Aufsatzes wird eine pragmatistische Fundierung von Normativität angedeutet und verschiedene Ressourcen aufgezeigt, deren sich Stemmer bedienen könnte, um seine Position gegen die vorgebrachten Einwände zu verteidigen. (shrink)
Diese Einleitung liefert eine Skizze der Genese des Bandes, eine Einführung in die im Sammelband diskutierten Themenkomplexe und Fragestellungen sowie Zusammenfassungen aller in ihm enthaltenen Beiträge.
This paper provides a brief overview of Iris Murdoch's central notion of love as just attention, introduces the reader to a few contemporary debates around her account, and shows that for Murdoch, love is not opposed to morality, but at its heart.
Was ist und wie funktioniert praktische Normativität? Können Soll-Sätze aus Ist-Sätzen abgeleitet werden? Gibt es so etwas wie objektive Werte und moralische Tatsachen? Oder beziehen sich normative Aussagen in Wirklichkeit auf mentale Vorgänge in den Subjekten? Welchen Geltungsanspruch haben normative Überzeugungen im Allgemeinen und moralische Überzeugungen im Besonderen? Welche Rolle spielen Wünsche, Emotionen und die (reine) praktische Vernunft? Erkennen wir moralische Regeln und Eigenschaften intuitiv? Beruht alle Moral nur auf Übereinkunft? Diese und weitere Fragen und Probleme sind heute Gegenstand einer (...) umfangreichen, interdisziplinär geführten Normativitäts-Debatte. Auf systematischer Ebene diskutieren Internalisten und Externalisten über das Wesen praktischer Gründe, Realisten und Antirealisten über den ontologischen Status praktischer Normen sowie Kognitivisten und Non-Kognitivisten über die Wahrheitsfähigkeit normativer Aussagen und die Art und Weise, wie das praktisch Gesollte erkannt werden kann. Geführt werden diese Debatten unter Rückgriff auf Positionen, die je nach Selbstverständnis der Teilnehmer aristotelisch, humeanisch, kantisch, utilitaristisch oder pragmatistisch sind. Dieser Band möchte dazu beitragen, Vertreter der unterschiedlichsten Konzeptionen praktischer Normativität in einen konstruktiven Dialog miteinander zu bringen. (shrink)
Philosophers have long been interested in love and its general role in morality. This volume focuses on and explores the complex relation between love and justice as it appears within loving relationships, between lovers and their wider social context, and the broader political realm. Special attention is paid to the ensuing challenge of understanding and respecting the lovers’ personal autonomy in all three contexts. Accordingly, the essays in this volume are divided into three thematic sections. Section I aims at shedding (...) further light on conceptual and practical issues concerning the compatibility or incompatibility of love and justice within relationships of love. For example, are loving relations inherently unjust? Might love require justice? Or do love and justice belong to distinct moral domains? The essays in Section II consider the relation between the lovers on the one hand and their broader societal environment on the other. Specifically, how exactly are love and impartiality related? Are they compatible or not? Is it unjust to favor one’s beloved? Finally, Section III looks at the political dimensions of love and justice. How, for instance, do various accounts of love inform how we are to relate to our fellow citizens? If love is taken to play an important role in fostering or hindering the development of personal autonomy, what are the political implications that need to be addressed, and how? In addressing these questions, this book engenders a better understanding both of conceptual and practical issues regarding the relation between love, justice, and autonomy as well as their broader societal and political implications. It will be of interest to advanced students and scholars working on the philosophy of love from ethical, political, and psychological angles. (shrink)
The observable/unobservable distinction, realistically construed, is a feature which lies at the very heart of van Fraassen’s constructive empiricism. The aim of this paper is to approach it by taking a close look at van Fraassen’s concept of observation. We will argue that if van Fraassen’s most recent writings about “literate experience”, especially his remarks on the status of observation reports and his general a-metaphysical stance, are taken into account, his realistic interpretation of the observable/unobservable distinction paves the road for (...) inconsistency. In particular, we will show that a dilemma emerges to the effect that van Fraassen is forced to accept skeptical consequences blatantly at odds with constructive empiricism and its restatement of the aim of science. We will finally suggest that the only way out for van Fraassen involves giving up his realistic construal of observability and thus taking sides with constructivism. (shrink)
If what we believe can directly modify our (visual) experience, our experience is doxastically variable. If so, the following seems possible: our false and irrational background beliefs can modify our experience such that in it, things look distorted, or that it conforms with and appears to confirm the false and irrational beliefs that helped bring it about in the first place. If experience is doxastically variable, it seems, its epistemic function can be undermined. However, in this dissertation, I argue that (...) we can devise accounts of (visual) experience that meet two requirements: they are fully compatible with all kinds of doxastic variation and on them, even doxastically variable experience serves to rationally constrain our beliefs. I begin with a novel interpretation of Hanson’s account of theory-laden observation—a valiant, yet ultimately unsuccessful attempt to meet both these requirements. Next, I analyze and reject various contemporary relationalist accounts of experience and the most sophisticated recent representationalist attempt to accommodate phenomena of doxastic variation: Siegel’s (Rich) Content View. Then, based on the lessons learned and drawing on Hanson’s and Gupta’s work, I show what shape a successful account may take. Ultimately, I argue for the following theses: 1) Neither of the two dominant accounts of experience—relationalism and standard representationalism—currently succeeds in satisfactorily meeting both requirements. 2) To arrive at accounts that do meet them, we should drop both the restrictive relationalist conception of experience as a relation to mind-independent items and the standard representationalist conception of experience as justifying beliefs. 3) We make progress by adopting both the general conception of experience as making rational transitions to beliefs, judgments, and actions and a (slightly) modified version of Gupta’s presentationalist account of experiential phenomenology. Finally, 4) the possibility of devising successful accounts is independent of a major issue dividing relationalists and representationalists: whether experience has content. In the final chapters, I address various follow-up questions concerning the nature of views, conceptual capacities, conceptual content, and linkages between a subject’s experience and her responses. In concluding, I show that the account of experience I recommend is widely applicable in philosophy and beyond. (shrink)
In this paper a close look is taken at van Fraassen's use of the concept of truth. It is shown that the rather deflationist understanding of the term in his more recent publications differs considerably from the one referred to in his earlier writings, where the truth of a scientific theory is construed as its correspondence to the world. As will be argued, his more recent remarks call for a reevaluation of the difference between scientific realism and constructive empiricism and (...) force him - for the sake of consistency - to give up his realist commitments regarding the world and the observable. (shrink)
This is a short response piece to “The Knowledge View of Perception. Capacities, Opportunities and Hindrances for Perceptual Knowledge” - a paper given by Andrea Kern at the PEER conference 2021 in Pittsburgh. In it, I criticize Kern's argument against what she calls the Two-Capacity View (TCV). TCV is the view that generally, perception is a capacity that enables subjects to gain perceptual knowledge and that this capacity involves two sub-capacities: one for perception and one for judgment. In this piece, (...) I provide reasons to doubt the second step of her three-step argument, show a way in which defenders of TCV can resist its third step, along with Kern's notion of what we should take paradigmatic exercises of reason to be. (shrink)
This paper deals with Swinburne’s project of developing a theodicy. We criticise this project from both an external and an internal perspective. Regarding the first strategy, the target of our critique is Swinburne’s construal of God’s attributes—especially omniscience—and the related issue of incorrigible foreknowledge. We argue that Swinburne has to clarify and improve his position to deal with the fideist or the atheist. Regarding the second strategy, we focus on Swinburne’s notion of God’s right. In this context, the parent-child-analogy strikes (...) us as particularly problematic. Hence, we argue that Swinburne should either rethink it or drop it altogether. (shrink)
This article contains a brief critique of von Kutschera's conception of God, especially of the conceptual tension between divine transcendence and divine personhood, and of his response to the problem of evil.
In this chapter, I propose a minimal construal of philosophical health that contains two core elements: variegated coherence and intentional directedness at a trans-subjective good. Combining elements from the works of Iris Murdoch and Marshall Rosenberg, I sketch a practice I dub non-violent just communication and argue that it promotes philosophical health as per the minimal construal and that we can derive from it a principle of philosophical health to complement the list of five principles of philosophical health that have (...) been proposed by Luis de Miranda. I then show that the practice of non-violent just communication promotes what Miranda Fricker has characterized as hermeneutic virtue and testimonial sensibility and, finally, suggest that my minimal notion of philosophical health is a useful tool to contrast various conceptions of philosophical counselling. (shrink)